Flood watch in effect for the Willamette Valley

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EUGENE, Ore. -- A flood watch is in effect for the much of Oregon's Willamette Valley region through Tuesday, including much of Lane County.

The National Weather Service issued the flood watch because of the heavy rainfall forecasted in the next few days.

The weather service included many cities around northwest Oregon and southwest Washington on the flood watch release, including Eugene, Corvallis, Albany, Florence and Sweet Home.

The flood watch will be in effect from midnight Sunday until Tuesday morning.

For urban areas, a flood watch is usually aimed at alerting drivers to potentially hazardous road conditions. Road drains will be clogged with leaves, which causes water to build up on roadways.

Low-lying road areas (like underpasses and railroad crossings) can also prove dangerous as water starts to pool up.

Officials expect that the heavy rain will push river levels up to a point that could flood surrounding areas, especially for rivers running off of mountain ranges. The tributaries of the Willamette are expected to have especially strong rises.

The National Weather Service said people living near rivers should be ready to evacuate their homes should water levels overflow the banks.

Landslides and debris flows are a possible because of the weather, so people living on hills and steep slopes should monitor their property for signs of erosion.