Tillamook floodwaters recede, but cleanup continues after damagi - KPTV - FOX 12

Tillamook floodwaters recede, but cleanup continues after damaging rainfall

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TILLAMOOK, OR (KPTV) -

A significant flood buried parts of Tillamook under several feet of water on Sunday. By Monday, the water had receded for the most part, but many business owners and community members spent the day cleaning up.

The hardest hit area of the city was roughly a mile-long stretch along Highway 101 on the north end of Tillamook.

“[The water] got up onto the fourth step here, so it stopped just shy of getting inside the building this time,” David Dieter told FOX 12.

Dieter is the manager of The Cash Company, one of many small businesses that line the highway.

Monday, a layer of mud and pools of standing water were still covering his parking lot as workers with shovels and hoses worked to clean it off.

“This is about the earliest we’ve ever had it hit,” he said of the flooding. “So it makes you wonder what the rest of the year’s going to be like.”

People in the coastal Oregon town said they’re used to seeing flooding nearly every fall or winter, thanks to the rain pouring off the nearby hills and mountains.

But Tillamook County Emergency Managers said this is the earliest significant flooding has been seen along the Wilson River since record-keeping began in roughly the 1930s.

The river reached just over 17 feet – five feet over flood stage – thanks to nearly 11 inches of rain that fell in a watershed feeding the Wilson River, combined with three to five inches of rain that fell in the city itself.

“We had [water] roughly up to my knee right here, maybe a little higher, and then we had water running over the slab right there,” Derrick Josi told FOX 12.

Josi, one of the owners of Wilsonville Dairy a few miles outside of Tillamook, posted a video to Facebook showing the extent of the water covering his property Sunday morning.

He believes 70 percent of the farm was under water.

He said the flood was only slightly worse than the near-annual average, and thankfully livestock kept in barns on slightly higher ground remained dry.

Back in town, Barry Mammano, the owner of Tillamook Diesel Repair, keeps track of flood levels. On Monday, he added another notch to the wall.

Mammano said saw 23 inches of water inside his shop Sunday. Luckily, it didn’t cause any damage.

“It’s a four-letter word: dredge. But nobody wants to hear about that, and that’s all it would take,” he said of nearby sloughs.

Emergency managers said in a case like this, where so much rain fell in such a short amount of time, there’s no way to prevent flooding.

But one mitigation project, called the Southern Flow Corridor Project, was recently completed.

It moved some of the private levy systems, and added others, to help open up the area to give floodwater an easier path out to the bay.

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