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City of Salem Flood-High Water Information

News Release from: Salem Police Dept.
Posted: January 19th, 2012 1:17 PM

*** UPDATE January 19/1315 hours ***

The City of Salem continues to coordinate response to the current high water and heavy rains in the area, which has been determined to be at least a 100 year event. The City Emergency Operations Center is continuing to coordinate resources both within the City and with entities and agencies throughout the region.

The water level of the Willamette River is currently 21 feet. It is projected to crest at a level of approximately 30 feet sometime on Friday, with 32 feet considered to be major flood stage. There are currently 29 streets closed due to high water and numerous others affected by standing water. There have been many who have voluntarily evacuated their residences to escape the water.

The City of Salem has established a non-emergency information line for the public to call in order to obtain general information about the current situation. This phone number is 503-540-9015 and is currently being manned. This is a non-emergency line. Please continue to call 911 for emergencies.

For those who are displaced, the Center 50 Plus located at 2615 Portland Rd NE and the Salem Public Library are both open and available for temporary shelter.

Road closure information is now available to be viewed on the City of Salem website at Please refer to this website for road closure information.

Sandbags continue to be in very high demand, and City staff are working very hard to make sure there are enough to meet demand. Those who wish to get pre-filled sandbags are asked to go to the City of Salem Public Works facility at 1410 20th St SE. Sand and bags are located at the other sites previously listed, and we are working to get staff and volunteers to those locations to assist the public at those locations as well. Please be advised that the sandbag site at South Salem High School has closed.

As the situation continues to progress and additional needs are identified, volunteers will become even more important than ever to assist in various duties and tasks. Those wishing and available to volunteer are asked to contact "Hands On" at 877-372-4141 or 503-364-1005.

This flood and weather situation continues to evolve. We urge the public to be careful, to be aware of their surroundings and to not take unnecessary chances around high water. Most fatalities during flood events occur as a result of individuals misjudging the depth and strength of the water. If you are in a safe location and not in danger due to rising water, we ask that you stay where you are. Road conditions are constantly changing and please do not venture out for non-essential reasons.

Please be prepared in case of the loss of power and/or water. Make sure emergency kits are stocked and current. Emergency kits should contain any medications for several days, one gallon of water per person per day, non-perishable foods, radios with charged batteries in order to monitor current information, flashlights with fresh batteries and necessary supplies for any pets. This is just a portion of the contents needed for an emergency kit. For further details, please refer to the City of Salem website at management. Also, have an evacuation plan with your family. Make sure all members of the family know emergency contact numbers and have a staging and contact point in case the family gets separated during evacuation.

The City of Salem Emergency Operations Center will continue to operate through the critical times of this situation. We will work to keep the public updated as to the evolving situation both through media releases as well as our website.

Due to high water throughout the area and the expected continued precipitation, the City of Salem has activated its Emergency Operations Center. There are numerous areas of flooding throughout the region, and the City of Salem is mobilizing resources to address the safety of the public.

Most of the creeks in the Salem area are at very high levels, and with precipitation expected to continue, those water levels are expected to continue to rise. At this time efforts are being concentrated on situations where life and safety are at risk.

The City of Salem has several sandbag stations available for the public get sandbags for their property. Those locations are listed below. For those being displaced, the Red Cross is working to establish shelters throughout the area. We will provide locations of shelters as they become operational.

We are asking for assistance from the public keeping themselves safe in these rapidly changing conditions.

- If you are in a building and notice water levels rising outside, consider evacuating before the water levels reach a point that creates a dangerous or hazardous situation.
- While driving, observe and obey road closure signs, barriers and/or indicators. Do not assume your vehicle can get through the high water.
- While driving in high water areas, be aware that some manhole covers get dislodged due to water pressure.
- Stay away from creeks, rivers and other bodies of water. Water levels can change rapidly and water currents are running very swift.
- As winds increase and rains continue, the possibility of downed trees and power lines increase. Stay away from downed lines and report them to 911 immediately

This is a rapidly changing situation and the City of Salem will work to put out updates as they become available.

Sandbag locations:
- Roths IGA, West Salem-1130 Wallace Rd NW
- City of Salem Public Works- 14th St SE
- Orchard Heights Park-1165 Orchard Heights Rd NW
- South Salem High School-1910 Church St SE
- Swegle Elementary School-4485 Market St NE
- D St at 14th St NE
- Lowes-1930 Turner Rd SE

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