Heavy rain causes landslides, closed roads in Portland

City reports dozens of slides since Sunday

PORTLAND, Ore. -- Heavy rain that started last weekend and has continued into this week has caused landslides and closed roads around the Portland area.

A clogged culvert closed Germantown Road, where it meets Highway 30 near the St. John's Bridge on Thursday morning. The Portland Bureau of Transportation reported Thursday afternoon on Twitter that Germanytown Road will remain closed through Friday because of the storm drainage issues.

Crews are also working on other landslides Thursday that have impacted roads in the west hills.

A landslide late Wednesday night closed Northwest Thompson Road between Northwest Cornell Road and Northwest Skyline Boulevard. The landslide blocked both lanes. The road will reopen by 1 p.m. Thursday.

Crews are removing debris from a landslide on Northwest Cornelius Pass Road between Highway 30 and Northwest Skyline Boulevard. One lane is open in the slide cleanup area. A Multnomah County spokesman said drivers should expect long delays until about 6 p.m. Thursday.

Another slide on Northwest Germantown Road west of Northwest Skyline Boulevard has not been cleared yet, but traffic is still moving in both directions.


Geologists say over the next couple of days, with the heavy rain saturating our already saturated soils, we should all be hyper-aware of landslides.

If you live on a slope, look for signs your property may be starting to slide. Check for new cracks in the ground, trees or fences that are leaning that weren’t before, or new cracks in your foundation.

The Oregon State Department of Geology and Minerals has an online tool to help you determine if you live an area that is prone to landslides.

All you have to do is enter your address and it will explain your risk. Go to map

View PBOT road closures list   |    KGW Traffic

On Wednesday afternoon, Southwest Skyline Boulevard was reopened between Burnside Road and U.S. 26 Wednesday afternoon after a landslide blocked the road Sunday night.

 

The Portland Bureau of Transportation said the slide was the biggest crews have seen this winter. Workers removed 900 tons of mud and debris. They also repaired parts of the road and installed 120 feet of drainage pipe.

Highway 224 reopened between Tong Road and 232nd Drive Monday afternoon after a cliff abutting the road collapsed, shutting down both lanes and requiring detours for the road to Damascus and Estacada.

ODOT crews cleaned an estimated ten dump truck loads of mud and debris from the highway. 

Preston Bishop lives at the top of the sliding slope. He says the slide started at around 5 p.m. Sunday, but continued, chunk by chunk, throughout the night.

“Over the course of the evening, we could hear big chunks of mud hitting the road below,” he said.

Bishop believes he lost about 25 feet of his backyard in the slide. Another ten feet was sunken, cracked and appeared to be barely hanging on.

ODOT said a geologist examined the slope. That person deemed it safe to reopen the highway but the agency said it will continue to monitor the area.

A landslide on U.S. 26 severely slowed the west side commute Monday morning. A second shut down Oregon 224 in Clackamas County.

The slide on inbound Highway 26 was just east of the zoo exit and closed the right lane, turning a 20-minute commute from Murray Boulevard to downtown Portland into 90 minute crawl. All lanes were reopened about 10 a.m.

Not just major thoroughfares were affected. KGW chief meteorologist Matt Zaffino shot this video of a slide on Mount Adams Drive in Southwest Portland.

(© 2017 KGW)


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