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GRAPH COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE - A hydrograph shows the Tualatin River at Farmington at a minor flood stage on Thursday.This story has been updated from its original version.


The Tualatin River has reached a flood stage in the Farmington area, the National Weather Service says, and the Tualatin area could experience flooding as a result.

The NWS has issued a flood warning for Farmington, with water levels on the river just above 33.9 feet as of 3:30 p.m. Thursday, according to the agency's Farmington gauge. The minor flood stage is at 32 feet, while the major flood stage begins at 34 feet.

Water levels above the minor flood stage at Farmington usually result in “widespread lowland flooding, along with flooding of numerous secondary roads in and around Farmington and Tualatin,” according to the NWS.

In an update at 2:47 p.m., the NWS said the river crested at 2 p.m. and the level is expected to fall, although it is forecast to remain above the flood stage “for the next day or two.”

The river had earlier been expected to crest at about 4 p.m. Thursday in Farmington at 33.85 feet.

A Tualatin city official said that as of Thursday morning, the Tualatin River was not at a flood stage in the city, and work was proceeding on a trail project along the river's south bank.

PHOTO COURTESY OF THE CITY OF TUALATIN - An elevated boardwalk being built as part of a new segment in the Tualatin River Greenway Trail was keeping the trail dry Wednesday near Southwest Nyberg Lane, one of the lowest spots in Tualatin.“There's no places where the water from the Tualatin River is cresting the bank,” said Paul Hennon, the city's community services director.

However, the Tualatin city government warned in a 2:33 p.m. press release Thursday that the city could see some areas of flooding “as early as late Thursday evening.”

Jerry Postema, who is Tualatin's public works director, said Thursday afternoon that the river could crest in Tualatin as soon as Friday morning. He confirmed the city is preparing for localized flooding, including along Southwest Nyberg Road east of Interstate 5, Southwest Nyberg Lane east of 65th Avenue, Southwest Tualatin-Sherwood Road between Boones Ferry Road and Martinazzi Avenue, and Southwest Tualatin Road near Tualatin Community Park.

Tualatin has activated its department operation center to deal with the situation, he added.

Brian Wegener, advocacy manager for the Tualatin Riverkeepers, said Thursday morning he has been in touch with Tualatin city officials.

“They are anticipating that the flood level (in Tualatin) will reach 119 feet — or at least they're preparing for that — which is one foot above flood stage,” Wegener said.

The Tualatin River is a tributary of the Willamette River, and it typically takes several days for high water upriver to travel downstream toward Tualatin and West Linn, where the NWS has another gauge.

“It may not even be raining when we meet the peak,” Wegener warned.

Postema said there are no plans for evacuations at this point.

“The areas where we could potentially have flooding … are pretty much just street and would impact traveling,” he said.

It is possible that some private property could be affected by the flooding, however.

“We've given the information to any property-owners that are currently in the flood plain, just to give them an indication of what we anticipate is coming,” said Postema. “As far as the businesses or the houses, I don't know, because with localized flooding, you just don't know what's going to happen.”

Postema is encouraging residents to be prepared, use caution when driving, avoid high water on the roadway and obey traffic control signs.

PHOTO COURTESY OF THE CITY OF TUALATIN - This 1996 photo shows widespread flooding in Tualatin. The city is preparing for the Tualatin River to crest at a minor flood stage Friday, but it is not anticipating a repeat of that February's disaster.Tualatin has experienced some localized flooding due to heavy rains this week, although Postema said no homes have been evacuated due to high water.

Tualatin hasn't experienced severe flooding since February 1996. According to the city website, localized flooding happens more frequently, with Nyberg Lane at Browns Ferry Park usually being “the first hit” due to its lower elevation.

Tigard Public Works Director Brian Rager told The Times he anticipates Tualatin to be most affected by the rising river levels.

The Tualatin River forms the tiny city of Durham's southern boundary.

Durham City Administrator Linda Tate said that she had not been in touch with the NWS or the city of Tualatin as of early Thursday afternoon about the river flooding.

“The primary impact that we'll have will be down in (Durham City Park),” Tate said. “Fanno Creek runs through there, and it is already overflowing (its) banks, so there is flooding down in the park.”

Tate said she doesn't expect Durham streets to be affected.

Sandbags are available in Tualatin and Tigard. The Tualatin Public Works Department is offering free sandbags at 10699 S.W. Herman Road, as is Tigard Public Works at 8777 S.W. Burnham Street.

Editor's note: This story has been updated with additional information from the National Weather Service, comments from the Tualatin Riverkeepers, Tigard Public Works, Tualatin Public Works, the city of Tigard and the Durham city administrator, and an updated hydrograph.

Geoff Pursinger contributed to this report.

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