Flooding, landslides impact roads across Washington County


WASHINGTON COUNTY, OR (KPTV) - From areas north of Banks and south to Gaston, heavy rain had a big impact on roads across western Washington County, where landslides and flooding forced several closures.

At one point on Tuesday afternoon, road crews had lanes of travel or entire roads closed in more than 50 places in Washington County alone.

Road crews had to direct traffic on NW Sellers Road north of Highway 26, where a landslide early Tuesday blocked the road. Six dump trucks full of debris had already been hauled from the scene by the time Fox 12 crews arrived on scene.

Landslides were also reported on NW Green Mountain Road and on NW Corey Road near North Plains.

But by and large, the biggest impact came from flooding.

Washington County deputies had to rescue a driver from the roof of a car on NW Helvetia Road and West Union at the height of the storm.

Meanwhile, farther south in the small town of Gaston, schools had to close early. In neighboring Yamhill county, schools in the Yamhill-Carlton district closed early as well.

“We could see down on Gaston road almost from here the flooding and took a drive around all of our rural roads and areas, and probably saw 10-15 flooded places,” Gaston School District Superintendent Susy McKenzie said.

In talking with county road crews, and because of the potential for additional road closures, McKenzie decided the safest bet was to let students and staff get home early before conditions got any worse.

“I think it’s a fantastic idea,” preschool parent Ashley Hoodenpyl said. “There’s a lot of roads that are closed and a lot of sketchy situations out there.”

A mile away from the school complex, property owner David Rohrer kept a close eye on the water.

His pasture was flooded, and his biggest concern was for his farm animals. As of Tuesday afternoon, his cows and horses were safe and the water appeared to be receding.

“I’ve had to pull pigs through the water and everything else here,” Rohrer said of previous floods. “It comes in a hurry if it comes.”

As of Tuesday evening, the flood concerns across the county appeared to be diminishing as the rain stopped falling and roads that had been under water started to resurface.

For the latest closures across Washington County, visit: https://wc-roads.com/.

Copyright 2019 KPTV-KPDX Broadcasting Corporation. All rights reserved.

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