Deschutes River

The Deschutes is the fastest rising (and falling) river in Thurston County, responding quickly to local rainfall and runoff.  Minor flooding (low-lying roads and pasturelands) occurs at a gage height of about 9.5 feet. Individual residences are threatened at about 11.5 feet, and there is widespread threat to communities and major thoroughfares at 13.5 feet.

 

Deschutes River near Rainier Vail Loop Bridge, River Mile 25.9

 

Deschutes River near Rainier

Source: National Weather Service, Advanced Hydrologic Prediction Service (click graph to open site)
Graph above reloads every three minutes

 

Historical Crests Feet

Anticipated Impacts

01/09/1990 17.01  
  16.5 The Deschutes River will cause severe, near record flooding.  Residences and Tumwater Valley deeply flooded. Flooding will occur all along the river including headwaters, tributaries and other streams within and near the Deschutes River Basin.
02/08/1996 15.74  
01/15/1974 15.68  
01/21/1972 15.28  
  15 MAJOR FLOOD STAGE  The Deschutes River will cause major flooding with swift and deep water flooding roads, farm lands and the residential areas of Cougar Mountain, Driftwood Valley, Falling Horseshoe and areas downstream in the Tumwater Valley. Flooding will occur all along the river including headwaters, tributaries and other streams within and near the Deschutes River Basin.
01/08/2009 14.47  
  13.5 MODERATE FLOOD STAGE  The Deschutes River will flood residential areas, especially Cougar Mountain, Driftwood Valley and Falling Horseshoe. Downstream flooding will occur in areas of Tumwater Valley including the golf course. Many roads and farm lands will also be flooded.
  11 FLOOD STAGE  The Deschutes River will flood downstream in Tumwater Valley including the golf course. Minor flooding will also occur in several residential areas, mainly Cougar Mountain and Driftwood Valley. Many roads and farm lands will also be flooded.
  9 ACTION STAGE  The Deschutes River locally spills over its banks into low fields and forested lands, mainly along Vail Cutoff Road and Reichel Road (east of Vail).
 

 

Note: Flood prediction is not an exact science. Although gage readings and historical data are excellent forecasting tools, please remember that rivers continually change. There are also local factors that can contribute to flooding such as stream and creek discharge into a river, snowmelt and damming caused by fallen trees and other debris. Therefore, during flood situations floodplain residents should not rely solely on gage readings and historical flood levels, but should keep an eye on the river and stay tuned to local media reports.

During flood situations, Thurston County Emergency Management posts additional information and media releases on its emergency information page.

 


 

Thurston County Emergency Management
9521 Tilley Rd. SW
Olympia, WA 98512

Phone: 360-867-2800
Fax: 360-867-2811
 
 
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