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Portland Bureau of Transportation

We keep Portland moving

Phone: 503-823-5185

Fax: 503-823-7576

1120 SW Fifth Ave, Suite 800, Portland, OR 97204

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Alert: Heavy rain and wind may lead to road hazards

Heavy Rain and Wind May Lead to Road Hazards

Public can help clear storm drains and report hazards 

(PORTLAND, Ore.) – An active weather pattern is expected to bring more rain and wind gusts up to 40 mph to the region over the next 36 hours, according to the National Weather Service. The Portland Bureau of Transportation advises the traveling public, residents, and businesses to take steps to reduce hazards associated with these conditions. Potential hazards include localized flooding of streets and properties, downed trees and power lines, and landslides and rock slides.  

Strong winds may bring fallen trees, tree limbs, and power lines in streets and yards. The public is advised to notify the City of debris, mud, rocks, trees, or branches blocking a road or sidewalk by calling 503-823-1700. Report a downed power line in the Portland area to PGE at 503-464-7777. 

All residents and businesses are advised to inspect and clear storm drains near their properties to help lessen flooding of streets and homes. When drains get covered with yard debris, fallen limbs, litter, and other debris, water can no longer drain from the street.   

To clear a storm drain safely, stand on the curb and use a rake or shovel to remove debris from the top of the grate so that water can drain easily. Do not attempt to remove the grate, just the debris on top of it. Notify the City by calling 503-823-1700 if assistance is needed at a particular location to unclog a catch basin.  

City crews have stocked sand pile and sand bag locations for any Portland resident or business owner who wants to protect their property from flood damage.  Sand and sand bags are provided at no charge; please bring your own shovel. The following locations are stocked: 

  • SE 88th Ave just south of Holgate Blvd in the parking lot at Lents Park,
  • SE 111th Ave and Harold St at the southeast corner of the intersection, and
  • SW 42nd Ave and Vermont St in the lower parking lot of Gabriel Park.

The City is also prepared to close flooded streets and set up detour routes if necessary. Motorists who ignore street closures and drive through barricades face a $360 fine. Currently there are no street closures due to high water, and there are no reported landslides. At this time, the Bureau of Environmental Services does not expect Johnson Creek to reach flood stage.   

Motorists are advised to slow down, especially through high water, turn on headlights to improve visibility, and maintain two to three times more stopping distance on wet roads. 

Anyone who lives in a landslide-prone area is advised to be alert for signs of earth and rock movement and water below ground and contact a soils engineer (see the Yellow Pages, under “Engineers-Geotechnical-Soils”) to evaluate the situation.   

If a storm knocks out power to traffic signals, the public is advised to treat intersections like an all-way stop and proceed with caution. The driver who stops first has the right of way to go first.  

The City recommends Portlanders monitor conditions where they are traveling, watch the forecast, and use www.PublicAlerts.org as their source for emergency updates. The site provides links to street closures, highway road conditions, transit schedules and service alerts, and other emergency information. 

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The Bureau of Transportation maintains catch basins and responds to street flooding and other safety concerns in the public right of way. The infrastructure includes 456 miles of stormwater sewer pipe, 878 miles of combined sewer pipe (carries stormwater and sewage), 58,000 catch basins, 9,000 sumps, 4,700 miles of streets, 351 trash racks, 141 miles of ditches, and 23 miles of culverts.