Mudslide, puddles, trees keep crews busy

storm watch-power outage Ellen Hansen
The street lights in many areas of Oregon and Southwest Washington went out over the Sept. 29, 2013, weekend as a series of storms swept through the region. (KOIN 6 News)

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — A weekend of rain sent mud sliding across Lake Oswego’s Pacific Highway Sunday night.

The mudslide was reported shortly after 9:30 p.m. Sunday near the intersection of Pacific Highway 43 and SW Laurel Street. The landslide pushed netting away from a rock wall about 5 feet onto Highway 43, said Lake Oswego Fire Spokesperson Gert Zoutendijk.

This small slide is just one of countless road and other emergency situations caused by a series of storms spawned by Typhoon Pabuk. The storms drove through Oregon and Southwest Washington Saturday and Sunday.

LIGHTNINGphoto

Viewer Gene Hancock captured lightning striking down in Astoria, Ore., over the weekend of Sept. 29, 2013. The bay lights up from that flash, and the Megler Bridge is only a silhouette. (Report It/Gene Hancock)

While there wasn’t lightning in Portland, the coast certainly lit up. Viewer Gene Hancock captured lightning striking down in Astoria, Ore., over the weekend. The bay lights up from that flash, and the Astoria-Megler Bridge is only a silhouette.

Elsewhere in Oregon and Washington, wind brought down a lot of debris. Debris clogged storm drains. Clogged drains led to large puddles and even streets filled to the brim with water.

One puddle at SE 92nd Avenue and Powell Blvd. reached about 2 feet deep Saturday.

“Looks like the deepest part is probably knee-deep,” said Nick Randall, an off-roader at the scene to help pull unwittingly flooded drivers out.

Water filled lanes of traffic as cars sputtered to a stall.

“[We'll] find a spot to hook up, haul them out of the water,” said Damon Cervantes, who with his friend Randall also brought a large truck to the scene. “Most of the time they’re just water-logged so we get them out, let them sit for fifteen minutes and they’ll start back up.”

The storm wreaked a perhaps surprising amount of havoc on a city used to wet weather. But not everyone was trying to avoid it, such as Elisa Zinn and Cody Shively.

“We actually came down here to play in it,” said Zinn, standing ankle-deep in water at the corner of Portland’s 92nd Avenue. “It’s wet all the way up to the thighs, so I’m quite drenched. [But] I love it. it’s fun.”

In Southeast Portland Sunday, crews raced from one cleanup job to the next.

With wires hanging and roads blocked, Urban Forestry crews worked to get traffic moving once again.

“We’re having a lot of trees fall,” said one worker.

A chunk of a large tree crushed a Pod when it went down in Southeast Portland Sunday night. Because there are so many issues across the area, city crews couldn’t get to the tree until Sunday afternoon.

A few blocks away, another group of large branches went down — barely missing two parked cars. That scene had yet to be cleared as of 6 p.m. Sunday.

According to the Bureau of Transportation there were 70 calls for damaged trees Saturday alone. That’s not counting additional problems overnight and Sunday.

Puddling or flooding intersections are another problem, as seen at the corner of 19th and Brazee Street — affectionately dubbed “Lake Brazee” by the locals.

People in this Northeast Portland neighborhood did what they could to help, pulling out hoes and rakes to try to clean storm drains clogged with storm debris.

From downed trees and branches and water creeping up into roads, the problems have city crews running. Now they’re asking for the public’s help — urging locals, like those in Northeast, to help clear storm drains.

– Elissa Harrington and Chris Woodard contributed information used in this KOIN.com report.

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