KATU Storm blog for Monday, Dec. 3, 2007

KATU Storm blog for Monday, Dec. 3, 2007 »Play Video
Photos courtesy of The Associated Press.

To keep abreast on the latest information regarding the storm, KATU.com will provide constant updates as we receive them, so refresh often.  Also, be sure to send us an e-mail and tell us what it's like where you live so we can let everyone know.


10:59 p.m.

The National Guard has been mobilized to help people (possibly a dozen to 20) who are stranded in Vernonia.  They will be going into the town Monday night to rescue people.  Communication has been challenging, but they have been able to establish some communications.  Both Coast Guard and National Guard helicopters are assisting.  Camp Rilea has been set up as a shelter.

10:38 p.m.

A number of schools are closed on Tuesday.  Be sure to check our school closing list.

10:36 p.m.

Highway 26 at milepost 39 is closed due to what ODOT calls 'deep pavement degradation.'  There is no estimated time to re-open.

10:04 p.m.

KATU Reporter Nick Winkler is in Tillamook and said the flood waters there are receding, but there are still major problems.  Highway 101 remains closed, with the water still knee deep in some places. Power remains out as well.

9:20 p.m.

ODOT just released an update on highway closures*Note: The link points to a pdf file.

9:05 p.m.

An update from PGE:

PGE repair crews made excellent headway as the winds died down a little this evening. Fewer than 300 are now without power in the entire service territory.

Though the remaining outages remain widely scattered, there are small concentration in the Molalla area of Clackamas County and Grand Ronde area of Yamhill and Polk counties.

Crews will continue to work through the night, but high water is making it difficult to reach some customers, particularly near Grand Ronde and the communities near highway 22 in Yamhill County.

PGE appreciates those customers' patience and understanding.

8:58 p.m.

We just got word that Gov. Ted Kulongoski will be doing an air tour tomorrow morning, followed by a press conference at 11 a.m.

7:53 p.m.

A press release from Columbia River Fire & Rescue:

CURRENT CONDITIONS IN COLUMBIA COUNTY

Columbia County resources are now focusing on the Vernonia community. Water levels continued to rise all day and now several shelters are in operation. Arrangements are being made to bring in extra food and supplies to the area.  The phone company has re routed 911 calls to the Vernonia Fire Station due to damage at the Vernonia Central phone office. Water breached the doors to the phone office and flooded the equipment room.

Columbia County EOC will remain open throughout the night to monitor conditions.  Some city EOC centers have scaled back operations and are planning for recovery as water levels have stabilized.

Since about 6 am this morning, the 9-1-1 lines that would normally be answered in Seaside and Astoria for callers in Clatsop County were diverted by the phone company to Columbia 9-1-1 Communications on a temporary emergency basis.   The emergency phone calls are being taken by Columbia 9-1-1 staff who are relaying the information via Columbia County and Clatsop County Amateur Radio Emergency Services Volunteers to the police fire and emergency medical dispatchers in Clatsop County, who then are activating Clatsop County first responders.  Columbia 9-1-1 has doubled up on staff to handle the extra call load.  Both counties have been experiencing severe flooding causing numerous high water situations, road closures, flooding and evacuations.

ROADWAYS AND WATER LEVELS IN COLUMBIA COUNTY

Roadways and high water remain a concern for many areas of the county.

  •  Highway 30 at milepost 70 and 63
  •  Highway 30 between Deer Island Road and Pittsburg Road in St. Helens
  •  Highway 47 through the city of Vernonia
  •  Scappoose-Vernonia Highway at milepost 1.5

Motorists are advised to use extreme caution when traveling this afternoon and encourage County residents to stay home, off roadways if possible. 

Sandbags have been made available for residences that may experience flooding.  Currently, sandbags are available in St. Helens at the city shops located at 984 Oregon Street and in the parking lot at McCormick Park.  Scappoose residents can find bags at the Scappoose Fire Station.  In Rainier, bags are available at the Columbia River Fire & Rescue Rainier Station and at Rainier Police Station.   Sandbags in Clatskanie can be found at the Clatskanie City Park and at the City Surplus Yard on Highway 47 and Norman.

