Rising rivers and streams throughout the mid-valley — and the prospect of more rain in the forecast for Monday — have prompted National Weather Service forecasters to continue a flood watch for the region.
The flood watch was expected to remain in effect until 5 p.m. Monday.
The flooding is not expected to cause the type of widespread damage seen in the floods of 1996 or 2012. But meteorologist Laurel McCoy of the National Weather Service said there will be rivers and creeks in people's backyards and real issues in a few places. The most significant flooding is expected in the central and southern Willamette Valley between Eugene and Albany.
A fast-rising and swiftly moving South Santiam River triggered an effort to rescue two people and a dog Sunday afternoon near Gills Landing.
The Lebanon Fire District was dispatched to a water rescue shortly before 12:30 p.m. Sunday. According to a press release about the incident, Lebanon firefighters upon arrival found a man stranded in rising ankle-deep waters. Rescue crews used a raft to get the man to safety and he told them there was another person in the area who needed help.
The Linn County Sheriff’s Office responded with a rescue sled and the two agencies worked together to search the area and found another man and a dog. Rescuers used the sled to get the man and his dog to safety. Rescuers searched several tents in the area and found no other people.
“Crews faced a South Santiam that was extremely swollen, fast-moving, with a large amount of debris in the water,” the Fire District said in the press release.
The two people were treated by Fire District officers and transported to local hospitals. The dog was given to family members.
The National Weather Service's flood watch covers much of western Oregon, including Linn and Benton counties. Forecasters said heavy rain is expected to continue into Monday.
“Rainfall amounts of 1 to 4 inches have been observed in the past 24 hours,” the service said Sunday afternoon. “Many rivers are rising sharply, especially in Lane County. ... River flooding and localized urban and small stream flooding are likely to affect portions of the Central and South Willamette Valley through Monday.”
The Hyslop Farm weather station between Albany and Corvallis recorded 1.78 inches of rain in the 24-hour period ending 8 a.m. Sunday. The amount shattered the previous record of rainfall for the day, 0.88 inches, which had stood since 1902.
The Marys River near Philomath, listed as a possible trouble spot by Weather Service forecasters, also has risen sharply in the last couple days: at 8 a.m. Friday, it was at 6.40 feet. At 8 a.m. Saturday, it was at 8.36 feet. At 8 a.m. Sunday, it was at 15.91 feet. The river rose to 16.95 at noon Sunday but then started to drop a bit; by 6 p.m., it was at 16.88 feet.
The Weather Service's McCoy said the good news is that the weather hasn't been warm enough in the mountains to melt a significant amount of Oregon's robust snowpack.