Posted by Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) on December 16th, 2015 at 2:50 pm
If you thought it was bad last week… a new storm is headed our way.
Below we’ve pasted the warnings just sent around today by the Portland Bureau of Transportation and the Oregon Department of Transportation:
SEVERE WEATHER ADVISORY: PBOT WARNS PUBLIC TO EXPECT HEAVY RAINFALL DURING THURSDAY MORNING COMMUTE, USE CAUTION
(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.
Know Before You Go: Be ready for a new round of flooding and high water
More rain and the threat of snow and freezing rain on Mount Hood and in the Columbia River Gorge could make hazardous driving conditions in the days ahead.
The National Weather Service is forecasting a lot of rain in the Portland area, up to three inches, with the heaviest punch coming from 4 a.m. to 4 p.m. Thursday. That could translate into high water on the roads, snow on the Cascade passes, a slushy mix on Interstate 84 in the Gorge and perhaps some icy roads near Hood River.
Travelers in the region should use extreme caution for this mix of wintry weather by checking conditions on their route at www.tripcheck.com. Weekend travelers setting out on Christmas travels should be extra careful.
ODOT is gearing up for this new round of heavy rain and flooding and will close any flooded road presenting a safety hazard.
Travelers must obey road closure signs for their own safety and for the safety of highway workers. Driving through flooded roads could cause your car to be swept away or stall in the middle of the high water.
Heavy rain often means limited visibility, reduced tire traction and less predictable car handling. If you must drive:
- Watch out for each other. In poor visibility, bicyclists need to remember cars can’t stop as quickly and motorists need to remember it may be harder to see the bicycles.
- Slow down, watch for people walking and biking in limited visibility. Allow more time to get where you’re going and allow for plenty of distance between cars, which need two or three times more stopping distance on wet roads.
- Don’t drive through high water and flooded roads. Driving through several inches of water at high speed can cause you to lose control of the car and could splash water into the engine and stall it. Lowering your speed helps you prepare for sudden stops caused by disabled cars, debris and other wet-weather hazards.
- Disengage your cruise control.
- Allow more time to reach your destination. In severe weather, closures and crashes can cause long delays.
Plan ahead by leaving extra time when driving in heavy rain and windy conditions. Visit www.tripcheck.com or dial
511 for the latest information travel conditions and road closures.