Evacuation shelters have been established in St. Helens and Vernonia for those displaced by flooding.  A temporary shelter has also been setup at Mist-Birkenfeld Fire District to accommodate 20 people.  In Vernonia, shelter can be found at St. Mary’s Catholic Church, located at 960 Missouri Street and at the Vernonia High School at 299 Bridge Street.  The American Red Cross has established a shelter at Lewis & Clark Elementary School for evacuees in the St. Helens area.  The American Red Cross can be reached by dialing (503)366-3931.  There have been reports of power outages in Mist-Birkenfeld and Vernonia.

Columbia County residents are also cautioned that they should avoid contact with flood waters and consider all water to be contaminated as there is a potential for bacteria to be in the water.  If you come into contact with flood water, wash your hands thoroughly and remove shoes and clothing before entering your home.  Children should not be allowed to play in flood water and pets should be washed if they come into contact with water.

7:47 p.m.

An update from the Red Cross:

The Oregon Trail Chapter of the American Red Cross is currently operating four evacuation centers in response to current weather events. The locations are:

  • St. Helens -- Lewis and Clark Elementary, 111 S. 9th St. *Currently 0 clients
  • Clatskanie -- Clatskanie High School, 471 SW Belair Dr. *Currently 5 clients
  • Tillamook -- Tillamook County Fairgrounds, 4603 E. 3rd St. *Currently fewer than 30 clients
  • Sheridan -- Sheridan High School, 433 South Bridge St. *Currently 9 clients

The evacuation center in Vernonia at St. Mary's Church, 960 Missouri Ave., has transitioned to a partner shelter with the community running the center and the Red Cross providing additional support and/or supplies. They are currently serving 90 clients.
 
Other evacuation centers operating in partnership with the Red Cross include: Lincoln Grade School (Vernonia) -- Currently 60 clients Hillside Retirement Center (Yamhill Co.) -- Currently 38 clients Cedar Ridge Camp (Vernonia) Seventh Day Adventist Church (Vernonia) Presbyterian Church (Cannon Beach) Camp Rilea (Warrenton)

7:05 p.m.

Press release from BPA:

Although winds have died down, tonight Bonneville Power Administration reports that other weather factors, such as flooding, mudslides and downed trees, continue to affect its ability to repair line outages. 
 
Outages on the BPA system continue to impact service from west of Port Angeles to north of Olympia, including the Shelton area.  Power remains out in the Aberdeen area, Astoria and along the Long Beach Peninsula.  Lack of visibility due to nightfall has created safety hazards so BPA crews have suspended work in the Aberdeen and Long Beach areas until daybreak.  Power is expected to be restored to the Shelton area shortly. 

Thanks to efforts by the Clallam County Public Utility District, BPA efforts to restore power to the Sappho area, which is on the northwestern tip of the Olympic Peninsula, will be completed more quickly than initially projected.   Clallam County PUD crews worked to remove a downed tree that was affecting BPA's line in the area, but other problems with the line continue to disrupt power delivery to the area.

As of 5 p.m. today, BPA reported that it has restored service on its high-voltage transmission lines into the Tillamook area, but it is important to note that delivery of power is contingent upon each individual utility's ability to deliver the power transmitted by BPA.  Power into Astoria continues to be impacted by downed transmission poles, flooding and nightfall.  BPA and Pacific Power crews are working to restore service into Astoria and estimate that service could be restored as early as tomorrow evening.

"We are working hard to restore electricity to those areas that are still without power," said Robin Furrer, BPA transmission field services vice president.  "The credit for what we were able to accomplish today, despite the elements, belongs to both BPA crews and other field utility crews who worked safely together to restore power." 

