For two days in January 2012, Benton Country received seven inches of rainfall that led to significant flooding and landslides. Mary King, Emergency Services Manager for the Benton County, explained that a combination of heavy rainfall and no reservoir capacity led to the county being declared a disaster area.
King shared information about county flood plains and compared 2012’s flooding to others in 1861, 1943, 1964 and 1996. King also shared details about landslide problems in the northern part of the county near Vinyard Mountain.
“It was a La Nina weather cycle,” said King, only she described the weather front as colder and with more rain. While the county had warning regarding the flash floods that occurred, officials weren’t warned about the landslides and while there was significant damage and loss, no citizens were injured.
King encouraged citizens to take steps to be prepared in emergencies, caused by natural disasters. Floods are the most common. Landslides and earthquakes can also occur. All county residents are encouraged to register for Linn-Benton Alerts, an emergency notification system offered by the county. Residents can sign up at http://www.co.benton.or.us/sheriff.