News

Hwy. 58 still closed by slide; cleanup underway

Flood, slide risks amid heavy rain in many areas

ODOT clearing slides on Highway 58

OAKRIDGE, Ore. - (Update: Adding flood, slide threats elsewhere, safety tips)

Oregon Highway 58 remained closed to through traffic Monday afternoon, a day after a landslide covered the road at milepost 27, eight miles west of Oakridge, along with two smaller slides nearby, the Oregon Department of Transportation reported.

"Through travelers should take alternate routes," the agency said in an update late Monday afternoon.

Eastbound: The road is closed at milepost 13, the Lowell Covered Bridge. Local residents who live west of milepost 27 are allowed through.

Westbound: The road is closed at milepost 73, Crescent Junction. Local traffic is allowed through to Oakridge/Westfir, but the road is fully closed west of those communities.

Access for emergency vehicles is being established through the slide area Monday night, "but no other vehicles will be allowed because the slide continues to move and it is not safe," the agency said.

About 1,000 yards of material, including 40 to 60 trees, came down in three slides at mileposts 27, 14 and 28 reported around 4:30 p.m. Sunday. The largest was at milepost 27.

Crews assessed the slides Sunday night and began cleanup on Monday morning.

For traffic updates, visit our ODOT TripCheck page.

Meanwhile, the National Weather Service has issued a Special Weather Statement and Flood Watches for many portions of Oregon and is warning of potential slides in much of the state, including the east slopes of the Cascades (including Sisters and La Pine).

The Oregon Department of Geology and Mineral Industries said heavy rain can trigger landslides and debris flows in steep terrain, and the risk is higher in burn areas.

Find the latest information here: https://alerts.weather.gov/cap/or.php?x=1

Debris flows are rapidly moving, extremely destructive landslides. They can contain boulders and logs transported in a fast-moving soil and water slurry down steep hillsides and through narrow canyons. They can easily travel a mile or more. A debris flow moves faster than a person can run. People, structures and roads located below steep slopes in canyons and near the mouths of canyons may be at serious risk.

If your home, work, or route is in a watch area:

  • Stay alert. Track the flood watch by radio, TV, weather radio or online. If told to evacuate, do so immediately.
  • Listen. Unusual sounds might indicate moving debris, such as trees cracking or boulders knocking together. A trickle of falling mud or debris may precede larger landslides. If you think there is danger of a landslide, leave immediately.
  • Watch the water. If water in a stream or creek suddenly turns muddy or the amount of water flowing suddenly decreases or increases, this is a warning that the flow has been affected upstream. You should immediately leave the area because a debris flow may soon be coming downstream.
  • Travel with extreme caution. Assume roads are not safe. Be alert when driving, especially at night. Embankments along roadsides may fail, sending rock and debris onto the road.

For more landslide and debris flow information: https://www.oregongeology.org/Landslide/debrisflow.htm


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