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Parts of Southern Oregon could see flooding tonight

Storm could bring more than 2 inches of rain by Saturday
 Posted: 2:00 AM February 14, 2014

The city of Medford could see some localized flooding as early as tonight as this latest storm front is expected to bring more than 2 inches of rain to the city by Saturday evening.

The National Weather Service on Thursday issued a flood watch for the Rogue Valley through Saturday afternoon, when local streams should see their peak flows, triggered by runoff.

Similar warnings were issued for the Willamette Valley and most of the Coast Range, according to the weather service.

The main-stem Rogue River is forecast to remain well within its banks, but the watch is focused on backyard urban streams, particularly if culverts get blocked or drains get plugged, meteorologist Frederic Bunnag says.

"If we get some localized heavy rains in one area and some blocked drains, we could see some," Bunnag says. "It could be anywhere."

Medford is forecast to get 21/4 inches of rain by Saturday night, while the Eagle Point and Shady Cove areas should brace for 3 inches of rain in that time frame, Bunnag says. The Grants Pass area is forecast to get up to 6 inches of rain by Saturday night, he says.

The Cave Junction area is directly in the path of this tropical storm moving in from the southwest and could see as much as 8 inches of rainfall by Saturday night, Bunnag says.

The South Coast will be hit hardest, with the Brookings area expected to get about 10 inches of rain, Bunnag says. The Natural Resources Conservation Service has the Chetco River forecast to peak at more than 38,500 cubic feet per second late Friday, then again late Saturday, likely causing some local flooding there.

The Coquille River in Coos County is forecast to crest Saturday right at its flood level, Bunnag says.

The Rogue at Dodge Bridge, where Highway 234 bisects the river, has a gauge where flows are estimated to peak Friday night at about 11,000 cfs — well under its bank-full level of 20,000 cfs, according to the NRCS.

Reach Mail Tribune reporter Mark Freeman at 541-776-4470, or email at mfreeman@mailtribune.com. Follow him at www.twitter.com/mtwriterfreeman.


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