(Dec. 16, 2015) The Portland Bureau of Transportation warns the traveling public to be prepared for heavy rainfall Thursday morning that could create hazardous traveling conditions.
The National Weather Service has advised the Portland area should expect 3 inches of rain in 48 hours, with the heaviest precipitation coming from 4 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Thursday. The Bureau advises people traveling by car, by public transit and by bike to expect wet roads and slippery conditions.
People driving are urged to use caution and slow down, especially when driving on wet roads. Slow down to avoid damaging nearby private property and splashing travelers who may be walking or biking. We urge people driving to not drive through standing water, especially near creeks and other bodies of water. Turn around safely and use an alternative route.
Travelers must obey road closure signs for their own safety and for the safety of PBOT crews. Driving through flooded roads could cause your vehicle to be swept away or stall in the middle of the high water. People driving who ignore street closures and drive through barricades face fines of up to $1000. As of Wednesday, only two roads are closed in Portland: SW Montgomery between SW Vista and SW 14th Avenue, and SW Hamilton near SW 39th Avenue. They are both closed for repairs from damaged caused by storms last week. City crews are prepared to close additional flooded streets if necessary.
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.
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.
During a heavy rain 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.
With leaves largely removed from city streets, road flooding that may occur may be the result of too much water in the system in too little time.
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 in the Fanno Creek and Johnson Creek watersheds. Sand and sand bags are provided at no charge; you must 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.
PBOT will have extra crews working overnight on Wednesday and during morning hours on Thursday. Crews are prepared for the need to clear debris from storm drains, unplug storm drains that have underground blockages and close travel lanes as needed.