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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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News Advisory: Transportation Bureau preparing for heavy rains and wind tonight, tomorrow

(January 10, 2014) – The Portland Bureau of Transportation is preparing for heavy rain and wind that the National Weather Service is forecasting for tonight and tomorrow and advising the public to be alert to the possibility of localized flooding and downed tree limbs or other hazards in the roadway.

The City recommends Portlanders monitor conditions where they are traveling, watch the forecast, and use or Twitter @publicalerts as their source for emergency updates. Public Alerts provides links to street closures, highway road conditions, transit schedules and service alerts, and other emergency information. The Bureau of Transportation asks people to drive carefully and allow for extra distance when traveling in heavy weather conditions or when visibility is low.

Strong winds may bring fallen trees, tree limbs, and power lines in streets and yards.  Citizens can call transportation dispatch at 503-823-1700 to report debris, mud, rocks, trees, or branches blocking a road.   Report a downed power line in thePortlandarea to PGE at 503-464-7777 or PP&L at 1-888-221-7070. Do not try to free lines or to remove tree limbs from lines by yourself.

The Transportation Bureau is adding a crew and dispatcher on Saturday to handle an expected increase in calls to remove road hazards,  clear any clogged storm drains, and close roads temporarily in case of standing water.

Standing water possible: If heavy rain falls in a short period, travelers may encounter standing water in certain areas. The city is prepared to close any streets that may flood and set up detours as necessary. Citizens may also report standing water to 503-823-1700.

Landslide risk low: The risk of landslides is low because November and December were relatively dry and soils are dry enough to absorb rainwater, but crews are ready to respond as needed. If a landslide occurs at night, crews will close the street and wait until daylight when it is safe to work on clearing debris.

Check storm drains for debris that can prevent water from draining: Citizens are advised to check nearby storm drains and clear any debris from them to prevent local street flooding.  The risk of leaves clogging storm drains is low because both citizens and transportation crews cleared streets and storm drains this fall. As part of the Transportation Bureau’s six-week Leaf Day pick up service, crews removed 14,621 cubic yards of leaves from city streets November and December. Those leaves are now being composted at the bureau’s Sunderland Yard in NE Portland.

Because of icy conditions in December, two neighborhoods received a partial leaf clean up with crews scheduled to return for a final sweep in the coming weeks. They are inner Northwest Portland between W. Burnside and NW Marshall streets, and west of I-405 to NW   21st Avenue, and a portion of inner Southwest Portland, an irregularly shaped area roughly between W. Burnside to Jefferson streets and west of I-405 to SW Vista Avenue. Especially in those areas, citizens are advised to check their nearby storm drains and clear any debris from them. Do not remove storm grates; if a storm drain is clogged below the grate, call transportation dispatch at 503-823-1700.

Flooding risk low: Although no flooding is expected for Johnson Creek, Fanno Creek and other rivers and streams inPortland, City crews have stocked sand pile and sand bag locations for any Portland resident or business owner who wants to protect their property. Sand and sand bags are provided at no charge; please bring your own shovel. The following self-service locations are stocked:

  • SE 88th Ave just south of Holgate Blvd in the parking lot atLentsPark,
  • 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.