Roads, property damaged in record-setting Ore. floods

More heavy rain is expected in Oregon throughout the week

A big sinkhole developed on a street in Gresham as heavy rain came down on Monday. (Portland Tribune)
A big sinkhole developed on a street in Gresham as heavy rain came down on Monday. (Portland Tribune)

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Record-setting rainfall this week caused a number of problems throughout the Portland metro area, including flooded businesses, damaged vehicles and roads that washed out.

Cowlitz County, Washington declared an emergency in each of its cities Tuesday night in response to major flooding.

Several landslides were reported north of Kalama River Road. One landslide wiped out a residence and trapped the homeowner.

The victim was taken to the hospital after being rescued by emergency crews. Their condition is unknown.

Business owners in downtown Kalama used sandbags to protect their property as water rushed through the streets.

Flooding in Kalama, Washington on Tuesday, December 8, 2015. (KOIN)
Flooding in Kalama, Washington on Tuesday, December 8, 2015. (KOIN)

Vernonia Fire District used an automated phone calling system Tuesday night to warn residents about potentially hazardous floods that could trigger evacuations.

A shelter was set up at Vernonia High School.

Anyone in need of sandbags in Vernonia can go to the city water departure off State Avenue. Call 503.397.0005 for updates.

The Oregon Department of Transportation encouraged travelers in Northwest Oregon to avoid using state highways Tuesday night due to numerous landslides and floods.

A landslide closed Hwy 30 just south of St. Johns Bridge late Tuesday afternoon.

Eastbound lanes reopened for the evening commute, but the landslide isn’t expected to be cleared from westbound lanes until Wednesday afternoon, according to ODOT.

Lane restrictions will be in place until several hundred cubic yards of material is cleared from the roadway. You can check for road closures on ODOT’s website.

KOIN CLOSINGS AND DELAYS

Light rain fell during the morning commute, but downpours returned by the lunch hour on Tuesday.

A sinkhole opened up on Hwy 22 in Yamhill County, according to ODOT. A semi-truck drove into the sinkhole and was trapped for 2 hours.

Hwy 22 remained closed Tuesday night 2.5 miles east of Dolph Junction. Drivers can use OR-18 as an alternate route.

A big sinkhole developed on a street in Gresham as heavy rain came down on Monday. (Portland Tribune)
A big sinkhole developed on a street in Gresham as heavy rain came down on Monday. (Portland Tribune)

A massive sinkhole opened up on Northeast Kane Drive near Mt. Hood Community College on Monday. The collapse closed the school on Tuesday, but classes are scheduled to resume on Wednesday.

Northeast Kane Drive will remain closed between Division and Stark Streets for several weeks.

Heavy flooding in the Pearl District put many cars underwater.

Linc Mann with the Portland Bureau of Environmental Services says the record rain, combined with regular sewage flow, pushed the underground drainage system beyond its capacity. The city didn’t find any debris blockages in the pipe, Mann said.

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SE Foster Road has been closed from SE Barbara Welch Road to 162nd Avenue since Monday afternoon when Johnson Creek began overflowing.

Motorists have been seen going around barricades and driving through parking lots to avoid the closure. Some are driving right into the standing water, putting themselves in danger and causing flood damage to nearby homes and businesses.

A car drives through standing water, December 8, 2015. (KOIN)
A car drives through standing water, December 8, 2015. (KOIN)

Anyone who is caught driving around a road closure barricade could be fined $260, according to police.

“I would let folks know that just because the vehicle in front of you made it through, doesn’t mean your vehicle is capable of making it through,” PPB Sgt. Greg Stewart said.

Cars can hydroplane when speeds are as low as 35 mph, and the average automobile can be swept off the road in 12 inches of water, ODOT said.

Sandbag locations

Clark County sandbag locations

Portland sandbag locations

Sandbag locations in Marion County

Clackamas County sandbag locations

Transportation alerts and closings

Some schools and businesses are delayed or dismissing early. Get the latest on the KOIN.com Closings page.

TriMet buses and MAX trains are experiencing delays as well. 

Stay in touch with the PDX Weather app — everything you need to know at your fingertips.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

 

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