BPA will prioritize the remaining work to be done based on system reliability and those areas where power has not been restored. 

Utilities that continue to be affected by BPA outages include: West Oregon Electric Cooperative, Grays Harbor County Public Utility District, Pacific Power, Clallam County PUD, Portland General Electric, Pacific County PUD and Lewis County PUD at Pe Ell.

6:20 p.m.

New info from the Red Cross:

The Oregon Trail Chapter of the American Red Cross is currently operating four evacuation centers in response to current weather events. PLEASE NOTE THAT THIS INFORMATION HAS CHANGED. The locations are:

  • St. Helens -- Lewis and Clark Elementary, 111 S. 9th St. *Currently 0 clients
  • Clatskanie -- Clatskanie High School, 471 SW Belair Dr. *Currently 5 clients
  • Tillamook -- Tillamook County Fairgrounds, 4603 E. 3rd St. *Currently fewer than 30 clients
  • Sheridan -- Sheridan High School, 433 South Bridge St. *Currently 9 clients

The evacuation center in Vernonia at St. Mary's Church, 960 Missouri Ave., has transitioned to a partner shelter with the community running the center and the Red Cross providing additional support. They are currently serving 90 clients.
 
Other evacuation centers operating in partnership with the Red Cross include: Lincoln Grade School (Vernonia) -- Currently 60 clients Hillside Retirement Center (Yamhill Co.) -- Currently 38 clients

6:18 p.m.

The Wilson River Highway (OR 6) has reopened and the debris flow warning has been canceled.  Here's the latest from ODOT:

The Oregon Department of Transportation has reopened Oregon 6 between Banks and Tillamook. ODOT closed Oregon 6 early Monday morning, Dec. 3, after numerous trees fell across the highway during a wind and rain storm, which also pushed rocks and other debris onto the roadway. Motorists are advised to use Oregon 6 if they must travel to the coast. U.S. 26 (Sunset Highway) and U.S. 30 (Lower Columbia River Highway) remain closed due to downed trees, debris flow and high water.

Meanwhile, the Oregon Department of Forestry (ODF) canceled its debris flow warning for Oregon 6 at 6 p.m. on Monday, Dec. 3. The ODF issued the warning at 9 a.m. on Monday. The debris flow area along Oregon 6 stretched from milepost 5 (about 5 miles east of U.S. 101 in Tillamook) to milepost 39 (Timber Road).

A debris flow warning means that dangerous, rapidly-moving landslides are very likely. While the debris flow warning remains in effect, people and travelers in the affected areas may be in imminent threat of serious injury and should take immediate precautions.

Upon the issuance of the debris flow warning, the Oregon Department of Transportation activated its debris flow warning system to notify travelers: Flashing lights mounted on signs on the roadside at either end of the affected area were turned on. They read: “POSSIBLE LANDSLIDES NEXT 45 MILES WHEN LIGHTS FLASH”

Those signs are no longer flashing.

6:13 p.m.

Folks are sending in a lot of pictures through YouNews.  Check them out.

6:01 p.m.

T.J. Mullinax with the Yakima Herald called to say that Portland to Seattle traffic is being rerouted through Yakima in light of I-5 being shut down at Chehalis.  For details...

6:00 p.m.

KATU Reporter Melica Johnson is reporting from downtown Salem.  She said the downtown area is not seeing too many problems, but Highway 22 heading west toward the Oregon coast is flooded. 

Officials are urging drivers to stay off the roads and say a good rule of thumb is that if you can't see the lines in the road... do not drive through it.  Sound advice.

5:54 p.m.

Gov. Ted Kulongoski declared a state of emergency today so the state can get aid to stricken counties. Gov. Christine Gregoire declared a state of emergency in Washington state as well.

5:48 p.m.

