NW Cornell landslide adds to growing list

Engineers are at the scenes investigating the damage

A NW Cornell Road landslide was reported Tuesday, February 7 2017. (PBOT)

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — A massive landslide between Highway 26 and Burnside Road will likely keep that road closed for at least a few days.

Only local traffic — people who live in that zone — will be allowed through.

Tons of dirt, mud and trees slid off the hillside just north of Fairhaven Road and onto Skyline. City crews have loaded about one dump truck every 10 minutes since the area was stabilized on Monday.

On Tuesday, a new landslide was reported on NW Cornell Road between the Audubon Society and the tunnel, closing the road until 10 a.m. when crews managed to clear debris.

Some landslide spots
Multnomah County:

> NW Cornell between Audubon Society and tunnel
> US 26 EB near the Zoo
> OR 43 SB at the Sellwood Bridge
> Skyline Blvd near Fairhaven
> NW Newberry Road bwn Hwy 30, NW Skyline Blvd

Authorities believe there are about 200 cubic yards of mud and debris here. Foresters also arrived to cut some of the downed trees.

Once the debris is cleared, officials said it will take time to work on the hillside and stabilize it before the road can re-open.

“It’s really stunning,” said PBOT’s Dylan Rivera. “It’s hard to believe there’s a road under this much debris. It’s a really large slide and something that takes a lot of crew time, a lot of effort.”

Neighbor Addison Elliott told KOIN 6 News this landslide is “much bigger than we usually get up here.”

But there was no damage to homes and no one was hurt.

Marion County

Charis Abblitt was headed to Salem or Keizer but got stymied by the water across the road.

“I’m not sure what other route to take because there’s a lot of water,” Abblitt told KOIN 6 News. “I think if I had a bigger car I would consider going across it, just for fun. But because I’m a little car and a little person, I don’t think it would be very smart.”

There’s a lot of water over a lot of roads from the weekend storm. There’s also a lot of land over roads from landslides triggered by the weekend storm.

Lt. Chris Baldridge with the Marion County Sheriff’s Office said they’re seeing high water primarily in the northeast section of the county, prompting several barricades closing roads.

“There’s several inches of water over the roadway, probably up to about a foot of water in some areas where the road dips down,” Baldridge told KOIN 6 News. “It can easily pick up your car and take it away.”

They want motorists to follow the detours and avoid the barricaded areas — and he said they haven’t seen anyone so far go around the barricade.

If a driver is caught doing that, it’s a $110 ticket.

“Not a good way to spend your money,” he said. “You’re really taking a huge risk by trying to drive across” the flooded roads.

Some road problem spots
> SE Pipeline Road in rural east county, between SE Altman Road and SE 302nd Avenue — high water damaged road and caused a sinkhole.
>SE Lusted Road between Altman Road and SE Hosner Road due to a sinkhole.
> Washington County online incident map for roads

In Clackamas County, a landslide was reported on Highway 224 near SE Tong Road in Damascus.

A neighbor tells KOIN 6 News he thinks water pooling underneath the grass is what led to the ground giving way.

“The ground was literally soggy. Your foot would go in and water would come out,” Preston Bishop says.

Dona Dykeman, who lives across the street from the site of the landslide, says she also noticed the soggy grass. “It was really flowing last night,” she says.

Geologists are at the scene assessing as Oregon Department of Transportation crews are working to clear the road.