Southwestern Oregon Flood Watch Alert: Heavy Rainfall Can Cause Landslides
Effective Saturday, January 20 through Monday, January 22, the National Weather Service has issued a Flood Watch for parts of Oregon, which includes the Curry County coast.
Significant rain is forecasted between Friday evening and Monday morning as a result of an atmospheric river event- which is a cloud of moisture that carries saturated air from the tropics to higher latitudes, bringing unrelenting rain or snow. The Oregon Department of Geology and Mineral Industries advises that heavy rain could lead to landslides in areas of steep terrain, and debris flows in and around areas burned by recent wildfires.
Moving rapidly, these debris flows are extremely destructive landslides– sometimes containing boulders and logs, transported in a briskly-moving soil and water slurry. They can swiftly travel a mile or more down steep hillsides and through narrow canyons, and move faster than a human can run. They pose a serious risk to people, structures, and roads that are located below steep slopes, in canyons, and near the mouths of canyons.
Should your workplace, home, or the route you travel be in a Flood Watch area:
- Stay alert at all times, and track the route of the flood on the radio, TV, weather radio, or the official weather website.
- If instructed to evacuate, do so immediately.
- Keep listening for unusual sounds. This could be moving debris, for example, trees or logs, cracking, or boulders knocking together.
- A small trickle of falling mud or debris could precede larger landslides. If you have any reason to believe that there is a danger of a landslide, leave immediately.
- Observe the water. If a stream or creek suddenly turns muddy, or the amount of water flowing suddenly decreases or increases, it is a warning that the flow has been impacted upstream. Vacate the area immediately- a debris flow could be coming downstream soon.
- Travel with extreme caution. Assume that all roads are unsafe. Be vigilant when driving, particularly at night. Embankments along roadsides can fail at any time, spilling rock and debris onto the road.
Ashland current weather information can be found here: