Holiday hazards on area rivers

Holiday hazards on area rivers

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by KGW.com Staff

kgw.com

Posted on May 27, 2011 at 10:40 AM

Updated Wednesday, Oct 30 at 6:12 AM

VANCOUVER -- The Columbia River was expected to remain above flood stage for the remainder of the holiday weekend, and people who had planned outdoor activities were asked to postpone swimming and boating until the river returns to normal levels.

The river was above the 16 foot flood level and rising Saturday, backing up into the Sandy.

Weather: Alerts | Forecast | River levels | Radar

“The river is running cold and fast, carrying debris, and causing some flooding at local beaches and other low-lying areas," said Brian Potter, with Vancouver-Clark Parks and Recreation. "Cold water increases the risks of drowning and hypothermia, which can be life threatening when body temperature drops."

A National Weather Service alert Saturday warned that minor flooding has already occurred along the river and more was expected.

The river was expected to crest by 5 a.m. Sunday, at around 16.6 inches, according to the NWS flood warning statement.

A no-wake zone was declared on the Willamette, which was approaching the bottom of the Steel Bridge.

More: Flood warning

About half of the three-mile long Salmon Creek trail in Vancouver was already underwater Tuesday.

Several picnic areas and parking lots were also underwater along the Columbia, on Sauvie Island and in Fairview.

"There will be significant flooding along the banks of the Columbia River that are commonly used for camping and recreation such as Cottonwood Beach near Washougal and on Government Island," the NWS warning announced.

Raw video: Columbia River running high & fast

The Willamette River was well below flood stage, officials said.

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