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Stay alert, Malheur County – remnants of hurricane could pummel the area

As southern California braces for an historic tropical storm, forecasters say remnants of Hurricane Hilary may clobber Malheur County Sunday and Monday with heavy rain that could trigger flash floods.

The National Weather Service has put the county under a flood watch from noon Sunday until midnight Monday. The circulation of what remains of the storm is expected over Ontario by 6 p.m. Monday. Record-breaking rainfall is expected.

 Showers and thunderstorms that could produce heavy rain are expected in the area by about noon Sunday.

 “Moisture from Hilary will come in around sunrise Monday and will be much wetter than the monsoon surge on Sunday. Rain totals of 1 to 3 inches are expected, with rainfall rates up to 3 inches/hour during the heaviest downpours,” according to the forecast issued Saturday.

Forecasters say the expected track of Hurricane Hilary could change once it diminishes to a tropical storm and hits land. They urged people to pay attention to updated forecasts in the coming days.

Flash floods and “extensive street flooding and flooding of creeks and rivers is possible,” according to forecasters.

The weather service provides tips on its website for how to prepare for floods.

“Flash floods can occur within minutes and sometimes without any sign of rain. Being prepared can save your life and give you peace of mind,” the weather service website advises.

The agency advises people to assess their risks in a flood.

“Is your home, business or school in a floodplain? Where is water likely to collect on the roadways you most often travel? What is the fastest way to get to higher ground? Knowing the answers to these questions ahead of time can save your life,” the agency says.

Debris flows in June buried portions of U.S. 20 east of Juntura in as much as 15 feet of mud and rocks. The highway was closed for several days.

Should the forecast hold, the area could endure weather that it hasn’t experienced in nearly 50 years, according to the weather service.

“The only comparable event in recent history occurred Sept. 10-11, 1976, when tropical storm Kathleen brought intense rain,” the weather service said. Much of that was in Idaho, according to the weather service, with Boise registering an inch of rain in an hour from that storm.

The National Weather Service on Saturday, Aug. 19, issued its forecast for the chances for excessive rainfall as the remnants of a hurricane arrive in the area.

NOTE: The news team of the Enterprise will be on duty through the weekend to provide updates and alerts as warranted. Monitor our website and Facebook page.

HELP REPORT: If the weather turns severe as forecast, help the Enterprise by sending sharing photos or information about what’s happening your area. You can message the information via Facebook or email Editor Les Zaitz: [email protected]