MARION COUNTY, Ore. (KPTV) - The first significant rainfall since the spring is expected to hit Oregon this weekend.

There's no doubt that the dry ground needs the rain, but some counties are bracing for a bit of a mess, particularly in areas burned by last year's wildfires.

"Folks that usually see their street fill up with water with a really good downpour, that's probably going to happen," Marion County Public Works Director Brian Nicholas said.

Marion County set up four sandbagging stations across the county- in Salem, Gates, Detroit and Lyons - to help people protect their properties from flash flooding. Click here for a list of sandbag locations. 


Nicholas said people near burn scars are even more vulnerable because of how the 2020 wildfires changed the soil chemistry.

"It doesn't absorb water as well as it used to, so that usually means it's more erodible and you'll have larger runoff volume," Nicholas said.

Crews have been working nonstop to remove hazardous trees in the Santiam Canyon, but falling debris and landslides are likely.

Marion County officials warn of flash flooding, landslides this weekend

Image: KPTV

"We'll have crews on standby and we'll be ready to respond to calls as they come in," Nicholas said.

Those crews will start roving the county Friday night into Saturday morning, Nicholas told FOX 12. Marion County officials are urging people who come across any road hazards to call the dispatch line at (503) 588-5304.

Brooke and Billy Edge are hoping for an uneventful weekend on their property in Gates. Last year's wildfires burned down their home and hundreds of trees around it.

"I still cry when I see videos," Brooke said, "it's been a year just recently so it's still pretty emotional."

The couple say they lived close to where the Oso Landslide happened in Washington back in 2014. Now, a charred hillside towers over their newly-built home, making it difficult to not think about possible landslides.

"It's something on the back of your mind," Billy said.

The people of Gates, like the Edges, are resilient and ready for whatever comes.

The family was so determined to stay in town that they decided to open up a new business venture- a barbeque stand- right off of Highway 22. The Edges say they used some of the insurance money to buy the food cart after their home burned down.

"Through the bad, something good happens," Billy said.

Rainfall in the Willamette Valley is forecasted to start Friday night. Marion County officials say they will be posting updates and important information on the Marion County Emergency Management Facebook page.

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