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Rain continued to wash the soggy mid-valley today, but the National Weather Service said the worst of the heaviest rainstorm since 1965 is over.

Yet to come, however, is the crest of the Willamette River.

And the effects of the water are expected to linger for several days until the flooding subsides, the weathermen said.

The Willamette River's crest is moving downstream, having passed Harrisburg at about 2 p.m. today. It is expected to reach Albany at noon Thursday at 28 feet, more than three feet above flood stage.

County emergency services personnel do not expect any North Albany homes to be flooded. However, they warned that most low-lying roads to the east of Spring Hill Drive will have water on them and some will be impassable.

Nine mid-valley school districts canceled classes today because of flooding. Hundreds of city and county roads have water across them at various depths and this morning Oregon State Police closed Highway 34 between Corvallis and Lebanon.

Lt. James Hamer, Albany station commander for the Oregon State Police, said the Willamette River was expected to be across Highway 34 at the east end of the Corvallis bridges.

In the Riverside area of Albany, Linn County sheriff's deputies launched their jet boat this morning to evacuate Mrs. Mark Tompkins, Rt. 3 Box 889, and two of her children when the Calapooia River crept into the lower part of her split-level home.

One of the Tompkins' children said the water was about 2 inches deep and that the three of them were very busy getting furniture up off the floor.

Rain continued heavy today after dumping 1.78 inches on Albany in the 24-hour period ending at 7 a.m. today. Today's rainfall was expected to bring the total to more than 8 inches of rain in Albany since the storm began with freezing rain Friday night.

Forecast is for a low-pressure area off the Oregon coast to move inland overnight, bringing cooling temperatures and decreasing rain.

Rainfall is expected to drop to 90 percent chance tonight, with a 40 percent chance of showers and some clearing on Thursday as high pressure rebuilds.

However, the long-range outlook is for continued rain through Sunday, according to the National Weather Service.

Snow level in the Cascades is expected to drop from 5,500 feet this morning to 3,000 feet by Thursday. This will ease the threat of continued snow melt.

Added flow from Thomas and Crabtree creeks and the North Santiam River brought a crest of 19.5 feet on the Santiam River at Jefferson at 11 a.m. today. Flood stage at Jefferson is 15 feet.

Several farm buildings in the Jefferson area were in water, but no homes were in water. Jefferson Fire Department was pumping water from the high school furnace room throughout the night.

While some tributary streams were beginning to subside today, the crest on the Calapooia River was passing Interstate 5 and causing major flooding on lowlands west of the freeway.

Waters of the Calapooia closed Oakville Road between Albany and Highway 34.

Albany city officials said this morning that all city streets were passable. Oliver "Mugs" Payton, Albany public works superintendent, predicted that water from the Willamette River would not endanger any Albany streets.

Stanley Holbrook, forecaster with the river forecast center in Portland, said the crest is expected to reach Albany at noon Thursday at 28 feet.

James A. Blodgett, Benton County emergency services director, said the current river stage readings should not be confused with those in use during the December 1964 flood. In that 100-year flood, a crest of 29.5 feet was reached, but the gauge since has been moved and the same height now would be recorded as 34 feet.

Gov. Tom McCall declared a state of disaster Tuesday and activated the state's emergency center for the first time since severe flooding in 1964.

"Oregonians face what could be their most severe test by forces of nature," McCall said in a five-minute address over an emergency broadcast network.

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