The mighty Columbia River, although not quite at flood stage, is running higher than normal, and is causing concern for nearby businesses, like Puffin Café.

Robert Guetter, the café’s owner, says he has done his best to prepare his establishment and adapt operations to accommodate the rising water.

His café is situated next to the water and utilizes ramps that are now partially underwater.

“We kind of prepare for it,” Guetter said. “After so long, we kind of got the little routine down.”

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The routine, Guetter says, includes putting on a wetsuit and wading into waist-deep water just to refill the restaurant’s propane tank.

“Propane guy, he usually backs down into the water, and then I come in with my wetsuit and grab the hose from him, walk it back, across the ramp,” Guetter said. “Then he runs around … we did that today.”

Guetter says the adaptations are minor inconveniences, requiring a little extra patience from vendors.

“Xfinity was planning to run a cable down for us today, and then they came and realized that the ramp is under water,” Guetter said, laughing.

He also says they require understanding from him and his wife, Jennifer.

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“Normally, the water is down below,” Jennifer said. “You can walk from the ramp there and not get your feet wet … but now.”

Now, the ramp is submerged beneath several feet of water.

Harbor officials say that when water levels rise as quickly as they have, the water starts to move fast and collect debris, causing more work for the Harbourmaster and Harbourmaster’s assistant.

Guetter says that despite the state of the river, the flooding isn’t keeping patrons away from his business. He says a lot of people are coming to look at the rising water.

Port officials say the river level is currently at 18 feet. They expect it to crest near 21 feet this week before returning to normal.

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