'Most flood deaths occur in automobiles'

'Most flood deaths occur in automobiles'

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Weather Forecast | River Levels | Weather Cameras | Road Closures | Power Outage Info

EUGENE, Ore. - Wind, water and plenty of "what the !?" washed over the southern Willamette Valley Monday evening.

Forecasters said we can expect more heavy rain overnight.

"At 3:14 p.m., National Weather Service doppler radar indicated a large area of heavy rainfall extending from the south Washington cascades southwest to the central Oregon coast," the National Weather Service in Portland said. "The area of heavy rain will continue to slowly move southeast through the evening."

Wet ground and wind gusts in excess of 50 mph teamed up to make tree damage and power outages more likely.

Forecasters also issued a flood watch for the region. Streets across Eugene turned into ponds Monday night as the evening commute got going as fall leaves clogged the drains.

"Most flood deaths occur in automobiles," forecasters cautioned. "Never drive your vehicle into areas where the water covers the roadway. Flood waters are usually deeper than they appear. just one foot of flowing water is powerful enough to sweep vehicles off the road."

The rain hit hardest in Washington and northern Oregon before the storm system started marching south. How much rain falls in the Eugene area depends on how fast the storm system moves.

"Three to 6 inches of rain has fallen in southwest Washington and the North Oregon Cascades and Coast Range during the past 24 hours," forecasters said Monday afternoon. "Significant flooding is occurring or expected across many river basins those areas. Two to 4 inches of  rain are expected in the willamette valley and the cascades today and tonight."

"There is a potential for rivers not currently flooding or forecast to flood to reach flood stage if the cold front does not move as rapidly south as expected this evening," forecasters said.