Oregon State University

Local officials declare disaster

From Benton County Sheriff’s Office:

Thursday at noon, Benton County Commissioner Jay Dixon signed a declaration of local emergency/disaster for the unincorporated areas of Benton County. Corvallis City Manager Jim Patterson also declared an emergency within the corporate limits of the City of Corvallis.

Flooding and landslides beginning January 18th in the area due to heavy rains and melting snow from a recent snow storm have created high water conditions. A preliminary assessment shows damage to roads and homes and closed roads resulting in isolated areas of the county.

Two bridges, both on Harris Road near Wren, are out of service at this time. The Harris Bridge has been struck by a fallen tree and is damaged on the west side of Harris Road. On the east side, the covered bridge is covered in high water. A detour for residents and emergency personnel only that crosses private property is being used currently for access.

A major slide on NW Niagara has been reported with a large amount of debris and fir trees blocking the road. The Vineyard Mountain area has reported multiple slides and the Vineyard Mountain Road District hired a contractor, who is clearing the road. Slides also have been reported at Pickadilly near North Albany, Highway 223 three miles north of Highway 20, Highway 34 and Yew Wood, Highway 34 Milepost 47, Lobster Valley at Little Lobster and Honeygrove Road near Alsea.

Evacuations already have occurred near Rosewood Drive north of Corvallis and those on NE Oxford Circle near Lancaster Street are advised to stay home, but they also are able to relocate if they desire to do that. Evacuation point has been established at Crescent Valley High School, 4444 NW Highland Ave., near Corvallis.

Residents wishing to leave for the evacuation center at Crescent Valley High School should call 541-766-6120.

Residents leaving their homes for the evacuation center will not be allowed to return until high water recedes or until deemed safe to do so by public safety and emergency management.

Benton County Sheriff’s Office and Corvallis Police remind residents and drivers:

  • Avoid these areas of Benton County and Corvallis.
  • Benton County Sheriff’s Office, Corvallis Police Department, Benton County Public Works and Corvallis Fire Department have established an Emergency Operation Center and are monitoring the situation throughout the county in anticipation of other potential issues.
  • Several other roads around Benton County have high water and may be difficult to travel. Check the Benton County Public Works website www.co.benton.or.us/pw/index.php or call 541-766-6821 for the latest information about road closures and high water areas. Oregon Department of Transportation information can also be found at www.tripcheck.com for state highways.
  • Road closure information will be regularly updated and more frequent updates may be available. Continue to check the non-emergency information line at 541-766-6120 for the most recent updates.
  • It is important to remember not to attempt to cross high water areas. Turn around, don’t drown!  Obey traffic and high water signs to prevent becoming stranded or swept away in current.