If you’re planning on crossing the Oregon Cascades, make sure to check the passes before making the trip and be aware of the increased danger of landslides.
The National Weather Service has issued a flood watch for most of Oregon until 10:00 p.m. Monday.
Heavy rain in areas where there have been wildfires in recent years can lead to landslides. The Santiam Pass and McKenzie River valleys could be vulnerable.
The Oregon Dept. of Geology and Mineral Industries says landslides can move rapidly and contain boulders and logs transported in a fast-moving soil and water slurry down steep hillsides and through narrow canyons. They can travel a mile or more and can outrun someone trying to flee on foot.
Here is some advice from the geology department:
- Stay alert. Track the flood watch by radio, TV, weather radio or online. If told to evacuate, do so immediately.
- Listen. Unusual sounds might indicate moving debris, such as trees cracking or boulders knocking together. A trickle of falling mud or debris may precede larger landslides. If you think there is danger of a landslide, leave immediately.
- Watch the water. If water in a stream or creek suddenly turns muddy or the amount of water flowing suddenly decreases or increases, this is a warning that the flow has been affected upstream. You should immediately leave the area because a debris flow may soon be coming downstream.
- Travel with extreme caution. Assume roads are not safe. Be alert when driving, especially at night. Embankments along roadsides may fail, sending rock and debris onto the road.