The extensive damage to Eugene’s urban forest resulting from last weekend’s ice storm will take weeks to fully realize and abate overhead hazards. Saturated soils caused by heavy rainfall are creating additional hazards, uprooting weakened and compromised trees. Citizens are advised to use extreme caution.
The rhododendron garden in Hendricks Park, the playground in Amazon Park, and all of University Park have been closed to the public due to wide-spread damage until hazards can be cleared. It is anticipated they will remain closed through the holiday weekend.
We are closely monitoring the water levels of the Willamette River and other key waterways in Eugene. Throughout the year, Public Works crews keep inlets and catch basins cleared and operational to ensure the system functions properly during periods of heavy rain. These systems are holding up well, given current rainfall. Massive amounts of debris and sand remaining on the roadways may cause areas of localized flooding and will be responded to as they are reported.
Be aware that roadways in the River Road area are already experiencing standing water due to the rising level of the Willamette River and poor drainage. If the river reaches its banks, flooding in city streets could be wide-spread. There is currently standing water beneath bridge overpasses along the Amazon and Fern Ridge bike paths. These sections of path have been closed until water levels recede. The Riverbank Bike Path System is being closely monitored for imminent spot closure as well. Trouble areas include Alton Baker Park and the east side near Beltline.
Crews will continue ongoing efforts to abate hazards in Eugene’s parks and rights-of-way this weekend. The top priorities are high use/high traffic areas of developed parks including bike paths and travel lanes. Due to the sheer volume of issues, trails and natural areas may not be addressed for several weeks. The conditions in these areas are unstable and citizens are encouraged to steer clear of heavily wooded areas of Eugene’s park system.