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The City of Portland, Oregon

Portland Bureau of Transportation

Phone: 503-823-5185

Fax: 503-823-7576

1120 SW Fifth Ave, Suite 1331, Portland, OR 97204

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City prepares for weekend rain and wind

October 22, 2010                                  


Contact: Cheryl Kuck

Portland Bureau of Transportation





City prepares for weekend rain and wind

(Portland, Ore) – The National Weather Service forecast calls for rain and wind throughout the weekend, with a strong storm system arriving late Saturday night into early Sunday morning. The Portland Bureau of Transportation advises the traveling public of the potential for high standing water, street flooding, clogged catch basins, and downed trees or limbs around the city.

In preparation for the rainy season, crews have been clearing catch basins, culverts, ditches, and trash racks to prevent street flooding. The City’s street leaf removal program begins in November.

Now is the time to inspect and clean catch basins

Catch basins are the grated storm drains that you see on almost every street corner. When they get clogged with recently fallen leaves and litter, water can no longer be drained from the street. Water ponds along streets and can flood intersections, creating a hazard to the traveling public.

To lessen street flooding, the City asks residents and property managers to help clean the inlets and catch basins near your house or business.

  1. Stand on the curb and use a rake or pitch fork to clear fallen limbs, leaves, and debris from catch basins so that water can drain easily. Do not try to remove the grate, only the debris on top of the grate.
  2. Do not rake or blow leaves from your yard into the street. Bag them at the curb in the parking strip and prepare them for curbside pickup by your garbage hauler.
  3. For leaves that have already fallen on the street, rake them 10 to 12 inches from the curb, allowing water to flow to the catch basin without the leaves.
  4. Dispose of waste in trash receptacles instead of sweeping it into the gutters or catch basins. Dispose of leaves and yard debris in curbside yard debris containers.
  5. If you see a catch basin filled with debris below the grate, or if you cannot clear the basin near your property yourself, call 503-823-1700 to report the particular location.

See and be seen

Because this storm is expected to arrive late Saturday night, be especially cautious in low light conditions where standing water might not be visible. Adjust your speed according to conditions. Do not drive through standing water or over downed power lines; turn around safely. Treat a traffic signal outage or flashing signal as a four-way stop. Share the road safely. Bicyclists and pedestrians are advised to use lights and reflective clothing.