Updated list of highway closures from ODOT:

  • U.S. 30- 1 lane OPEN from Astoria to West Port.  The highway is CLOSED beyond mile post 70 and into Columbia County.
  • OR 202- CLOSED due to downed trees.
  • U.S. 26- CLOSED due to downed trees.
  • OR 6- OPEN.
  • U.S. 101 Business- CLOSED at mile post 1.5, just of south Astoria, due to severe weather and down trees.
  • U.S.101- mile post 99- Cascade Head trees down.
  • U.S. 101- mile post 125- Tree down, blocking.
  • U.S. 101- mile post 158- low-hanging lines
  • U.S. 101- mile posts 21 and 24 (Seaside) Beerman Creek is OPEN to high profile vehicles.
  • U.S. 101- CLOSED at mile post 64 (just north of Tillamook) due to downed power lines and high water between Latimer Road and Wilson River Loop.
  • Hwy. 131- CLOSED due to trees.
  • Hwy. 53- CLOSED due to trees.
  • OR 18B- CLOSED due to flooding.  Emergency management is calling for some mandatory evacuation.
  • OR 18 (westbound)- CLOSED from mile post 7 to 17 due to multiple downed trees on the highway. 
  • OR 18- CLOSED from mile post 21 to 23 closed west of Yamhill River Bridge due to high water.
  • OR 22W- CLOSED to low profile vehicles due to high water between mile posts 9-10. 
  • OR 153 (Bellvue-Hopewell Highway)- CLOSED due to high water.
  • OR219- CLOSED mile post 22 near Newberg.
  • OR 240- OPEN, be aware of high water at mile posts 1-8.
  • OR 47- CLOSED north of Yamhill due to high water.  The highway is OPEN through the City of Yamhill.
  • OR223- CLOSED at mile post 4.7 due to high water.  Be aware of water over highway in multiple locations.
  • Hwy. 99W- OPEN- be aware of possible high water.
  • Hwy. 180 (Eddyville – Blodgett)- CLOSED due to trees across power line.
  • Hwy. 229- CLOSED at mile post 4 due to rock slide.  Remainder of highway has one lane open.
  • U.S. 20- OPEN- be aware of possible down trees and high water. 
  • Hwy 34- OPEN- be aware of possible down trees and high water.
  • Hwy 126 at Cushman Creek (mile post 3, outside of Florence) be aware of high water.

5:38 p.m.

The Klineline Bridge in Clark County is closed indefinitely due to structural concerns.

5:37 p.m.

KATU Reporter Nick Winkler is reporting from Tillamook and says there have been reports that some cattle have died due to the flooding conditions.

5:30 p.m.

Mudslides have shut down the Amtrak rail line between Portland and Seattle. The rail line was closed around midnight last night. Rail passengers with reservations are being bused, but with I-5 being closed near Chehalis, it is unclear whether those buses will make their destination. The Amtrak closure will remain in effect until at least midnight tomorrow.

5:02 p.m.

A KATU viewer, Jill Cross, just sent us an update on conditions on the northern Oregon coast. Her dad is stuck in Garibaldi, which is between Rockaway and Bay City, and he gave her this report via his cell phone:

  • Electricity and landline phones are not working and probably won't be back for two days.  
  • Highway 101 is closed at the Wilson River.
  • There is some bad wind damage but houses seem to be holding up; trees are not having as much luck.

Cross said she spoke to her father twice Monday but getting through on a cell phone is very patchy. 
 
"I would say Bay City is pretty safe - just out-of-service. And Rockaway depends heavily where your houses are located," Cross wrote in an e-mail to KATU.

4:33 p.m.

The state's first storm-related fatality may have occurred in Tualatin.

A man's body was found lying face down in rain-swollen Hedges Creek about 8 a.m. Monday by a passerby.

Authorities identified the man as 54-year-old Ronald D. Albertson, whose last known residence was Tualatin.

It was not clear what led to his death but Tualatin police said they did not suspect any foul play and said the death appeared accidental.

4:05 p.m.

Don't make any plans to head to Seattle just yet.

