HERMISTON, Ore. — A flood warning is in effect until Saturday morning for the Umatilla River in northeastern Oregon, according to the National Weather Service.
The river overflowed its banks Friday, flooding roadways and shutting down schools.
Interstate 84 westbound is closed from Hermiston to Ontario. Eastbound lanes are closed Hermiston and Pendleton.
At 6 a.m. Friday, the river was measured at 17.4 feet, well over the flood stage of 12.3 feet, the weather service reported. It was expected to fall below flood stage Saturday.
“Turn around, don`t drown. Never drive cars, trucks or sport utility vehicles through flooded areas,” the NWS warns. “The water may be too deep to allow for safe passage. As little as one foot of water on the road can move most vehicles off the road.”
Crews from the Pendleton fire and police and Umatilla Tribal fisheries department rescued a homeless man and his bicycle from an island the Umatilla River Friday. During the rescue, the river rose 6 inches.
The East Oregonian newspaper reported that the Umatilla rose quickly Thursday and flooded a mobile home park in Pendleton.
“This area’s totally compromised. There will be property damage and vehicle losses,” Pendleton Police Chief Stuart Roberts told the newspaper.
Schools in the Milton-Freewater and Athena-Weston district closed Friday. While buildings were fine, officials were worried about the safety of students and staff traveling to the school.
An Oregon Army National Guard crew rescued several people stranded on a rooftop on Thursday.
An Oregon Army National Guard crew saved several people stuck on rooftoops during a flood of the Umatilla River on Feb. 6, 2020.
Oregon Army National Guard