An unidentified bicyclist and pedestrian Jeffrey Gaylord get caught in a rainstorm Thursday in downtown Ashland. Mail Tribune photo / Jamie Lusch - Jamie Lusch

Ashland storm causes minor flooding

ASHLAND — A series of storms tore through Ashland on Thursday, knocking down tree branches, power lines and causing mild flooding on several streets.

In addition to more than 3 inches of rain, the storm dropped half-inch-size hail periodically, according to National Weather Service meteorologist Brett Lutz.

"That was a good amount of rain to fall in a little less than four hours," Lutz said. "The southern part of town was hit the hardest."

The National Weather Service issued a flash-flood warning in Ashland for an hour late in the afternoon after reports came in that Hamilton Creek near Siskiyou Boulevard came a foot away from breaching its banks, Lutz said.

"As far as we know, the creek did not overflow," he added.

A flooded section of Siskiyou Boulevard near the 7-Eleven at Wightman Street slowed traffic for a few hours. Other side streets such as Walker Avenue also saw flooding.

No injuries were reported during the storm, according to Ashland police Sgt. Bob Smith.

A tree fell across B Street near Mountain Avenue blocking traffic for a brief time before it was removed by Ashland Street Department crews.

"The Ashland Street Department was running around everywhere," Smith said. "Those guys were awesome."

Ashland Street at East Main Street was reduced to one lane while crews worked to clear a plugged storm drain, Smith said.

Smith knew of at least one business damaged by the heavy rains. Electronic Space Products International on Benson Way suffered flooding after rain seeped in from the roof.

Local fruit crops were victimized by the heavy winds, according to Fruit Growers League General Manager Bill Eckart.

"We had several reports of fruits blow from trees," he said. "This is definitely going to have an effect on growers."

Another round of storms may hit the Cascade Mountains today. Weather forecasters are calling for a slight chance of rain showers in the Ashland area, but nothing compared to Thursday, Lutz said.

Reach reporter Chris Conrad at 776-4471, or e-mail

Share This Story