Did last week’s flooding compare to previous years?

Johnson Creek swells near flood stage in Portland, Ore. (AP Photo/Steve Dipaola)
Johnson Creek swells near flood stage in Portland, Ore. (AP Photo/Steve Dipaola)

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Rivers spilling over, to near record levels last week, Andy Bryant, Hydrologist from the National Weather Service says stages were approaching record flow, “Last week we saw some spots that were either near or possibly at an all-time record.”.

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Footage of heavy flooding in 1996. (KOIN)

It brought back memories of the past, flooding from 2007 and 1996.

Extreme flooding, but was last week a repeat of the past?

“Some of the coastal communities there, Tillamook seaside wheeler, they had flooding comparable to some of the past events of 2007 or 1996. One thing that did happen was the high seas and ocean water coming inland and that slowed down rivers being able to recede,” explained Bryant.

Other locations, you just can’t compare.

“Vernonia, the flooding that they had last week wasn’t as bad as 2007 or the 1996 event, but it’s the biggest flood they had there since 2007,”said Bryant.

What are the necessary ingredients for flooding events like this?

“You need heavy rain, 12 to 24 hours. We saw that, we saw some really high rainfall rates for some locations close to an inch per an hour for a few hours.”

So what was the difference between previous years?

Well Andy Bryant told KOIN news that it was the lack of snow on the ground compared to previous floods.

“One thing we watch for is a period of cold weather or snowfall at low elevations. We watch to see if we will move to a warm influx and that’s what we had in 1996.”

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