Interstate 5 in southwest Washington was shut down in both directions Monday due to flooding.

Transportation officials said it will be closed for at least 36 hours - and likely longer - as crews wait for the Chehalis River and Dillenbaugh Creek to recede.

It was the first time since 1996 that officials completely closed the freeway.

Detour routes include:

  • From the Portland area: East on Oregon's I-84 then north on US 97 to
    Yakima and then west on I-90 to Seattle.
  • From the Seattle area: Seattle to Portland drivers will follow I-90 to
    Yakima and then south on US 97 to west on Oregon's I-84 to Portland.
  • Other detours include US 12 over White Pass to Yakima. Commercial
    vehicles over 10,000 lbs. GVW are not allowed on State Route 7, from US
    12 between Tacoma and Morton.

3:54 p.m.

It's going to be a rough commute on the west side today if you use Highway 217. High water has caused officials to close down the highway in both directions at the Southwest Allen Boulevard exit. Traffic is being diverted around the problem but major backups could occur and motorists were advised to avoid the area.

3:41 p.m.

The Associated Press is reporting the first storm-related deaths in Washington state:

"The U.S. Coast Guard reports that the deaths stemmed from a failed dike near Chehalis. The Coast Guard says it dispatched helicopters from Port Angeles and Astoria to help to more than 90 people in distress because of Monday's flooding. About 80 of those were 20 miles west of Chehalis. Another 10 were trapped in their homes after a dike broke on the Tahuyu River near Hood Canal in Mason County."  

3:10 p.m.

KATU viewer Jamie Southworth is desperate to get information about Bay City damage today because of an elderly grandpa that lives there alone. If you have any updates about how things are there, e-mail us, and we'll let Jamie know.

3:02 p.m.

Yamhill County has called for a voluntary evacuation of Sheridan residents on West Main Street from Olive to Rock Creek Road on the side of the street closest to the river.

Other county residents were asked to stay home and off the road.

The news came after Yamhill County officials declared the county a disaster area due to flooding issues. Crews set up evacuation centers at Chapman Faulconer School and at the Spirit Mountain Casino in Grande Ronde.

You can get sandbags at the Federal Prison in Sheridan or at Public Works in Willamina.

2:38 p.m.

Fanno Creek is causing a lot of problems in Tigard. Some people parked their cars last night and found them submerged today. Just check out these pics, which are of a parking lot near Bonita Road. They came from a video sent in by Brian Wegener of Tualatin Riverkeepers.

 
You've got to wince when you see this - water pouring out of the car. That is the definition of a bad day.
 
 
See the full video below:

2:27 p.m.

Fairview Creek in east Multnomah County is flooding. 

On the Fairview/Gresham boundary, NE Glisan St. will remain closed between NE 202nd and NE 207th Ave., officials report. Alternate routes include SE Stark St. and NE Halsey St.

Southbound lanes of Troutdale Road remain closed at the intersection with Cherry Park Road due to high water. Southbound traffic should use 257th/Kane and Stark Street.

2:22 p.m.

We got an inquiry from KATU viewer Michael Spencer asking if anyone knows about damage in Rockaway Beach, where he has a couple of homes on Highway 101. I know peak wind gusts today reached more than 100 mph. If anyone out there knows about storm damage there, e-mail us and we'll let Michael know.

1:56 p.m.

Highway 30 apparently turned to a muddy mush near Clatskanie, according to photos sent to us by YouNews reporter Julie Shultz. Here's what the scene looked like Monday:

1:48 p.m.

Here's an update on Portland streets closed due to flooding:

  • SE Foster is closed from 102nd to 122nd
  • SE 111th is closed at Brookside
  • SE 111th is closed at Harold
  • SE Martins is closed from 102nd to 103rd
  • SE 103rd is closed at Harold.

Several areas of standing water in Portland include:

  • SE 114th
  • SE 122nd
  • SE 102nd
  • SE 82nd
  • SE 89th
  • SW Macadam and Bancroft
  • Barbur Boulevard in Burlingame
  • NE 102nd and Clackamas
  • 145th and Glisan.

