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State Of Emergency Declared At Rogue Farms

(UPDATED 6PM PST FRIDAY, DECEMBER 11)

Today’s rain was lighter than expected – about a quarter of an inch. That’s a nice soak, but not enough to cause flooding.

The big storm arrives tomorrow. We expect more than two inches of rain to fall Saturday and Sunday. By Sunday evening, the Willamette River is forecasted to overflow its banks and come pouring into the hopyard.

Here are some photos from Friday.

The hopyard is muddy from all the rain, but no flooding so far.

The hopyard is muddy from all the rain, but no flooding so far.

Strong winds knocked down this limb near the Hop 'N' Bed.

Strong winds knocked down this limb near the Hop ‘N’ Bed.

This is the forecast has our complete attention. It shows the Willamette River rising above the 21-foot mark on Sunday evening. That’s the level when the river starts to flow out of its banks, over the road, and into the hopyard. If this graph is correct, we’re looking at flood conditions Sunday night and all day Monday – Tuesday.

How To Read This Graph: The orange line across the top shows you when we expect flooding here at Rogue Farms. The line of diamonds below it shows you what's average for this time of year.

How To Read This Graph: The orange line across the top shows when we expect flooding here at Rogue Farms. The line of diamonds below it shows the average river level for this time of year.

Our farm in Tygh Valley is in much better shape. We’re expecting no more than an inch of rain through the weekend. That’s the kind of slow, steady rain our Risk™ malting barley needs for sprouting. The best thing all, these storms may add several inches of snowpack in the Cascades. If you’ve been following the drought situation around here, you know we need a snowy winter to boost our supply of irrigation water for next summer.

Mt Hood

Here’s our field of Risk™ malting barley in late November. The sprouts were just starting to emerge. Emergence was late because of an unusually dry fall.

From a farmer’s point of view, all of this is good news. We can really use rain and floods to replenish our soil moisture and give our hops and barley a good start on winter. Flooding will also add another layer of soil in the hopyard. We never say no to more dirt.

But we’re mindful that this is not an easy time for our friends and neighbors. They’ve suffered through a week of flooding, landslides, road closures, downed trees and more. Governor Kate Brown declared a State of Emergency in 13 northwest counties. That’s an area that includes our farm in Independence and the Rogue Brewery and Distillery on the coast in Newport.

Meanwhile, the Coast is getting slammed with a potentially dangerous mix of strong winds, high tides and heavy river runoff. As of Friday night, the Coast Guard closed all the ports in Oregon.

If you want to visit Rogue Farms this weekend, call us beforehand (503-838-9813) to check on road conditions. Even if we’re not flooded, the road to the farm might be closed. Please don’t take any chances. We’ll keep the beer cold until next time.

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