Trails, parks flooded by swollen Columbia River

Swollen Columbia River floods parks, trails

PORTLAND, Ore. -- The Columbia river is at 16 feet, about a half foot above minor flood stage, and is expected to get even higher in the next few days.

As a result, some parks, trails and even some roads are now underwater.

The swollen Columbia River has inundated Chinook Landing boat ramp and park in Fairview. What normally is a grassy park and a beach alongside the river is all underwater.

The Multnomah County Sheriff's Office River Patrol said it's already seeing problems. That's because the water is not just deep, it's also moving extremely fast and is full of debris.

"The debris is the worst part of it, any time the water rises, anything that's on the bank goes back into the water," explained Lt. Marc Shrake. "Water is moving fast so you're going to get from small sticks to large root balls going down the river."

The beaches at Sauvie Island are also shrinking as the Columbia swells, as are many trails and even some roads, including the one leading to Michael Johnson's usual fishing spot.

"I've never seen that much water," explained Johnson. "I mean I've seen... just about a foot or so but not this deep."

While the Columbia is above flood stage, the Willamette River, although high, still has a ways to go. Its flood stage is 18 feet. It will likely get to about 17 feet by the end of the week.

KGW


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