New Storm Arriving This Week

 

As if our epic winter weather isn’t already epic enough, next week is shaping up with potential for heavy rain and possible flooding.

At the moment the forecasts indicate the worst of it will be at higher elevations and well to our west, but Mosier Creek, Rock Creek, the Hood River, and other local drainages could see very high flows just the same.

For the moment it’s impossible to predict how the coming storm will start.  More snow?  Freezing rain?  Or just rain?

The best guess is that we should be prepared to see considerable freezing rain before air and surface temperatures rise above freezing.

That is a recipe for serious problems:  extremely dangerous road and walking conditions, high likelihood of tree damage and downed power lines, and high potential for collapse of flat roofs and porches.

EXPECT RAPIDLY DETERIORATING ROAD AND WALKING CONDITIONS as soon as precipitation starts, in whatever form.

EXPECT PROBLEMS WITH POWER OUTAGES AND TREE DAMAGE.

PREVENT COLLAPSES AND OTHER HAZARDS BY REMOVING SNOW NOW, while it’s still fairly easy.

As the temperatures warm up and the heavy rain starts, local problems will be the result of clogged drains and ditches.

PREVENT LOCALIZED FLOODING BY IDENTIFYING CRITICAL DRAINAGE PATHS on your property, make sure they are clear, and have a plan to monitor and keep them clear as conditions become wetter.  Do not take risks on public roads, but let the proper authorities know if you see problems developing there.  Call Wasco County Sheriff non-emergency at 541-296-5454 for County roads, and contact your local road association for private roads.

We could also see avalanches and mudslides affecting roads and property.

As the heavy rain arrives, avoid travel if you can, and be sure you have what you will need in case you are cut off from communication and transportation for several days.  Medications?  Supplies?  Drinking water?  Heat?  Take care of those priorities now, before the party starts.

*     *     *

Local and regional emergency planners are preparing to deal with these potential problems.

At the moment the forecast looks fairly benign for our small area — relatively light rainfall and relatively low temperatures, meaning that our biggest problem is likely to be freezing rain, and the potential for slides and flooding, though still an issue, will be moderated.

But regionally this will almost certainly be a very dangerous storm, and Mosier residents are advised to be ready for considerable disruption whether it directly affects us or stays at a reassuring distance.

The Mosier Grange will be open as a warming center in the event of a power failure.

Mosier Fire volunteers will do their best to facilitate communication and public service, in coordination with emergency managers.

One of the best things anyone can do to help prepare is to look out for one another.  Make sure to check on neighbors ahead of and during the storm.  And don’t take unnecessary risks.  Stay put at home if worse comes to worst!

Safety is everyone’s business!
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