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Tualatin slowly drying out from heavy rains, high river

COURTESY OF THE CITY OF TUALATIN - The lower portion of the Green parking lot in Tualatin and the footbridge into Tualatin Community Park remained flooded as of Monday morning, the city reported.The Tualatin River is receding, although as of Monday afternoon, it remained above its minor flood stage in the Farmington area and was still higher than usual in Tualatin and West Linn.

In Tualatin, Southwest Nyberg Lane remains closed to traffic due to high water. Brown's Ferry and Jurgens parks are also closed due to flooding.

“It's going to be a while until Nyberg Lane reopens,” said Jerry Postema, Tualatin's public works director, on Monday afternoon. “It could be middle to end of this week until the road is ready to be opened, and then we'll have to do some cleaning to make sure it's safe to vehicular traffic.”

The city has partially reopened its “Green” and “Blue” public parking lots off Southwest Boones Ferry Road, although Postema said sections of the lots are still flooded.

“The water's receding in both of those lots, and they're partially open right now,” he said. “We hope that in a couple days, we can fully open those lots.”

As of 12:30 p.m. Monday, the Tualatin River was measured at 32.9 feet in Farmington, a rural area upstream of Tualatin, according to the National Weather Service. The minor flood stage for the river at that gauge is considered to start at 32 feet.

The river crested just above the major flood stage at 34 feet in Farmington early Friday morning. It has been receding there ever since, although a steady rise in the river level was measured downstream. The river crested less than two feet below the minor flood stage in Tualatin and just above it in West Linn early Sunday morning, the NWS reported.

The city of Tualatin was cautious over the weekend, saying projections still indicated the river would rise further, but Postema said a continued decline is now expected.

“It's going to continue to drop, and we don't see any forecasts where it's going to dramatically increase,” he said.

In the meantime, areas of high water remain as the river slowly recedes.

Postema said, “We want to encourage everyone, as usual, to be cognizant of the standing water. It could be deeper than it appears.”

The Portland area was inundated last week by heavy rain and wind, which caused numerous road closures and was blamed for at least two deaths. The storm prompted Oregon Gov. Kate Brown to declare a state of emergency in 13 counties.