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Willamette may cause minor flooding, but will likely crest below major flood levels


Of the Keizertimes 

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The Willamette River is expected to reach about 29 feet when it crests Friday evening, which means what the National Weather Service calls minor flooding.

It’s a few feet below the major flood stage of 32 feet, said Liana Ramirez, a NWS meteorologist out of Portland. But low-lying areas along the river, along with island access roads, may still flood if they haven’t already. Forecast levels are well below the river wall and ordinary high bank elevations, city officials report.

A break in the rain this morning will be followed by steady precipitation throughout the weekend, with about three-quarters of an inch of rain predicted for the Salem area.

That’s down significantly from reported levels of 2.13 inches Thursday, 2.47 inches Wednesday and 2.18 inches on Tuesday.

“It’s just going to be steady rainfall,” Ramirez said. “It’s not going to be as heavy as this previous system.”

Strong wind gusts are expected Friday afternoon and evening, reaching 45 to 50 miles per hour before settling down Saturday morning.

The city has sand and bags available near the skate park on Rickman Road NE. Please bring your own shovel.

The 1600 block of Greenwood Drive NE is now open, as is the pedestrian bridge across Labish Creek between the Country Glen and Gubser areas.

Claggett and Labish creeks receded overnight, and public works officials continue to monitor them, said Public Works Superintendent Bill Lawyer.

For more photos of the high water, visit our photo gallery.