Water starting to recede after extensive flooding hits Vernonia - KPTV - FOX 12

Water starting to recede after extensive flooding hits Vernonia

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Steve Roberts rescuing his neighbors. Steve Roberts rescuing his neighbors.
VERNONIA, OR (KPTV) -

Vernonia experienced extensive flooding Wednesday morning after several storms over the past two days brought heavy rainfall to the area.

Locals reported there was at least five feet of standing water in low lying areas throughout the town. 

While much of the water has receded, there's still some standing water in town and around homes.

Vernonia resident Steve Roberts help rescue his neighbor after seeing a post online that she was trapped in her house. 

AIR 12 was overhead as Roberts carried the woman across her flooded driveway to dry ground after he carried her three young children to safety.

"The car was submerged and I took them out of that end window though. Just went right up to that window, just kept on making trips," said Roberts.

Many residents in Vernonia have lived through major floods in 2007 and 1996. They said Wednesday's flood is not as bad but those memories are fresh on their minds.

"Anybody that's been through it can tell you that it's just not any little bit of water is not an easy process. If it's one inch or 12 inches or higher, it's just hard," said Lisa Brewer.

Lisa Brewer's parents live in a raised house, right next to where her childhood home sat before flooding destroyed it in 2007.

On Wednesday, her parents had 6 inches of water in the basement.

"My mom, she said she was done, and my dad text me and said, this is my last winter. That's a big thing. He's done, he's done. They're tired," said Brewer.

The National Weather Service said the Nehalem River crested at 14.47 feet around 1:30 a.m. Wednesday morning. Any water levels above 12 feet is considered flooding. 

Officials said all evacuations have been voluntary. They added that Vernonia residents are very used to this type of situation. 

Vernonia Rural Fire Protection District sent out a notice Tuesday to residents to prepare for possible evacuations that live near the Nehalem River, Rock Creek or any low lying areas.

A Red Cross shelter at Vernonia Schools will be open on Wednesday night. About 13 people stayed at the shelter on Tuesday.

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