POLK COUNTY -- Western Oregon University and Chemeketa Community College have announced that their respective campuses will close early this afternoon.
All evening classes at WOU have been canceled, and the Martin Luther King Jr. celebration dinner scheduled for Thursday night has been rescheduled for Feb. 9.
However, the WOU men's basketball game against Alaska Anchorage is still on as scheduled. Tipoff is set for 7 p.m.
Chemeketa is closing all locations at 5 p.m. Thursday. All classes and events starting at 3:30 or later Thursday are canceled.
The Monmouth-Independence Chamber of Commerce & Visitor Center, 311 Monmouth St. in Independence, is now closed due to flooding in the basement.
Chamber director Marilyn Morton said the building's sump pump failed Wednesday and the chamber hasn't yet been able to get it replaced.
When Morton went into the office this morning, she found the phone and Internet service was down. While investigating the problem, chamber employees found 6 feet of water had collected in the basement.
Morton had the chamber's phone redirected to her cell phone and is temporarily working from home, while the basement is drained and phone and Internet put back online.
Morton is hoping to open the office again on Monday.
"Until then we will carry on operations as best we can," Morton said.
Oregon Highway 18 (Salmon River Highway) is scheduled to reopen to two-lane travel at 4:30 p.m. It will return to a single lane restriction Friday from 8 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. It will be open to two-lane travel over the weekend, then will then operate with a single lane restriction 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday next week until repairs are finished and debris removed.
The flood warning continues for the raging Luckiamute River near Suver south of Monmouth. As of early Thursday afternoon, the river was at 33.9 feet and flowing at 22,000 cfs. Flood stage is 27 feet and flood flow is 7,210 cfs.
Major flowing is occurring and will continue during the next 48 hours or so. The river is expected to fall below flood stage around 9 p.m. Saturday and continue falling over the next days.