Rain causing leaves to fall, clog storm drains

Potent system coming Friday

People walking during the rain in downtown Portland, Oct. 28, 2015 (KOIN)
People walking during the rain in downtown Portland, Oct. 28, 2015 (KOIN)

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — After months of hot, dry weather, looks like the rains are here.

KOIN 6 meteorologists Sally Showman and Riley O’Connor said the rain will taper off Wednesday afternoon, but a potent system arrives Friday that will linger through the weekend.

Yes, that means Halloween could be wet during trick-or-treat times.

The winds will also pick up, causing more leaves to fall off trees. That could clog storm drains and lead to some urban flooding.

Dylan Rivera with the Portland Bureau of Transportation said they need the public’s help to clear leaves from those drains.

Fallen leaves on a Portland sidewalk and street during the rain, Oct. 28, 2015 (KOIN)
Fallen leaves on a Portland sidewalk and street during the rain, Oct. 28, 2015 (KOIN)

“There are more than 50,000 of them across the city,” Rivera said. “We just can’t get to them all. If they’re not cleared then water tends to back up from those blockages.”

He suggested residents check those storm drains every day or two.

PBOT’s leaf service starts Sunday and continues through mid-December.

“We’ve established more than 30 leaf zones and we sent out more than 30,000 mailings to residents in those leaf zones,” Rivera told KOIN 6 News. “Each of those leaf zones has at least one or 2 leaf days where we will come and sweep the streets with our sweepers.”

Residents can put their leaves in the street the day before their leaf day for the city to pick them up. It’s also helpful if residents move their cars for the sweepers to do the best job.

Drivers often forget from season to season certain safety techniques. Don Hamilton with the Oregon Department of Transportation said these wet roads can be very slick.

“Just slow down, look out for the other driver and make sure your car is in good operating condition”

“Just slow down, look out for the other driver and make sure your car is in good operating condition,” he told KOIN 6 News.

Check your headlights, brakes, tires and windshield wipers. “Simple steps like this are going to do a lot of good when you’re out on the road.”

Hamilton said ODOT has maintenance crews that look for trouble spots, such as leaves blocking drains.

“The most important thing people can do,” Hamilton said, “is just slow down look out for the other guy and be really careful because there’s going to be a lot of bikes and pedestrians out there.”

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