Flooding, erosion in wake of storms

Canyon Creek rushes throug a culvert under Ecola State Park Road. Heavy rain eroded the earth near the culvert, prompting officials to close Indian Beach.

A string of storms that brought heavy rain, high winds and flooding to the North Coast over the weekend and early into the week closed Indian Beach at Ecola State Park.

“Above average rainfall caused significant erosion under Ecola State Park Road where it travels over Canyon Creek, making the road unsafe,” according to Matt Rippee with the Oregon Department of Parks and Recreation. It will remain closed until further notice.

The storm also washed out trail access to Arcadia Beach, sitting a mile south of Cannon Beach, and rose city creek levels, flooding the small island in Ecola Creek.

Saturday’s storm dumped 1.47 inches of rain on Cannon Beach, National Weather Service meteorologist Laurel McCoy said. The average for the area is 0.39 inches.

On Sunday, Cannon Beach saw 1.11 inches of rain. And on Monday afternoon, McCoy said meteorologists expected the area to receive up to another 1 inch of rain on top of the 0.14 inches it had already received that day.

“We’ve been running above average on all three days,” she added.

On Monday afternoon, Cannon Beach Public Works Director Dan Grassick said the storms had mostly damaged gravel streets, causing ruts and debris plugged storm catch basin grates.

“We spent quite a bit of time on Friday preparing for the storm,” he said. “Looks like that effort paid off so far.”

No one had been called in after hours, he noted.

Tree debris littered Highway 101 near Cannon Beach, but Police Chief Jason Schermerhorn said they hadn’t received any reports “out of the ordinary.”

“I think that Public Works kept a pretty good handle on the situation,” he added.

Besides the gravel street erosion, Grassick said there was no major damage, just “a few minor trees down Tuesday that crews cleared immediately.”

He did note issues developing on Ecola Park Road between 8th and 7th Streets. He said cracks appeared in the pavement and it “appears the hillside is slowly sliding downhill.”

It is not an immediate problem, he added, but will need to be addressed by the Oregon Department of Parks and Recreation by the summer.

In Seaside, the Oregon Department of Transportation was on scene over the weekend as the south side of Roosevelt Drive filled with water, requiring incident response.

Pacific Power Spokesman Tom Gauntt reported that roughly 365 Seaside residents lost power Monday morning around 8:15 a.m. He added that they had not received any reports of power outages in Cannon Beach.

The National Weather Service is predicting up to another inch of rain for Cannon Beach on Tuesday night while Wednesday won’t be “quite as wet with sprinkles” and maybe a shower, McCoy said. Thursday the heavy rain is back with a predicted half inch of precipitation.

McCoy said Cannon Beach recorded a wind gust of 42 mph on Monday.

The National Weather Service reported a high risk for trees being toppled because of saturated soils and the potential for more flooding.

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