Oregon Dept. of Geology and Mineral Industries
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News Release
Be alert for landslides in Baker, Harney counties - CORRECTION - 05/16/18

CORRECTION: The flash flood watch is for today, Wednesday May 16 

The National Weather Service has issued a flash flood watch for areas of Baker and Harney counties for Wednesday, from 11 a.m. PDT through the evening.

"Heavy rain can trigger landslides and debris flows in steep terrain, and the risk is higher in burn areas," says Bill Burns, engineering geologist at the Oregon Department of Geology and Mineral Industries (DOGAMI). "Be aware of the landslide hazard, and avoid burn areas."

Find a map of the watch area and latest information here: https://www.weather.gov/boi/

Debris flows are rapidly moving, extremely destructive landslides. They can contain boulders and logs transported in a fast-moving soil and water slurry down steep hillsides and through narrow canyons. They can easily travel a mile or more. A debris flow moves faster than a person can run. People, structures and roads located below steep slopes in canyons and near the mouths of canyons may be at serious risk.

"With landslides possible in this area, stay alert to weather conditions and to what's happening around you," says Ali Ryan Hansen, DOGAMI communications director. If your home, work, or route is in a watch area:

- Stay alert. Track the flood watch by radio, TV, weather radio or online. If told to evacuate, do so immediately.
- Listen. Unusual sounds might indicate moving debris, such as trees cracking or boulders knocking together. A trickle of falling mud or debris may precede larger landslides. If you think there is danger of a landslide, leave immediately.
- Watch the water. If water in a stream or creek suddenly turns muddy or the amount of water flowing suddenly decreases or increases, this is a warning that the flow has been affected upstream. You should immediately leave the area because a debris flow may soon be coming downstream.
- Travel with extreme caution. Assume roads are not safe. Be alert when driving, especially at night. Embankments along roadsides may fail, sending rock and debris onto the road.

For more landslide and debris flow information: http://bit.ly/landslidehazards

View more news releases from Oregon Dept. of Geology and Mineral Industries.