NESKOWIN, Ore. – First responders rescued 20 people who were trapped by rising floodwaters in an RV park in northern Oregon.
Two Coast Guard helicopters were originally called to potentially rescue about 50 people staying at an RV park along the Neskowin Creek in Tillamook County when the waters began to rise, and worries of a mudslide grew, according to the U.S. Coast Guard.
"The problem is there is a bridge that crosses (Highway) 101 into the RV park," said Gordon McCraw, emergency manager for Tillamook County. "And because the Neskowin Creek is flowing at such a high rate, there’s possible damage to the bridge and made it unsafe to cross. So we’ve had to get people out."
After assessing the situation, 12 people and three dogs needed to be flown out by Coast Guard helicopter, said Coast Guard rescue swimmer Chris Belisle who helped coordinate the agency's ground efforts during the rescue. They were taken to a nearby school as a shelter.
No one was injured in the event.
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Another eight people were taken from the scene on the ground via other first responders, and the remaining 30 elected to stay behind as waters began to recede and were notified that later evacuation may not be possible due to expected deteriorating weather conditions, the Coast Guard said.
"It’s the only way in and out of the park," McCraw said. "And normally it’s just a little creek but unfortunately with all the rain, it’s a problem."
Rainfall totals have ranged from 5-7 inches so far in the coastal Oregon lowlands with one gauge recording over 11 inches in the higher elevations. And rain was still falling.
Several rivers remain on Flood Warning in northern Oregon.