Flood Report…

Seattle is snowed in but down here in the Willamette Valley we are in a flood.  I went out at noon to check a neighbor’s house who is on vacation, and saw that Mill Creek is flooding…

Then at 4:00 we thought we’d go take a survey and didn’t have to go far…here’s our corner (Court and 17th)

and we’re still several blocks from Mill creek, so we got closer and it’s not a pretty sight…

the footbridge on Court Street at the creek is awash…

and the river is still 2 feet from flood stage with at least 5 days of rain predicted…(under the bridge at the left of the photo is a paddle wheeler…DOCKED…).

The neighborhood is swarming with volunteers and sandbags are the watchword…

Fingers crossed…


  1. Thanks for posting these photos! I left a message for the Furtwanglers at their hotel in NYC that they could find these photos here.

  2. Makes me think of all those Ben Maxwell photos of the 1964 Salem flood. Hope it stops raining before it goes that far.

    1. A reader dropped the NOAA data on historic crests here in Salem on the Willamette and I’ll pass it on. The data is a little muddy, and cites a flood of 1891 (which the SJ picked up – this is how historical errors get written into the record!), but I’m pretty sure that datapoint is an errant repeat of the 1861 flood data. The 1880 entry is also suspect. There may be others.

      So here’s a partially scrubbed list of crests. You can see where the 1964 and 1996 floods fall and that our current flood is a top 15 candidate, but not likely a top 10.

      (1) 47.00 ft on 12/04/1861
      (2) 45.10 ft on 02/05/1890
      (3) 43.30 ft on 01/16/1880 (1881?)
      (4) 37.78 ft on 12/23/1964
      (5) 35.09 ft on 02/08/1996
      (6) 32.32 ft on 01/17/1974
      (7) 31.50 ft on 01/15/1901
      (8) 31.30 ft on 02/06/1907
      (9) 30.60 ft on 01/02/1943
      (10) 30.50 ft on 11/25/1909
      (11) 30.30 ft on 01/08/1923
      (12) 30.23 ft on 01/22/1972
      (13) 28.75 ft on 12/30/1998
      (14) 28.35 ft on 12/30/1945

  3. we’re good…though the church across the street has sandbagged tonight…and the water is flowing…thank goodness the expensive sump pump is in place over here…

  4. great reportage of the flooding, Bonnie!! I hope that you will make it through without damages. Rain is forecasted for tomorrow ………another 24 hrs of it might be bad. ://

  5. I used to live in that neighborhood and family is along the creek on 18th. We are fighting a leaking roof from the wind and rain in West Salem. Fingers crossed we get a break from the rain soon!

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