Banks, Flooding, Weather

Flood watch begins at 10 p.m. Thursday evening

Debris floats down a swollen Gales creek during a recent flood event in February 2019. Photo: Chas Hundley

WASHINGTON COUNTY – The Portland branch of the National Weather Service has issued a Flood Watch that will be in effect beginning at 10 p.m. Thursday, running through at least through Sunday morning. 

The federal weather agency says that minor flooding of creeks and rivers is likely due to heavy rain that will begin Thursday afternoon and continue into the weekend. 

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Specifically, rivers and creeks draining the Coast Range — such as Gales Creek, the Nehalem River and the Wilson River — and other locations in Oregon and SW Washington that are prone to localized flooding are expected to be hardest hit. 

“The heaviest rain will be in the Coast Range and Willapa Hills, along with the south Washington and north Oregon Cascade foothills, with totals of 3 to 8 inches,” a statement from the NWS said. 

Sand and sandbags are available in the parking lot of Sunset Park in Banks, according to the city of Banks, as well as at the Forest Grove Fire & Rescue headquarters in Forest Grove.

Forest Grove Fire & Rescue officials say that the sand and bags available in the past at the Gales Creek fire station are no longer stocked. 

Click here to read the entire flood watch.

In a series of Twitter posts, Washington County urged motorists and cyclists to be cautious during heavy rain, and to increase following distance, slow down, use headlights, and to never cross flood waters on a roadway. 

To see road closures in Washington County maintained roads, visit

Chas Hundley is the editor of the Banks Post and sister news publications the Gales Creek Journal and the Salmonberry Magazine. He grew up in Gales Creek and has a cat.

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