(December 21, 2015) The Portland Bureau of Transportation warns the traveling public to be prepared for high winds that could create hazardous traveling conditions. The National Weather Service has issued a high wind warning for the Portland area until 4:00 p.m. today with wind between 25 to 40 MPH and peak gusts of 45 to 65 MPH. Winds of this strength could make travel hazardous. Saturated soils from recent rain combined with unusually strong winds can damage or even uproot some trees and lead to road hazards.
The Portland Bureau of Transportation (PBOT) asks the traveling public, residents and businesses to take steps to reduce hazards associated with these conditions. Strong winds may bring fallen trees, tree limbs, and power lines in streets. Residents are advised to notify PBOT of debris, mud, rocks, trees, or branches blocking a road by calling our 24/7 maintenance dispatch hotline at 503-823-1700.
If travelers encounter a downed power line in the Portland area, they should report it to PGE at 503-464-7777. Never touch a downed power line. In fact, do not even get close. Even if a power line is not sparking, it could still be energized. Remember that water and electricity do not mix. Never try to free lines or to remove tree limbs from lines by yourself.
If a storm knocks out power to traffic signals, treat intersections like an all-way stop and proceed with caution. The driver who stops first has the right of way to go first.
In the event conditions prompt PBOT to close roads, the bureau will make that information available to the public. For the most current updates on road closures, follow PBOT's Twitter feed at https://twitter.com/PBOTinfo A Twitter account is not necessary to view the listings. PBOT's website will also be updated at http://www.portlandoregon.gov/transportation/ with weather-related road closures in Portland between the hours of 7 a.m. and 10 p.m.
Please consult PBOT’s website for the latest weather-related road closures in Portland. City crews are prepared to close streets and set up detour routes if necessary. Do not drive through standing water or around downed trees or power lines; instead, turn around safely and find an alternate route. Slow down when streets are wet, use your lights for increased visibility, stay away from puddles and be on the lookout for pedestrians and bicyclists, especially in low light conditions. Motorists who ignore street closures and drive through barricades face a fine of up to $1000.
During a severe weather event, many people may report the same incident. Residents may find it more convenient to report using the PDX Reporter App on Apple and Android smartphones. To report standing water on a roadway, use the category Plugged Storm Drain/Inlet. To report rock or mudslides or other debris blocking a travel lane, use the Debris in Roadway category. We strongly encourage the public to submit photos with their service requests, because that helps PBOT crews assess changing conditions as they respond to reports.
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.