West Coast Flooding
Atmospheric River Flooding Blasts NW Washington
“A Category 4 “atmospheric river” was bombarding the Pacific Northwest Monday, unleashing heavy rain and high-altitude snow while triggering flooding and the risk of avalanches.
National Weather Service offices in Seattle and Portland, Ore., issued flood warnings for multiple area rivers while the Northwest Avalanche Center had placed avalanche warnings in effect for large portions of the Cascade Mountains, describing “very dangerous” conditions.”
Umatilla River Eastern Oregon
You are advised to LEAVE IMMEDIATELY! Gather any belonging and make efforts to protect your home. If you stay, emergency services may not be available to assist you further.
In a statement released late Friday night, February 7, 2020, the Umatilla County Sheriff’s Office said county residents were advised to assess their resources and determine whether they were able to shelter in place for several weeks.
According to the evacuation notice from the UCSO, people were to act fast.
Rescue crews would be on the ground and in the air by helicopter the next day to attempt to make contact with residents. Officials said this would be the last evacuation notice residents would receive. . . More from OPB News
Two years after the Umatilla Flood affected communities are mostly feeling well healed. This video comes from the Long Term Recovery Team on their work.
This is what A disaster feels like
The Umatilla River breached its banks in 1965 and 1996/1997, but despite mitigation efforts the February 7 flooding has been the worst. Some 450 families have damaged or destroyed homes. Impacts stretch from Pendleton as far north as Walla Walla, WA. The Federated Tribes of the Umatilla have been deeply impacted.
As one would hope neighbor began to help neighbor as the flooding hit. Some 50 people were helicoptered out of isolated areas. Those with tractors set out to clear the muck and move people’s belongings. Sheriffs, emergency workers, medical personnel and more all jumped into action.
Churches are often quick to help with food and spiritual support in such disasters. Our thanks to Pr. Travis Larsen of Peace Lutheran Church in Pendleton and Pr. Joel Ley of Christ Lutheran in Walla Walla for being a Lutheran presence in and around this flooding. Charlene Larsen of First Lutheran in Astoria, OR is also deeply engaged through her work with the Oregon VOAD, representing Lutheran Community Services Northwest and Lutheran Disaster Response. Emergency services like the Red Cross and United Way have also been actively engaged.