PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) - The FOX 12 weather team is warning of an increased threat for localized flooding late Monday night and Tuesday morning.
In anticipation of this rain storm, Portland Bureau of Transportation is replenishing sand at its four sandbag filling stations within the city. And, while bags are also available at these locations, the agency says shovels are not provided, so the public must bring their own.
The agency’s crews are also out clearing debris from storm drains to minimize the risk of flooding. The primary area of concern is along Johnson Creek, according to PBOT officials.
Jay Searls, whose home is just steps away from the creek, has been keeping a watchful eye on the rising water levels. He told FOX 12, the water level has gone up several feet overnight.
Rapid snow melt and persistent, heavy rain are to blame, according to FOX 12 Chief Meteorologist Mark Nelsen.
“We had about 5 inches [of snow] back here. It all melted down,” Searls said.
The homeowner already has sandbags ready, in case they are needed.
“I’m up a little higher than most but I’m sure just down the road a little bit those guys feel pretty threatened," he added.
If the weather warrants it, the Portland Bureau of Emergency Management said it will activate its emergency coordination center.
BEM public information officer Dan Douthit said employees from multiple local agencies will work together in the center, keeping an eye on the radar, street conditions and they’ll even be taking a look at river gauges.
“If we have this activated then we’re better able to manage information and we’re able to get resources to people that are responding,” Douthit said.
According to him, the center has not been activated since a massive five-alarm fire broke out at a scrap yard in Northeast Portland in March of 2018.
However, when it is fully staffed, as many as 50 to 60 specialists from varying agencies can work per shift and the center can stay open 24 hours a day, as needed.
“It can be surprisingly low-key because everyone knows what they’re doing and they have their specific tasks,” Douthit said.
According to him, the agency is prepared to activate the center Tuesday if flooding occurs but it must wait to make the call.
“We’re preparing for anything, from flooding to snow," he added.
Meanwhile the Portland Bureau of Environmental Services is reminding locals, homeowners insurance does not cover flooding.
According to the agency’s web site, “Over the course of a 30-year mortgage, there is a 26% chance that flooding will damage a property in Portland’s 100-year floodplain.”
You can check where your property is in relation to the floodplain by calling 503-823-6892. You can also use this interactive online tool.
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