Tuesday, December 4, 2012
PORTLAND (AP) — As stormy weather pushed Southern Oregon streams to the top of their banks, Larry Strain of Roseburg went out from his house along the Umpqua River to make sure his boats were tied securely to the dock.
They were — but the dock gave way.
That sent Strain on a 90-minute ride Sunday afternoon standing on his runaway dock. The water was high and fast from recent storms, and he and rescuers argued whether to try to save the three boats.
The rescuers said they’d get Strain to safety, but it was too dangerous to try to nudge the boats to shore, KQEN reported.
After several miles, Strain agreed to get into a rescue vessel and let the dock and boats go downstream, police said. The fate of his dock and boats wasn’t immediately known.
When Strain, 59, got to shore, police arrested him on charges of disorderly conduct and recklessly endangering the rescuers. He remained in jail Monday with bail at $40,000.
Two rivers in Southern Oregon, the Coquille and the Rogue, were out of their banks Monday as a result of a series of winter storms. The National Weather Service said more rivers along the coast and inland in the Willamette Valley could be flooded as heavier rains came ashore today.
The storms raised the possibility of moving earth and landslides. The Department of Transportation said 400 cubic yards of material blocked Highway 138 near Toketee Falls for a time Sunday.
The Coquille River was reported at more than 2 feet above its flood stage Monday at the town of Coquille, and widespread flooding is expected along the river estuary, covering low-lying roads in the flood-prone region and threatening some farm buildings.
One lane of the road linking the rural community of Powers with Oregon Highway 42 fell into the Coquille River over the weekend, causing intermittent traffic delays while crews worked to repair the highway.
The weather service says the Rogue was nearly 2 feet above flood stage at Agness. It predicted mild flooding with the possibility of rapid rises that could affect boat docks.