Oregon's Office of Emergency Management says it's a good time to be 2 Weeks Ready and adhere to basic flood safety.
Salem, OR—January 16, 2017 -- Salem, OR -- Heavy rains are forecasted for the northern Oregon coast and the Willamette Valley, high winds are expected on the northern coast and freezing rain/ice is expected in the Columbia Gorge. A flood watch is in effect for all of Northwest Oregon. This is a good time to check your emergency supplies and adhere to basic flood safety.
Preparing for a Flood
Have an emergency kit with necessary supplies. Oregon Office of Emergency Management recommends being 2 Weeks Ready http://bit.ly/2dxylmA.
Clear out leaves or remaining ice/snow from storm drains and culverts to prevent localized flooding.
During a Flood: Turn Around, Don't Drown.
Six inches of moving water can knock over an adult and 12 inches can carry away a small vehicle. Many flood-related fatalities are caused by vehicles driven into hazardous waters. Move to higher ground.
Heavy rains reduce drivers' visibility. When driving, turn on your lights, increase following distance, slow down, and watch for bicyclists and pedestrians. Follow the Oregon Department of Transportation tips for driving in the rain:
- Give yourself more time for heavy traffic.
- Keep a safe distance between you and the driver in front of you.
- Make sure your windshield wipers in are good working condition.
- Roads are slippery when wet; obey the speed limit and drive slower in the rain.
- Turn on headlights.
If you are in your vehicle and floodwater is blocking your evacuation route, go to a building on high ground. If your vehicle is trapped in rapidly moving water, stay in the vehicle. If water is rising inside the vehicle, seek refuge on the roof.
Avoid walking through flood waters; they may be contaminated with oil, gas, or raw sewage. Waters may also be hiding hazards and debris. If you have to walk in flood waters, wear sturdy shoes. Sharp objects can penetrate rubber boots.
Be sure to check on neighbors and seniors in your area to make sure they are not in need.
In addition to flood concerns, areas in Northwest Oregon - particularly the Columbia Gorge -- are expected to have freezing rain and an accumulation of ice. This may result in downed trees and power outages. Be prepared and have a safe heat source available, flashlights/batteries and a radio to keep abreast of weather conditions.