Rain swells Rogue slightly above flood stage

High point was Gold Hill, but no houses are flooded

A raging downpour Saturday night pushed the Rogue River past flood stage in Gold Hill and swelled local creeks.

"It's about the highest it's been, but it hasn't caused any major issues," said firefighter Casey Daugherty with Fire District No. 1 in Rogue River.

Some yards were flooded — but not any houses — though lots of debris and trees surged down the Rogue, Daugherty said.

The river slightly surpassed the 12-foot flood stage in Gold Hill at 12:45 p.m. Sunday when it reached 12.2 feet.

Other communities reported flooding in yards, but no houses appeared to be damaged.

In Eagle Point, the Rogue reached 9.4 feet, which is less than the 10-foot flood stage.

Chuck Glaser, data acquisition program manager with the National Weather Service in Medford, said the amount of water rolling down the Rogue River was steadily diminishing through Sunday, falling to 11.5 feet by 3:30 p.m.

"It will go under 4 feet tomorrow evening, then up to 8 feet in the next storm," Glaser said.

The next storm should hit the valley by midnight tonight, though weather forecasters don't expect it to pack the same punch as the past couple of storms.

Glaser said that once the latest storm passes through the valley should enter a relatively dry period.

November was a wet month, with 5.13 inches falling, which is 2.11 inches above normal for the month and about 25 percent of the rainfall for a typical year.

December has seen 1.64 inches falling so far, with 1.47 falling mostly on Saturday night.

The rainfall total are measured at the Medford airport, but other areas of the valley saw heavier downpours.

At Ashland's water treatment plant, 2.20 inches were recorded. Howard Prairie hit 2.55 inches and Wimer saw 2 inches. Some parts of Josephine County received up to 4 inches.

Despite the rainy weather recently, the weather service recorded only two days with temperatures below freezing, one on Nov. 9 at 29 degrees and another on Nov. 11 at 31 degrees.

Northern California has been particularly hard-hit by storms surging in from the Pacific Ocean. The latest storm system dumped 4.38 inches in Dunsmuir and 4.01 inches in Weed.

In areas north of San Francisco, up to an inch of rain per hour in fell in some areas Saturday, toppling trees and knocking out electrical service to tens of thousands of people, officials said.

Forecasters had issued flood warnings for the Napa and Russian rivers, both north of San Francisco and with a history of flooding, as well as the Truckee River, near Lake Tahoe, but by Sunday afternoon they had canceled the warning for the Russian River.

Reach reporter Damian Mann at 541-776-4476 or email dmann@mailtribune.com. The Associated Press contributed to this report.


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