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Regional flood watch in effect

Recent heavy rains and more storms on the way have prompted forecasters to issue a flood watch for portions of Southern Oregon and Northern California, including the Rogue, Illinois and Applegate rivers.

As heavy rains began to arrive Monday night, the Rogue River was expected to reach flood stage in Eagle Point by 4 a.m. today. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said the river likely would crest just above flood stage, at 10 feet, and that minor flooding could be expected in low-lying farmland and pastures.

Residents throughout the valley should be on the look-out for rising water, according to the National Weather Service. An urban and small-stream warning also is in place for Jackson and Josephine counties.

Although many agencies were prepared for the worst, the American Red Cross had received no requests to house flood victims as of Monday evening, said Antone Hernandez, director for emergency services. Isolated power outages that affected two Medford homes were reported Monday, Pacific Power officials said.Only .38 of rain fell on Medford on Monday as of 6:30 p.m., but it snowed steadily in the mountains much of the day.

Another frontal system is expected to move through the Rogue Valley today, bringing sporadic showers and cold air through Friday. Snow levels are expected to rise to 4,000 feet, said Roger Williams, station manager at the National Weather Service in Medford.

Williams predicted Mount Ashland would get between 6 and 18 inches of new snow today.

Emergency management officials recommend stocking up on sand before floodwaters hit. Residents also should be prepared to shut off electrical equipment and outlets in areas where water is rising, said Brett Thomas, of the county's emergency management team. In rural areas, wells could be flooded, contaminating water, he added.

Sand is available at four locations in Jackson County: the intersection of Pine Street and Peninger Road near the Expo, the Fire District No. — station on Main Street in Eagle Point, the end of C Street in Jacksonville and the intersection of Highway 238 and Upper Applegate Road in Ruch.

Empty vinyl bags and 60- and 70-pound bags of sand can be purchased at Grange Co-op locations in Ashland, Central Point and Medford.

In Grants Pass, sandbags can be purchased at American Feed and Farm Supply on Redwood Highway, the Grange Co-op on F Street, Copeland Sand and Gravel on S.E. J Street and Farmers Feed and Pet on Dowell Road. Sand is for sale at Barlow Rock in Cave Junction.

If floodwaters do breach homes or businesses, small electrical pumps can remove standing water, officials said. Pumps can be purchased at many hardware stores.

Reach reporter Sarah Lemon at 776-4487, or e-mail .

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To hear updated road conditions, contact the Oregon Department of Transportation at 1-800-977-ODOT.