More landslides possible as Red Cross, others prepare for anothe - KPTV - FOX 12

More landslides possible as Red Cross, others prepare for another round of storms

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The Red Cross Disaster Operations Headquarters in North Portland. The Red Cross Disaster Operations Headquarters in North Portland.
PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) -

From one disaster to another, it seems the hits just keep coming.  Major flooding, several landslides – even a tornado – have hit around the Portland area over the last week and a half, and now another storm system is on the way.

“As the weather starts to come in and we start to see impacts to people and their homes, we have volunteers that stand up to open shelters, provide a safe place to go,” said Cara Sloman, the Regional Disaster Program Officer for the Portland-area Red Cross chapter.

A disaster operations headquarters has been up and running for the last 10 days inside the Red Cross office in North Portland, where Sloman is now helping lead the charge.

130 volunteers – including some from out of state – are helping families affected by the storms throughout Oregon and southwest Washington.  They’ve given out thousands of meals and have distributed more than 1,300 clean-up kits in the last week and a half.

Volunteers have also opened 10 shelters over that time.  While they have since closed, another five are now on standby to help people who could be displaced in the next round of storms.

“We’ve also got supplies that are pre-positioned, so that our cots, blankets and essential supplies for opening a shelter are ready to go,” Sloman added.

Another agency keeping a close eye on the weather is the Oregon Department of Geology and Mineral Industries.  It warned Wednesday that more landslides and debris flows could be possible as heavy rain once again returns to the metro area.

“Land that has slid in the past is more likely to slide again in the future,” spokesperson Ali Ryan Hansen told Fox 12.  “Areas that are steep, at the base of hills, excavated areas, areas that have had roads cut out of them.”

While large-scale slides like those in Kalama, Woodland and along Highway 30 have impacted the most people, Ryan Hansen said more than 20 slides have happened just in the Portland area in the recent storms.

To check your neighborhood on the agency’s SLIDO map, click here: http://www.oregongeology.org/slido/index.html.

At-risk areas include the west side of Portland from Forest Park to nearly Lake Oswego, as well as the Columbia River Gorge and the coast – especially from Cannon Beach to Rockaway Beach. 

It’s also important to know the signs of an impending slide, such as leaning trees or cracks in the ground. 

If you would like to learn more about potential risks where you live, Ryan Hansen recommends using the consumer guide from the Oregon Board of Geologist Examiners to select a professional to come to your home for an evaluation.

If you or someone you know is in need of disaster assistance, call the Red Cross at 888-680-1455. 

You can also download the free “Emergency” app from the Red Cross.  It provides location-based weather alerts, resources on how to prepare for natural disasters like flooding or landslides, a way to search for shelters in your area and a feature to let loved ones know you’re okay in case cell signal is unavailable in a disaster.

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