"'The most damaging winter flooding in the Northwest is the rain on snow event', said Taylor. This occurs when rain falls on a deep snow pack, melting the snow and causing a 'double-shot' of run-off from rain and melted snow.'
“'The conditions are right in the Willamette Valley for a significant flood event. You still have a saturated soil, full rivers, and a heavy snow pack. The average snow pack figures have increased dramatically in the last 30 days. Thirty days ago it was at 45 percent of the average snow water equivalent in the Willamette Valley. Recently it was listed at 162 percent.'
"The flood of February 1996 is an example of the 'rain on snow event', according to Taylor. He said the combination of heavy rain, warm temperatures and a deep snow pack, caused large amounts of run-off water and wide-spread flooding. He noted the importance of residents heeding agencies’ warnings and that in Dec. 1964 the flooding caused a tremendous loss of life while in Feb. 1996 there was less loss of life due in part to residents taking flood warnings seriously, being prepared, and being aware of what to do in an emergency situation."