PORTLAND -- Most of the western Oregon and southwest Washington rivers under flood watch started receding Sunday evening. The Hood, Clackamas and Klickatat rivers were expected to crest Sunday night.
The Cowlitz River, at Kelso, was expected to crest Monday afternoon, just above flood stage. Many rivers would still run high through Monday, said KGW’s Rod Hill.
Emergency personnel evacuated six homes in South Tillamook County due to the threat of flooding. Two families had left their homes by 2 p.m. and were meeting with Red Cross to discuss lodging and other emergency needs.
In the Welches area, 45-50 homes were evacuated, though the Hoodland Fire Districts' Scott Kline said he believed several of them were seasonal homes.
Sandbags and sand were available for Cowlitz County residents at the Public Works Shop, at 2215 Talley Way. Each person was allowed 25 sandbags and must bring a shovel. Bags were also available for Kelso residents at the Kelso Public Works Shop on Parrott Way.
Updated Flood Watch information
The Sandy River crested just above flood level. Oxbow Park was closed as roads had become impassable.
Johnson Creek was not quite at flood level and had started to recede by 2 p.m. Sunday, but authorities warned that it could change as rain continues.
Rain continued in higher elevations, leading to avalanche concerns in the mountains.
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In Astoria the Coast Guard reminded boat owners and operators to conduct preventative maintenance in anticipation of severe winter weather conditions.
That announcement came after three vessels which sank at their docks, due to heavy rains. Pollution violations caused by sunken vessels could result in fines and salvage costs of up to $40,000 per day.
The Portland Bureaus of Transportation and Emergency Management asked neighbors and businesses to inspect and clear catch basins. Officials said using a rake, pitch fork, or flat-point shovel is best to remove debris from the top of the grate.
Crews were patrolling across the city for overflowing catch basins and sump pump storage tanks.
City crews stocked sandbag locations for any resident or business owner who wanted to protect their property from flood damage. Sand and sandbags were provided at no charge; shovels were required:
SE 88th Ave just south of Holgate Blvd in the parking lot at Lents Park
SE 108th Ave and Foster Road, just south of Foster on the south side of the bridge
SE 111th Ave and Harold St at the southeast corner of the intersection
SW 42nd Ave and Vermont St in the lower parking lot of Gabriel Park.
Residents were asked to notify the City of Portland by calling 503-823-1700 if assistance was needed at a particular location to unclog a catch basin.
The city was prepared to close flooded streets and set up detour routes if necessary. City crews staged barricades for anticipated closures of sections of SE Foster Road, SE Cherry Blossom Drive and SE 92nd Avenue.
Crews were monitoring those areas expected to quickly close the streets if they flooded.
The Bureau of Environmental Services advised residents to avoid contact with rivers, streams, and flood waters, due to elevated bacteria levels. Continued heavy rainfall and the flooding could elevate bacteria levels in area rivers and streams.