Heavy rains cause flooding, landslide on Highway 126


ODOT urges caution; drivers should check TripCheck.com before traveling

Dec. 22, 2021 — With over six inches of rain in Florence between Dec. 17 and 19, a landslide closed Highway 126 between mileposts 9 and 10 the afternoon of Dec. 22.

Oregon Department of Transportation closed the highway Monday night due to the estimated 300 yards of mud, rock and trees, with additional debris coming down overnight. ODOT hoped to reopen the highway by Tuesday afternoon. In addition, the heavy rains had the Siuslaw River at near flood levels Monday.

That morning, water had risen onto Highway 126 in Cushman, but the road was still passable. Cresting occurred in Mapleton at about 10 a.m. Dec. 22, with water to 17.47 feet. Areas of high water were a concern for motorists all over the region.

Drivers are encouraged to monitor road conditions through tripcheck.com.

Lane County Road and Bridge Maintenance is reminding motorists to be wary of following GPS devices or online mapping services onto back county roads to find an alternate route around the Highway 126 landslide closure.

“We have seen reference to several roads, including North Fork Siuslaw and Upper North Fork Siulsaw, as possible detours but those back roads are often narrow, unpaved and generally not great options for passenger vehicles or semi-trucks,” said Lane County Public Information Officer Devon Ashbridge. “It can be easy to become lost, stranded or to find yourself at an impasse with oncoming vehicles.”

The working alternate routes are Highway 34 through Corvallis or Highway 38 through Roseburg to Highway 101.