Do not drive around barricades on streets with standing water, the city transportation department advised.

1:29 p.m.

More from Vernonia, where things have gone downhill quite a bit today. A viewer writes:

"You should check out Vernonia....we are often forgotten. Right now it is quite a sight as the Nehalem jumps its banks at multiple points flooding peoples homes. Propane tanks can be seen floating down the river with other debris. Sewer drains are bubbling up as roads close trapping the city. You know what is funny? You won't find sand/sandbags around here....amazing."

A YouNews reporter sent us these photos from Vernonia. The first shows a refrigerator floating downstream:

This one is downtown Vernonia:

1:21 p.m.

KATU viewers Bill and Kim Adler sent in more Scappoose Creek flooding pics. It is in their back yard.

 

1:06 p.m.

Washington state Gov. Christine Gregoire has declared a state of emergency following heavy rains, flooding, road closures and damage throughout the state. Read the declaration here. Our sister station in Seattle, KOMO, reports that the Skokomish River has reached all-time record high levels and will have major flooding. The Chehalis River will also set record flood levels.

You'll remember that I-5 in southwest Washington is also affected by the storm. I-5 north has one lane closed near Chehalis. All lanes may be closed northbound near the city and possibly southbound. If so, trucks leaving Portland are advised to take the Columbia River route and then take White Pass and avoid I-5 through Lewis County all together. Local car traffic may be able to use side streets to get around.

12:33 p.m.

This report just came in from KATU Weathercaster/reporter Julia Radlick, who is out in the field in Vernonia:

"Vernonia is cut off from all of civilization unless you have a high-profile vehicle (something with a high center of gravity such as an SUV or pickup truck). Highway 26 is shut down right at the Vernonia off-ramp. The water is so high at the agricultural field, it's coming over the roadway, so regular cars can't make it through. Julia talked with ladies waiting at the gas station for someone to come get them in a high profile vehicle. Fields are flooded over. Wilson Highway is flooded out at mp 30."

12:27 p.m.

One of our special projects producers just gave us a good FEMA Web site on preparing for flooding. It gives information on flood insurance and risk in your area. It will even tell you if you are eligible to buy flood insurance based on your address. Click here to take a look see.

12:23 p.m.

The kids are going home early from some schools in the area due to the storm.

In the Molalla River School District, Maple Grove Elementary is closing at 12:30 p.m. - in just a few minutes - because the school is without electricity.

In the Scappoose School District, students are being released at 12:45 p.m. from all schools due to concerns about road hazards. 

Buses will run as follows:

  • Leaving Warren at 12:45 p.m.,
  • Leaving Sauvie, Watts, Petersen at 1 p.m.
  • Leaving high school and middle school at 2 p.m.

12:09 p.m.

Portland residents never cease to amaze. While some people have tried to pass through a flooded section of SE Foster by truck and car this morning, this guy decided to give his bike a try.

11:59 a.m.

Many viewers are sending us their photos of storm damage and flooding. To view their images and read their reports, click here.

11:47 a.m.

KATU viewer Megan Bluhm sent us a picture of the Scappoose Creek, which she said is overflowing. In the picture, the creek is behind the blackberry bushes.

11:40 a.m.

Here's the latest from ODOT on road closures:

