PORTLAND, Ore. -- A flood watch is in effect through Saturday afternoon for the Portland and Vancouver metro areas, mid-Willamette Valley, lower Columbia River and the Interstate 5 corridor in Cowlitz County.
The National Weather Service warns that flooding is possible due to rain and snowmelt throughout the Columbia Basin. The lower Columbia could begin flooding Thursday morning and continue through the weekend, meaning some parks, marinas and port areas will see unusually high water and debris in the river.
Minor flooding is also possible along the Tualatin, Clackamas, Pudding and Luckiamute rivers through Friday.
"Those living in areas prone to flooding should be prepared to take action should flooding develop," the NWS statement reads. "Landslides and debris flows are possible during this flood event. People, structures and roads located below steep slopes, in canyons and near the mouths of canyons may be at serious risk from rapidly moving landslides."
All over, rivers are rushing fast. At Clackamette Park, in Oregon City, the Willamette and Clackamas River meet. The water is so deep, it overflows the park banks. Gladstone Police say heavy rain caused raw sewage to flow in the the Clackamas River, as well.
All this rain means Willamette Falls is certainly a sight to see, impressive enough for a lot of people to stop and take pictures.
VIDEO: Roaring Willamette Falls
On Hayden Island, rainwater partially flooded some roads and parking lots.
“We can't even get to the dock at this point it's pretty incredible,” said Paul Kuthe, with Alder Creek Kayak & Canoe. He’s never seen the Columbia River like this before.
“I’ve worked here about 13 years, right on the water, and this is by far the highest water level I've seen,” he said.
And Kuthe says, he expects the rivers to rise even more.
“We’re cautioning folks that come into the store that want to do rentals, or take their own boats out, we’ve had people asking where they should go, we're making folks aware of that,” he said. “The rivers are alive, and it’s cool to see that mother nature is still in charge sometimes.”
He says if you take the boat out, watch out for strong currents and debris in the water. If you want to kayak, perhaps go to a lake, or a quieter area, until the rivers settle down.
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