City News

Salem under flood watch through Tuesday as streams expected to rise rapidly

Salem should brace for several inches of rain and possible flooding in some low-lying areas in the coming days, according to the National Weather Service.

Forecasters issued a flood watch on Friday, Dec. 1. It’s in place through afternoon Tuesday, Dec. 5.

“Excessive runoff may result in flooding of rivers, creeks, streams, and other low-lying and flood-prone locations. Creeks and streams may rise out of their banks. Flooding may occur in poor drainage and urban areas,” the flood watch notice said.

“A series of atmospheric rivers will bring periods of widespread heavy rain through early next week. Cascade snow accumulations through Saturday morning will experience heavy rain Saturday night into Sunday morning which will contribute to excessive run off,” the watch notice said.

“We are warning those who recreate in Minto-Brown and Wallace Marine Parks to be aware of the rising river levels if they use the trails near the river banks,” said Trevor Smith, a city public information officer. “A concern we are following is the amount of fallen leaves that may clog catch basins and cause local flooding on neighborhood streets.”

SANDBAGS: Available at city of Salem shops at Southeast 22nd Oxford Streets, the park-and-ride at 1439 Brush College Rd. N.W., off of Wallace Road, and at Woodmansee Park, 4629 Sunnyside Rd. S.E.

STREAM GAUGES: City of Salem online map for tracking water levels.

REPORTING HIGH WATER: Call the Salem Public Works Department anytime at 503-588-6311 to report high water, blocked drains or other such issues.

FORECAST: National Weather Service

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Les Zaitz is editor and CEO of Salem Reporter. He co-founded the news organization in 2018. He has been a journalist in Oregon for nearly 50 years in both daily and community newspapers and digital news services. He is nationally recognized for his commitment to local journalism. He also is editor and publisher of the Malheur Enterprise in Vale, Oregon.