Strong winds, rain bearing down on Oregon - KPTV - FOX 12

Strong winds, rain bearing down on Oregon

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PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) -

The biggest storm so far this season has arrived and it could dump up to 3 inches of rain in the Willamette Valley, FOX 12 meteorologists expect.

The Oregon Coast will likely be harder hit, with up to 5 inches of rain possible in the Central and North Coast Range. The same goes for the South Washington Cascades from Mount St. Helens down to near the Columbia River Gorge.

On the FOX 12 Weather Blog, meteorologist Mark Nelsen says the heaviest rain is expected Tuesday afternoon through Wednesday morning.

"It's always good to be prepared; but right now I wouldn't worry about anything dramatic flood-wise occurring in our area," he wrote.

Large rivers like the Willamette and Columbia are not expected to flood.

In addition to the rain, wind gusts of 40 to 50 mph could blast across the valleys, Nelsen says. The strongest winds are expected at daybreak Tuesday.

In anticipation of the nasty weather, Portlanders are being asked to keep leaves out of the city's more than 58,000 catch basins.

Additionally, the Portland Bureau of Transportation has released the following contact information:

  • To notify the city of debris blocking a road or sidewalk, call 503-823-1700.
  • For downed power lines, call PGE at 503-464-7777.
  • For assistance cleaning a blocked drain, call 503-823-1700.

City officials say sand and bags are available at the following locations, but users must bring their own shovels.

  • Southeast 88th Avenue just south of Holgate Boulevard in the parking lot at Lents Park
  • Southeast 111th Avenue and Harold Street at the southeast corner of the intersection
  • Southwest 42nd Avenue and Vermont Street in the lower parking lot of Gabriel Park

The Bureau of Transportation urges homeowners to advise city crews of debris, mud, rocks, trees, or branches blocking a road of sidewalk.  Anyone who sees a downed power line is asked to call PGE.

"We have our storage room stocked for this time of year, because this is our busiest time of year," said George Jones, the manager of Transportation & Distribution Assets at PGE. 

Jones urges people to stay away from downed lines, call PGE instead, and have an outage kit that includes flashlights and batteries ready if needed.

As of Monday night, no major problems were reported, but piles of leaves have begun to cover city streets, threatening to clog storm drains.

"Here in this neighborhood, the street is a mess," said Ray Fife who's lived in northeast Portland for 25 years.  "When they start to fall, they block the storm drains, and people are out there with rakes, trying to get the water to drain."

Meanwhile, in another northeast neighborhood, part of a maple tree snapped and fell onto a parked car, shattering the back window.

If you're worried about a tree in your neighborhood, or it's showing signs of decay, or making strange sounds, call the city's Department of Urban Forestry.

If the tree is located between the sidewalk and street, known as  a "right of way" tree, workers will come out and conduct a free inspection.

Strong winds are also expected to hit the Oregon Coast through Tuesday midday.

Trucker Mike Hupp says he's confident he can handle the expected rain.

"Unless they shut the road down, I should be able to make it unless something goes real screwy," he says. "I'm not afraid of the weather, but I respect it."

There are numerous weather warnings throughout Oregon this week, including flood watches and high wind warnings.

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