Flood watch in effect for Grande Ronde Valley

By Kelly Ducote, The Observer March 04, 2014 02:31 pm

PENDLETON - The National Weather Service has issued a flood watch for parts of northeast Oregon from Wednesday afternoon through Friday morning. The flood watch includes small streams and creeks in the Grande Ronde Valley, John Day Basin, Ochoco-John Day Highlands, the northern and southern Blue Mountains and foothills.

Landslides and debris flows are possible during this event. Debris flows are rapidly moving, extremely destructive landslides. They can easily travel a mile or more, depending on the terrain. They will transport boulders and logs in a fast-moving soil and water slurry. 

People, structures and roads located below steep slopes in canyons and near the mouths of canyons may be at serious risk. Caution should be used when traveling. According to the Oregon Department of Geology and Mineral Industries (DOGAMI), the most dangerous places include: 

- Canyon bottoms, stream channels, and areas of rock and soil accumulation at the outlets of canyons. 

- Bases of steep hillsides. 

- Road cuts or other areas where slopes of hills have been excavated or over-steepened. 

- Places where slides or debris flows have occurred in the past.