Storm warning

Heavy Rain, Wind and Flooding Predicted: Visitors Discouraged from Visiting Forest this Weekend 

Forest Supervisor Meg Mitchell is encouraging folks to stay home this weekend and avoid traveling in the Willamette National Forest.

“The Weather Service has briefed us that they are predicting 8-12 inches of rain between Saturday and Sunday evening, as well as winds up to 50 mph on ridges,” said Mitchell. “Rivers and streams will rise and there is potential for flooding, and road washouts or failures. Please stay home and reduce your risk of exposure to not just the poor weather, but also to becoming stranded on roads.”

The most intense rain and winds are predicted for Sunday, but the entire weekend will be wet. If you do go out, be prepared for rain, downed trees and the possibility of being trapped behind an unpassable section of road for extended periods of time. Cell coverage on the Forest is spotty, so do not assume you will be able to call for help. Remember, the Deception Fire area near Oakridge and associated roads remain closed due to hazards.

In anticipation of the Willamette National Forest is working closely with Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) and County Emergency Service Managers. ODOT is increasing staff and positioning equipment to respond to this weekend’s storm and will be patrolling highway corridors anticipating rock falls, mud slides and high water locations. Travelers are reminded to be alert to fast-changing road conditions and be prepared for extended travel times.  ODOT recommends traveling with a fully charged cell phone and carrying extra food, water, blankets and clothing.  Be ready to take an alternate route if a roadway becomes blocked. Motorists should reduce speed and be vigilant for pedestrians and bicyclists.  If traveling at dark, pedestrians and bicyclists should wear reflective clothing.  Know Before You Go:  Monitor www.tripcheck.com or call 5-1-1 for current road conditions. To report roadway hazards on State Roads, call 1-503-362-0457.

Forest employees will checking the Forest Service road system on Monday, December 21 and updates will be posted on the Current Conditions section of the Willamette NF web as soon as possible following road surveys:  http://www.fs.usda.gov//willamette/ -  click on Current Conditions. . Please follow us on twitter for updates @willametteNF. If you see storm damage of any kind, we would appreciate a call or email (http://www.fs.usda.gov/contactus/willamette/about-forest/contactus#commentform) with that data.

 

McKenzie River Reflections

McKenzie River Reflections is the weekly newspaper serving Oregon's McKenzie River Valley. Available by mail for $23/yr in Lane County, $29/yr outside Lane. Digital subscriptions are $23/yr. Subscribe at: http://mckenzieriverreflectionsnewspaper.com/catalog/subscriptions-0. Purchase copies online at: http://mckenzieriverreflectionsnewspaper.com/catalog/back-issues-0. Read about area communities including Cedar Flat, Walterville, Camp Creek, Leaburg, Vida, Nimrod, Finn Rock, Blue River, Rainbow and McKenzie Bridge.