Minor flooding, more bridge lifts thanks to high water on Columbia River

The Columbia River has inundated parts of Captain William Clark Park in Washougal, Washington. (KATU Photo)

The National Weather Service has issued a flood warning for the Columbia River in Multnomah and Clark Counties. Officials are expecting minor flooding along the river during high tide through the weekend.

"Rivers in general are running pretty high from snow melt, but the Columbia in particular is running the highest of all," said Colby Neuman with the National Weather Service's Portland office.

Runoff and flooding has been dramatic in parts of the Upper Columbia River Basin this spring. Officials say that has led to the current warning for the Portland area.

"That's where most of this water is coming from," said Neuman. "They've had a lot of flooding up there over the last week or two and that water is slowly working its way down the system."

Flooding impacts should be minimal, consisting of flooded parks, trails, and paths. Large portions of Captain William Clark Park in Washougal have been flooded.

"I just came down to see how far it came up and check it out because it's not a usual thing for it to come up this high," said Raymond Roberts of Washougal.

The National Weather Service says commuters who use the Interstate Bridge might be inconvenienced the most by the high water levels. Boats and barges have less clearance to pass under the bridge and that could result in more bridge lifts.

High water also tends to put more debris into the river.

"In general, the river right now is running a lot faster," said Neuman. "There's a lot of water moving down there and that's moving debris that's been stuck up on the shoreline for the last year or two and moving that down the river. So for boaters, it's just something to be aware of. There's going to be extra debris in the water."

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