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The City of Portland, Oregon

Fire & Rescue

Always Ready, Always There

Phone: 503-823-3700

Fax: 503-823-3710

55 SW Ash Street, Portland, OR 97204

More Contact Info

Potential Hazards Due to Heavy Rain


The National Weather Service forecast calls for rain and wind throughout today and this week. Portland Bureau of Transportation crews are responding to reports of street flooding and clogged catch basins all around the city. Crews are clearing catch basins, culverts, and trash racks of debris in response to recent rains and in preparation for more. Currently, no streets are closed due to high water, but motorists, bicyclists, and pedestrians are advised to be extra careful. For information on street closures and highway road conditions and other service alerts, visit

Clearing Catch Basins on Residential Streets

The City of Portland advises residents that they can help reduce street flooding by clearing catch basins (grated storm drains) near their property. The following simple actions can help keep streets open and catch basins clear:

  • Use a rake or pitch fork to clear fallen limbs, leaves, and debris from catch basins so that water can drain easily.
  • Do not put your feet and hands into the storm drain -- all kinds of debris collect there that could be dangerous.
  • If residents are unable to clear catch basins themselves, they are advised to call the City’s Dispatch line at (503) 823-1700 to report a clogged basin. Crews will respond as resources and conditions allow.

Safe Driving Tips

  • Adjust your speed according to conditions.
  • Do not drive through standing water; turn around safely.
  • Do not drive around barricades on flooded streets.
  • Driving through high water creates wakes that can damage structures and property. 
  • Treat a traffic signal outage or flashing signal as a four-way stop.
  • Watch carefully for pedestrians and bicyclists, who may be in the street to avoid a flooded corner or who may be moving quickly to get out of the rain or catch a bus.

Do not go around barricades that close or restrict access to a street. Disobeying a barricade that has a street closure or other message sign on it is a Class B violation according to Oregon Vehicle Code and may result in a $360 fine. Driving around a barricade poses a serious health and safety threat, and the wake from your vehicle can cause public and private property damage and flood houses and businesses.

The information above was provided by Cheryl Kuck with the City of Portland Bureau of Transportation.

March 29, 2010


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