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Flood warning for Columbia River around Portland, Vancouver

June 13, 2022 GMT

VANCOUVER, Wash. (AP) — Unusually heavy rain and melting snowpack have pushed the Columbia River to flood stage from Vancouver, Washington, to Portland, Oregon.

The National Weather Service issued a flood warning for the Columbia River between Vancouver and Kelso through early Wednesday afternoon, The Columbian reported.

People can expect continued minor flooding of riverside parks and trails, along with some islands, in those areas into Wednesday, the agency said. Minor flooding is also still possible along the Columbia in the Longview, Washington, area Tuesday morning.

River levels passed 16 feet (4.87 meters) in Vancouver on Monday. Forecasters said river levels will rise and fall with the tides over the next several days.

The rising river levels follow an unusually wet stretch of weather fueled by an atmospheric river of subtropical moisture, which brought 1.44 inches (3.65 centimeters) of rain to Vancouver’s Pearson Field in a 48-hour period ending Saturday evening.

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River levels in Vancouver are the highest recorded since March 2017, when river levels reached 17.43 feet (5.3 meters), according to National Weather Service Data. The highest recorded river level was 33.6 feet (10.2 meters) in June 1894, followed by 31 feet (9.4 meters) in June 1948 during flooding that destroyed the community of Vanport, Oregon.

The National Weather Service warned people venturing into the river to be prepared for cold water and unusually powerful currents.