People living and working along Johnson Creek prepare for potent - KPTV - FOX 12

People living and working along Johnson Creek prepare for potential flooding

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The snow and ice have come and gone, in less than a week. Now, the Portland metro area is seeing heavy rain that could cause flooding in some areas.

The flood watch issued Thursday night is a warning to both people living and working along Johnson Creek. 

Zack Hager, the owner of Autotek International, tells FOX 12 his auto repair shop has been flooded two of the three years they’ve been at their location on Southeast Umatilla Street.

“It happened within a matter of a couple of hours,” he said.

Now, the shop is in year four and Hager is hoping Thursday night’s flood watch doesn’t become another emergency.

“We monitor Johnson Creek, which is how we know if things are gonna get dangerous. We watch the level of the creek and once it crests the bank over there then we start to get a little worried,” he said.

Autotek International workers say they know the weather’s bad when a giant pool appears right outside their garage.

“We have a puddle out front that is there perpetually. Anytime there is water outside the puddle’s there,” Hager said.

It’s also an indication of just how high Johnson Creek might be.

“If the rain’s really bad we’ll check it every couple of hours and obviously before I go home,” Hager said.

There’s not only potential for flooding along Johnson Creek because of rain, but also because of melting ice.

“Based on the flood history of this building, the water level’s never really been high enough to come inside of a car when it’s in here,” Hager explained.

However, it’s still cause for concern for people who live in apartments across the street from Autotek International. The residents are prepared with sand bags if things do get worse.

The Portland Bureau of Transportation is helping residents and business owners prepare for a flood emergency.

They’re offering free sand and sand bags at three sites in Portland:

  • Southeast 88th Avenue just south of Holgate Boulevard in the parking lot at Lents Park. Enter parking lot at the bottom of the hill, and follow one-way traffic to the sand pile at the exit on the east side of Southeast 88th;
  • Southeast 111th Avenue and Harold Street at the southeast corner of the intersection; and
  • Southwest 42nd Avenue and Vermont Street in the lower parking lot of Gabriel Park; enter Gabriel Park from Vermont.

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