Heavy rain brings flooding to region already battered by ice storm

EUGENE, Ore. - If you live near a creek or wetland, be prepared for flooding this weekend - or sooner.

A reporter found water up over the road near Gillespie Corners; flowing down the Fern Ridge path along Amazon Creek in Eugene; and within 10 feet of a house along the Row River near Cottage Grove.

A Flood Watch remains in effect for Western Oregon through 4 p.m. Sunday, the National Weather Service in Portland said.

In areas still recovering from last week's snow and ice storms, the hazard could be enhanced.

Saturated soils caused by heavy rainfall could cause trees weakened by the ice storm to drop limbs or uproot and fall, the City of Eugene warned.

Those trees could cause another round of power outages for utilities still working to restore power to all customers who lost electricity in the wake of last Saturday's ice storm.

The city has closed the rhododendron garden in Hendricks Park, the playground in Amazon Park, and all of University Park to the public until hazards can be cleaned up.

Debris from trees and sand used to provide traction in the snow remains on roads, which could contribute to localized flooding.

Standing water beneath bridge overpasses along the Amazon and Fern Ridge bike paths has closed those sections of trail.

And the Riverbank Bike Path System along the Willamette River is being closely monitored for trouble, the city said.

The situation along the Ridgeline Trail in Eugene's South Hills remains unknown.

"Due to the sheer volume of issues, trails and natural areas may not be addressed for several weeks," the City of Eugene Public Works said. "The conditions in these areas are unstable and citizens are encouraged to steer clear of heavily wooded areas of Eugene's park system."

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