  • OR 30 at mile post 62, near the intersection with OR 47, is closed due to mudslides, high water and debris. Also at milepost 80 to 92, there is also a closure from multiple trees down blocking the highway.
  • OR 202 and 8th, in Astoria, a vehicle crashed into a power pole. The highway is closed, just east of Old Youngs Bay Bridge.
  • OR 202, MP 11- highway is mostly blocked due to tree down just west of Clatskanie fish hatchery.
  • U.S. 26 from mile posts 2.5 - 45 is closed because of severe weather and downed trees.
  • OR 6 from mile posts 2 – 45, reports of several trees down and the highway is closed at mile post 6.
  • U.S. 101 Business at mile post 1.5, just of south Astoria, has been closed due to severe weather and down trees.
  • U.S.101- MP 99-103- blocked at Cascade Head due to trees down.
  • U.S. 101- MP 125- highway blocked due to tree down.
  • U.S. 101- MP 158- be aware of low hanging lines.
  • U.S. 101- between mile posts 21 and 24, just south of Seaside at Beerman Creek, is closed due to high water on the highway.
  • U.S. 101 closed at mile post 64 (just north of Tillamook) due to downed power lines and high water between Latimer Road and Wilson River Loop.
  • Hwy. 131- Complete closure due to trees.
  • Hwy. 53- Complete closure due to trees.

Be aware there are downed and partially downed trees at Lincoln Beach, Fogarty Creek and Cape Foulweather.

  • OR 18- between mile posts 13-17 has been closed due to multiple downed trees on the highway.
  • OR 18- MP 22- Yamhill River Bridge (by casino) is now closed.
  • OR 18- MP 21-22 high water, flagging through.
  • OR 153 at mile post 1 (1 mile east of the intersection with OR 18) is closed due to high water.
  • OR22- closed at MP 23 (Grande Ronde Rd.) due to downed trees.
  • OR 22- closed at MP 19 due to trees down.
  • OR 22- 6 miles west of the intersection with OR 18, a tree is blocking the road. Crews are currently assessing.
  • OR219- MP 22 near Newberg closed due to high water.
  • OR219- at McKay Rd. closed due to an accident.
  • OR 240- high water between Newberg and Yamhill. OR47- there is a couple of high water locations on the highway.
  • OR99W at Lewisburg (north of Corvallis) a blocked culvert may cause flooding.
  • U.S. 20- MP 1-14, expect delays of 20 min to 2 hours trees down in travel lanes.
  • Hwy. 180 (Eddyville – Blodgett) is closed due to trees across power line. Hwy. 229- blocked by trees down.
  • Hwy 34- MP 6 closed due to slide also be aware of low lying flooding.
  • Hwy 34 and 20 to coast are open at this time, however there is debris intermittently on the highway.
  • U.S. 20 from mile posts 1-14 has an estimated delay of 20 minutes to two hours because of fallen trees in travel lanes.
  • Hwy 126- be aware of high water outside of Florence high water.

11:32 a.m.

Here's some more places to get sandbags.

In Washington County, click here for locations.

In Clackamas County, click here for locations.

And if you are like me and have never actually filled a sandbag, here's a how-to guide on the proper use of them. 

11:29 a.m.

If you live in Washington County and want to check the latest updates on road closures, click here for a handy Web site.

11:25 a.m.

A KATU viewer in Dallas sent us this photo of Rickreall Creek, which is rolling through the resident's back yard and rising every hour closer to the person's home.

11:19 a.m.

American Red Cross has opened evacuation centers in the following locations:

  • St. Helens -- Lewis and Clark Elementary, 111 S. 9th St.
  • Vernonia -- St. Mary's Church, 960 Missouri Ave.
  • Clatskanie -- Clatskanie High School, 471 SW Belair Dr.
  • Tillamook -- Tillamook County Fairgrounds, 4603 E. 3rd St.

More centers may be opened as the day progresses.

11:13 a.m.

Are you thinking of driving on I-5 in southwest Washington today? Think twice.

Officials plan to close all northbound lanes of I-5 near Chehalis by the early afternoon. They may also close all southbound lanes too. And the only detour is flooded. The bottom line: If they close it, there's no way to get around it.

So the Washington State Department of Transportation is urging drivers not to drive on I-5.

11:02 a.m.

Storm Tracker Doppler Radar shows that the rain has stopped on the coast. Looks like they will get a breather for a little while. KATU Meteorologist Rhonda Shelby believes it won't be raining for several hours there.

