SALEM -- Gov. Kitzhaber toured flood-damaged areas of Marion County Friday, after declaring a state of emergency for four Oregon counties.
The Siuslaw River in Southern Oregon and the Pudding River in the Northern Willamette Valley were still at major flood stage Friday morning, but other western Oregon rivers had crested or were holding below those levels, KGW Meteorologist Allard said.
Marion County deputies said since Thursday, a total of 6 rescue boats were deployed in the Turner area.
No major injuries were reported.
Around 300 homes were directly affected by the flood waters; with around 150 voluntarily evacuating from their homes in Turner.
Kitzhaber Thursday declared a state of emergency, authorizing the use of state resources for the response to flooding and storm damage.
The governor’s initial declaration included Marion, Coos, Benton, and Lincoln counties. Other counties will likely be added later, he said.
Snowmelt has combined with heavy rains to flood communities across Oregon.
The small communities of Scio and Turner were forced to evacuate Thursday morning and Red Cross shelters have been set up across western Oregon.
“The return of severe winter weather has overwhelmed communities across our state,” Governor Kitzhaber said. “My priority is to ensure the safety of all Oregonians and their properties. With this emergency declaration, I have directed all available state resources to help affected counties in any way possible.”
Photos: Flooding in Turner & Scio
By declaring a state of emergency, the governor also directed the Oregon Military Department and Office of Emergency Management to coordinate all requests for state assistance from affected counties.
Photos: Marion county flooding
For a full list of Salem closures, please refer to the City of Salem Website.
Kitzhaber also encouraged citizens to use extreme caution while driving in affected areas. If you are safe at home, stay there, he said, and avoid putting yourself at risk.
The Oregon Dept. of Transportation announced Friday that drivers on all mountain passes are required to carry chains and must be prepared to use them. Mudslides and fallen debris were causing problems on several Oregon roadways.
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