High water impacting Washougal restaurant

All the recent rain has pushed local waterways to very high levels, and that could affect where you walk, drive, recreate or even eat.
Published: Jun. 14, 2022 at 12:16 PM PDT
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WASHOUGAL, Wash. (KPTV) - All the recent rain has pushed local waterways to very high levels, and that could affect where you walk, drive, or even eat.

There are a few floating restaurants along the Columbia River. The Puffin Café in Washougal is a beautiful spot on the river for some Caribbean cuisine and cocktails, and right now the views are spectacular, if not a bit troubling.

“With this rainy weather, our sales are way down this year compared to last year. We were just blessed with great weather,” said Jennifer Guetter, owner of Puffin Café.

The staff continues to serve but getting deliveries has been a bit tricky.

“Because delivery guys don’t know that you can get here another way,” Guetter said. “And I think that’s what happens with a lot of customers too. They assume that you can’t get here because this ramp is flooded, but you can still use the boat ramp.”

The National Weather Service is warning about flooding in some spots in Portland, Vancouver, and Longview, especially on trails and in parks along the Columbia River.

The high water could also impact your drive, because there will be more bridge lifts throughout the day in Portland. All the recent rain has boosted the Willamette River levels so high that more ships can’t fit under our bridges.

The Oregon Department of Transportation said the Broadway, Burnside, Hawthorne, and Morrison bridges will all be affected through at least Sunday.

Not only will the lifts happen more often, they will likely take longer since the high water means captains need to be more careful navigating them.

Another issue of the heavy rainfall: sewage overflow.

For now, people are being asked to stay away from the Willamette River due to a sewer overflow that happened Saturday.

Guetter said everyone, whether on land or in the water, needs to be careful right now.

“There’s been a lot of debris floating by, so it’s very dangerous for boaters right now too,” she said.

Even with a break in the rain, it takes awhile for all this flowing water to recede a bit, and typical of this spring anyway, more rain is forecasted in the coming days.