Heavy rains greet hikers, prompt debris flow warning in the Gorg - KPTV - FOX 12

Heavy rains greet hikers, prompt debris flow warning in the Gorge

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Multnomah Falls, OR (KPTV) -

Heavy rain and a debris flow warning greeted travelers in the Columbia River Gorge on Friday.

The Oregon Department of Transportation issued a debris flow warning Thursday between Troutdale and Hood River in the Eagle Creek Fire burn scar. The agency’s fear was heavy rains and bare ground would send mud and debris towards Interstate 84

The heavy rains didn’t stop hundreds from hiking in the Gorge on Friday. Parking lots, like the Bridal Veil Falls trail head, were packed with cars.

“We wanted to come see some waterfalls,” Laurel Clohessy said. “It started pouring rain but we figure that’s the way you do it in Oregon, so we came anyway.”

Clohessy was out with her mother who was visiting from Arizona.

“We were going slow and we had a couple slips, but some puddles, we wore the right boots though,” Clohessy said.

Many folks had also stopped at Multnomah Falls to take in the torrent of water pouring over the cliff side.

They were greeted with a fence. The main viewing area is still closed off because of the Eagle Creek Fire.

The Forest Service is warning folks a hefty ticket will be given to anyone caught in the closure area, even if they are just trying to snap a quick photo.

They say it is still too dangerous in the burn scar.

The U.S. Forest Service reported that 17 tickets and 166 warnings have been issued in December to people going in areas that remain closed by the massive fire, including at Multnomah Falls and the area from Starvation Creek to Larch Mountain. 

The Eagle Creek Fire began in September and burned 48,831 acres in the Gorge. It was deemed 100 percent contained at the end of November. 

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