The following article originally appeared in the Wednesday, Jan. 16, 1974, edition of the Corvallis Gazette-Times.
Police, firemen, sheriff's deputies and public works crews renewed their battle with nature today as the rain-swollen Willamette River exceeded its 20-foot flood stage and moved toward an expected crest of 21 feet Thursday morning.
James Blodgett, Benton County Emergency Services director, said he does not foresee major flooding in Benton County.
No evacuations have been made since early Tuesday, Blodgett said, although several families in the south Corvallis area left their homes last night. High water kept many Benton residents away from work and school today.
No fatalities or injuries have been reported.
Corvallis Police Chief James Goodman said a youth was rescued Tuesday from the Marys River at Avery Park. The youth was reportedly riding a bicycle through high water and was swept into the current. He was pulled from the water by two friends, Goodman said.
Sixteen schools in Benton and Linn counties were closed Wednesday: Inavale, Lincoln, Monroe high and elementary schools, Bellfountain, Irish bend and Alpine in Benton County; and Denny, Clover Ridge, Albany Elementary, Riverside, Tangent, Millersburg, Central Linn, Knox Butte and Sandridge in Linn County.
Blodgett said some evacuations may be made today or tonight in the Tunison Avenue area in south Corvallis.
"We're watching the water and if it goes any higher we'll have to start moving families out," he said.
High water closed a number of stores and businesses along Highway 99W south of Corvallis.
Blodgett said sheriff's deputies and National Guard units are on standby alert if large-scale evacuations are necessary. Rescue vehicles include boats, helicopters and 2 1/2-ton all-weather Army trucks.
An evacuation center manned by Red Cross volunteers will be set up at the First United Presbyterian Church, SW Eighth Street and Monroe Avenue, if evacuations are ordered.
Blodgett issued a request for all persons with shallow draft and flat-bottom boats to telephone the Emergency Services Office. The boats will be pressed into service if additional rescue equipment is needed.
Blodgett said no sandbags are available in Corvallis-area stores. He recommended use of feed and grain bags, partly filled with dirt, to keep back rising water.
South and west of Corvallis, the Marys River remained out of its banks well upstream from Philomath to the Willamette River confluence. Wide areas of the flood plain were inundated, isolating some farm houses and mobile homes.
Most river crossings were closed by high water. Philomath schools remained open Wednesday, but several bus routes were canceled and attendance was off sharply.