The National Weather Service has issued a Flood Watch for Rogue Farms of Independence as massive “river of moisture” takes aim at Northwest Oregon. Starting Saturday afternoon, the region will be pounded with as much as foot of rain in just 24 hours.
When water levels in the Willamette River peak on Tuesday evening, our 42-acre hopyard will be buried under seven feet of water.
Here’s a look at what we’re expecting. The red line represents the “official” flood stage. But the orange line tells us when we’ll flood at Rogue Farms. If these predictions hold, water will start rushing over Wigrich Road Sunday evening, and the floodwaters won’t recede until sometime on Christmas Day.
That gives us about 48-hours to get ready. We’re pulling heavy equipment off the fields, tucking our Potbellied Pigs Voo and Doo into their pen, and moving our 7,140,289 honeybees to higher ground near the Chatoe Rogue Tasting Room.
The Chatoe Rogue, Hop ‘N’ Bed, Coleman Conference Center and hop processing facility are located on the one area of the farm that has never flooded. We’ll be high and dry, but stranded with no way in or out for at least three days.
Winter flooding is a part of the way of life here at Rogue Farms. It’s the price you pay to grow hops, corn, wheat, rye, pumpkins, jalapeños and honey in the rich, alluvial soils along the Willamette River. We farm in collaboration with Mother Nature, and sometimes she likes to remind us who’s in charge.
When the storms have passed and the floods have receded, come on out to Rogue Farms and see how we grow beers, spirits, ciders and sodas!