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Jan-20-2012 22:12printcomments

Marion County Flooding Update

Includes important tips for local residents. file photo of 2008 flood in Salem file photo of 2008 flood in Salem

(SALEM) - The improvement in the weather during the past 24 hours has given emergency crews a chance to begin the recovery process in Marion County. The Marion County ECC is still in operation, but was expected to ramp down later this afternoon with staff remaining on call if needed, according to Don Thomson with the Marion County Sheriff's Office.

Preliminary reports from Turner revealed the following agencies provided personnel and/or equipment during the past 24 hours:

Marion County Sheriff’s Office – including Team 18 and their "chuck wagon"
Marion County Public Works
Turner Police Department
Turner Fire District
Oregon State Police
Marion County Fire District #1
Salem Fire department, Water Rescue Team
US Forest Service
American Red Cross
MCSO Inmate Work Crews
Marion County Board of Commissioners

During the past 24 hours, approximately 70 emergency personnel from these agencies assisted the 1800 residents of the City of Turner. A total of 6 rescue boats were deployed and transportation was provided in Marion County Sheriff’s office buses.

Thomson said, "Approximately 300 homes were directly affected by the flood waters; with around 150 residents voluntarily evacuating from their homes. They are slowly moving back into their homes this afternoon and beginning the clean up process."

The Marion County Sheriff’s Office and the Oregon State Police plan to remain in Turner to provide back-up law enforcement service to the city for as long as necessary, Thomson said. Oregon Governor John Kitzhaber accompanied the Mayor of Turner, toured the city this afternoon. He also spoke with residents and emergency personnel, offering encouragement and support.

Red Cross mobile services are in Turner today, providing water & clean-up kits to residents. These resources will also be available on Saturday and Sunday at the warehouse at 3rd and Chicago streets in Turner. No fatalities or critical injuries as a result of this event have been reported in the county, but Thomas says the flood waters forced a number of people from their homes. "24 people spent the night at the Red Cross shelter at Bethel Baptist Church in Aumsville. The shelter is open today and will remain open in the near future. They do not take pets, but residents can contact the Marion County Dog Shelter at 503-566-6966 if they have needs for small pets and should plan on bringing animals in before 5:30 p.m. today."

  • Endangered livestock is being sheltered at the Oregon County Fairgrounds - please contact Ann Madsen with Oregon State Parks at 503-510-3374 to make arrangements.
  • Corban College’s gym also remains open and available to provide shelter to residents.
  • The City of Aumsville has resolved the storm drain issue and their sewer system is operating at full capacity.
  • The Willamette River crested today at 28.5". The Pudding River near Aurora has also crested at just under 28'. These levels could affect low-lying agricultural areas and secondary roads along the river. Other smaller tributaries are receding; including Mill Creek in Turner and Salem.
  • Flood-related garbage & debris is currently being accepted from County residents for no charge at the Salem-Keizer Recycling and Transfer Station through Sunday, January 29. Loads mixes with non flood-related debris will be charged the full garbage rate.
  • As residents begin to clean up, we encourage them to refer to flood-related public health information posted at:
  • An updated list of road closures and conditions can be found at:
  • Motorists are reminded not to drive around signs or barricades. The depth and current in the water may exceed your vehicle’s ability to remain on the road.
Sandbags are still available at the following locations:
  • Marion County Public Works on Silverton Road, Salem
  • Marion County Public Works facility in Aumsville
  • Knife River Corporation in Stayton and on Wheatland Rd., in Keizer.
  • Turner City Hall
The Marion County Public Works website has links to additional sandbag locations.

Less rain is expected over the weekend, but gusty winds tonight and tomorrow could affect trees loosened by saturated soil, so continue to use caution while driving and be on the lookout for fallen trees. Weather forecasting for next week includes more rain with a drop in freezing level followed by another rise, so emergency centers are preparing to stand up again if needed. Additional information & links are available at:

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