COOS BAY, Ore. - Forecaster upgraded a flood watch to a flood warning for the Coquille River, with water levels expected to crest even higher than last week.
"If it does get this high, we can expect extensive and widespread flooding that may damage houses, farms and roads," said Ann Rakosi with the Coos County Sheriff's Office.
The South Fork of the Coquille River is expected to reach 39.2 feet by Saturday morning. The river level was at about 17 feet mid-day Wednesday. Flood stage is 33 feet.
The forecast crest is a bit higher than last week, when the river crested at 38.6 feet on March 22.
The outlook for the Coquille River at Coquille has been upgraded from moderate flooding to major floooding. This section of the river is expected reach flood stage sometime Friday afternoon, and continue flooding through Wednesday, April 4.
The river level is expected to reach 25.25 feet. By comparison, the river was only 24.8 feet on the March 22 when high water forced ODOT to close Hwy 42s between Coquille and Bandon, Rakosi said.
Forecasters also issued a flood warning for the North Fork of the Coquille River near Myrtle Point. The river is expected to hit flood stage on Saturday.
"The good news is we have some time to prepare," Rakosi said. "Stockpile a little food in case you can't get to town, make arrangements to stay with friends if your driveways or roads are prone to flooding, and be sure to get livestock out of danger of the high water.
"And once the high waters do hit - DON'T DRIVE THROUGH WATER OVER THE ROADWAY," she emphasized."Turn around, don't drown! It's often deeper and swifter than it appears, and the current can hide hazards like drifting debris."