Heavy rain has homeowners in West Hills bracing for potential landslides

(KPTV image)

PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) – There is heavy rain in the forecast Monday night, and the National Weather Service has issued flood watches for portions of northwest Oregon and southwest Washington.

One area that’s always a concern because of the steep slopes is the West Hills in Portland. There, the winds were whipping and the rain was already running through the streets. 

“Make sure that the drains don’t get clogged ‘cause that can cause trouble,” said West Hills resident Yolanda Porter.  

Porter and her family live on a nearly vertical hillside.

“When we decided to buy this place, we were in such love with this location that we didn’t even think of it,” she said.

Flooding and potential landslides weren’t top of mind 10 years ago when they moved in, but now it’s something they think about when a substantial amount of rain is in the forecast, especially when it comes to the school commute.

“In terms of mud and stuff like that, yes,” Porter said. “The neighbors are pretty good at putting sand bags and stuff like that, but you know, you can’t help but to like, think about it and make sure everything is OK.”

Because this isn’t the first rain of this season, the soil is already wet and saturated and that’s why geologists say they’re concerned about landslides, especially for homeowners here in the West Hills area where many of them live on steep terrain.

“One of the things we looked into when we moved in here was the foundation of the house, so that part is fairly well covered,” Porter said.

A geologist with the Oregon Department of Geology and Mineral Industries says to listen for any unusual sounds like trees cracking or boulders knocking together in these conditions, because it only takes a little bit of mud or debris to create a large landslide.

Geologists say it’s also a good idea to watch where your storm water is going to make sure it’s not flowing onto a steep slope next to your home because that could eventually cause a landslide.

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

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