How to prepare for storm-related flooding and storm surge in the Columbia River Gorge

STORM-RELATED STORMS: River and river rescue crews will be on standby for flooding, and rivers will be shut down to downstream residents in Columbia River Park.

In the Columbia Gorge, crews will also be on the lookout for floodwaters from heavy rains and torrential rain, officials said.

Flooding and flood warnings are in effect for the Columbia and Sierras from 4 p.m. to midnight Saturday, according to the National Weather Service.

Officials said it was not yet clear when the flood warning would be lifted.

River rescues are being conducted as crews work to get floodwaters out of floodplains and into flood-prone areas.

Floodwaters are expected to begin moving toward the Columbia from the Sierra, said Steve Smith, a spokesman for the National Park Service.

Floodwater from the Columbia has been recorded in the upper elevations of the park, and some of it is reaching the top of the Gorge.

A heavy rain and thunderstorm warning has been issued for parts of the Columbia.

The storm will be moving into the Columbia Basin through the Columbia, South Fork and North Fork rivers from Friday night through Saturday morning.

The storm will also bring severe winds, heavy rain, flash flooding, strong wind gusts and potential erosion, according the National Hurricane Center.

Crews have been working around the clock to get crews ready to respond to a storm surge threat, said Jim Coughlin, a spokeswoman for the state Department of Natural Resources.

The agency will issue a news release on its website Monday.

Coughlin said there is no timeline for when flood waters would be cleared, but it is expected to happen within the next few days.

The river system is expected a few feet higher by the time it hits the Gorge, said Dave Stearns, a Columbia River National Park spokesman.

If you or anyone you know needs help, please call 911 or call the National Emergency Hotline at 1-800-741-7767.