Looking out towards the bike/pedestrian path next to Alton Baker Park. It's inundated with water to the point that there are legit mini waves/ripples that reach beyond the grass.Climate

PHOTOS: Willamette and McKenzie Rivers Swell, Nature Is Happy

Editor’s Note: This article has been updated to reflect a second trip to Alton Baker Park.

On June 12, both the Willamette and McKenzie Rivers swelled as the two areas received a heavy downpour overnight and throughout the day.

Looking out towards the bike/pedestrian path next to Alton Baker Park. It's inundated with water to the point that there are legit mini waves/ripples that reach beyond the grass.

Nature, though, seemed to be pretty pleased with the circumstances.

At Alton Baker Park, the Willamette inundated the pedestrian path and made it more accessible for our waterfowl friends of all ages. The riverbanks, usually accessible by foot, were now impassable and, as a result, people who had been living along the Willamette were forced to move and abandon their belongings.

Someone who had been living along the bank of the Willamette River was forced to move and abandon their sleeping bag. [James Croxton // Double Sided Media]

There was a possible cause for concern, however. A large, clear plastic tarp, that seemed to only be held down by a few bales of hay, was at risk of being swept away towards the Pacific Ocean.

Bales of hay are all that keep a large, clear plastic tarp from being swept away by the swelling Willamette River under the Peter DeFazio Bridge on June 12, 2022. [James Croxton // Double Sided Media]

At Day Island Park, in Springfield, the McKenzie River swelled much the same as the Willamette. The parking lot for the park was nearly completely filled and ducks swam freely until an inconsiderate pair of men driving a black pickup truck decided they wanted to also have fun in the water, effectively scaring them all away.

By 6:30 p.m., the Willamette River had continued to swell to the point that it was nearing, if not at, the high level mark from Dec. 26, 1964. The benches, that were wading earlier, now had their seats almost completely submerged by the river.

Nature, though, was happy. And that’s all that mattered.

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