Floodwaters throughout Umatilla County continue to recede and more people are returning to their homes as of Sunday morning. 

"Things have definitely showed signs of improvement," said Mary Wister, meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Pendleton.

The National Weather Service removed its flood warning for Pendleton, Walla Walla and surrounding areas Sunday morning, and the warning was later lifted for the Hermiston area as well. 

With the flood warning lifted in its area, the city of Milton-Freewater also lifted its mandatory evacuation order at 7:40 a.m. for those within city limits east of Highway 11 and South Main Street. 

According to the Northwest River Forecast Center, the Touchet River near Walla Walla has dropped below flood stage and was recorded at 11.49 feet at 4:30 p.m. Sunday. 

As of 5 p.m., the forecast center recorded the Umatilla River in Pendleton is below action stage at 9.48 feet, while near Gibbon it remains just above action stage at 5.98 feet. 

Wister said colder and dryer air has come across the region and should remain throughout the start of the week, while as much as 12 inches of snowfall was recorded in the region's Blue Mountains Saturday night, all of which will help the waters continue to recede in the coming days. 

There may be a weak system that may bring some additional snowfall to the mountains on Tuesday, Wister said, and another strong system is forecasted to bring even more next weekend. 

Overall, Wister said forecasts for the next 5-7 days show no weather that should bring additional flooding to the region. 

After helicopter crews from the Oregon Army National Guard and Umatilla County Search and Rescue evacuated 47 people throughout Friday and Saturday, Umatilla County Sheriff Terry Rowan said a briefing would be held at 8 a.m. to plan for another day of rescues on Sunday. 

At 8 a.m., the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation also began passing out water testing kits at its Designated Coordination Center in Mission Gym on July Grounds Lane in Pendleton. 

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