PORTLAND (AP) – Authorities in the United States (US) rescued people from raging rivers and roads submerged by high waters in the Pacific Northwest and continued to investigate the deaths of two people whose bodies were found in Oregon creeks as an atmospheric river brought heavy rain, flooding and unseasonably warm temperatures to the region.
The US Coast Guard rescued five people by helicopter from flooded areas and the conditions also closed rail links, schools and roads in some areas and shattered daily rainfall and temperature records in Washington state.
Amtrak said that no passenger trains will be running between Seattle and Portland, Oregon, because of a landslide.
Atmospheric rivers, sometimes known as a ‘Pineapple Express’ because the long and narrow bands of water vapor convey warm subtropical moisture across the Pacific from near Hawaii, delivered enormous amounts of rain and snow to California last winter.
The National Weather Service has issued flood warnings in parts of western Washington.
While river flooding was expected to linger in western Washington on, the rivers were receding and none in the region remained in major flood stage, the weather service said.
Flood warnings were also issued for several rivers in Oregon with reports of minor flooding.
Portland Fire and Rescue said a man is believed to have drowned in Johnson Creek in southeast Portland, news outlets reported.
Officials received reports of a person who appeared to be grasping a couch cushion floating down the creek, Portland Fire and Rescue spokesperson Rick Graves said. Rescuers found the cushion, but not the person, he said.
Hours later, a body was found and authorities determined it was the body of the missing man, Multnomah County Sheriff’s Deputy John Plock said.
The Portland Police Bureau was investigating the person’s death.