10:55 a.m.

This just in from KATU Meteorologist Rhonda Shelby:

She believes the Portland area and valley will not get huge wind gusts today; instead she think it will be just a blustery, rainy day.

The coast, however, will continue to get blown around.

Here's a breakdown of the peak wind gusts along the coast so far this morning.

  • Bay City - 129 mph
  • Rockaway Beach - 104 mph
  • Bay Center - 119 mph
  • Lincoln City - 92 mph

In Lincoln City specificially, they are getting consistent 75 to 85 mph wind gusts this morning.

"They are really getting hit hard in the central Oregon coast," Shelby said.

As far as rain totals go, in the past 48 hours, Portland has received nearly 2.5 inches of rain. Elsewhere:

  • Kelso/Longview - 4.83 inches
  • Salem - 1.5 inches
  • Eugene - 1.57
  • North Bend - 3.19 inches
  • Seattle - 4.99 inches

10:46 a.m.

Multnomah County has just sent in some road closure updates. 

  • NW Skyline has reopened between NW Quarry Rd. and NW Brooks Rd. 
  • In the West Hills, NW Beck Rd. is closed between NW Skyline and NW Johnson due to downed power lines and trees.
  • On the Fairview/Gresham boundary, NE Glisan St. is closed between NE 202nd and NE 207th Ave. due to potential flooding of Fairview Creek.  PGE is responding to the downed power lines.

10:40 a.m.

For those in Portland needing sandbags, here are a few locations to get them:

  • Gabriel Park at SW Vermont
  • SE 92nd and Holgate
  • SE 108th and Foster
  • SE 112th and Harold

9:39 a.m.

We received a recent report that students were having trouble getting to school in West Salem this morning. A big tree branch reportedly fell on 8th and Patterson, blocking the road that leads to Walker Middle School. Buses and cars were forced to turn around, and drivers had to find another route to get kids to school on time.

9:33 a.m.

Let's just say it's not a great day to be heading to the coast - or driving at all in northwest Oregon. Here's why:

ODOT has just reported significant delays or closures on the following highways:

  • U.S. 26 from mile posts 2.5 - 45 is closed because of severe weather and downed trees.
  • OR 6 from mile posts 2 – 27, there are reports of several trees down, and the highway is closed at mile post 6.
  • OR 30 at mile post 62, near the intersection with OR 47, is closed due to mudslides, high water and debris. At milepost 80 to 92, there is also a closure from multiple trees down blocking the highway.
  • At OR 202 and 8th, in Astoria, a vehicle crashed into a power pole. The highway is closed, just east of Old Youngs Bay Bridge.
  • OR 18 between mile posts 1 and 17 has been closed because of multiple downed trees on the highway. Highway 18 from Grand Ronde to Highway 101 is closed due to fallen trees.  Crews are currently assessing.
  • On OR 22, 6 miles west of the intersection with OR 18, a tree is blocking the road. Crews are currently assessing.
  • U.S. 101 Business at mile post 1.5, just of south Astoria, has been closed due to severe weather and down trees.
  • U.S. 101, between mile posts 21 and 23, just south of Seaside, is closed because of high water on the highway.
  • U.S. 101 is closed at mile post 64 (just north of Tillamook) because of downed power lines and high water between Latimer Road and Wilson River Loop.
  • OR 240 is closed due to high water between Newberg and Yamhill.
  • OR 153 at mile post 1 (1 mile east of the intersection with OR 18) is closed because of high water.

There are downed and partially downed trees at Lincoln Beach, Fogarty Creek and Cape Foulweather.  Tree fallers are in route.

The length of closures are unknown at this time.

That was all according to ODOT.

9:15 a.m.

Good morning! It's a wet and nasty one. But it appears that we may get a brief break in the rain in the next hour or so, according to KATU Meteorologist Rhonda Shelby. That could help as drivers try to navigate through a number of flooded areas and other trouble spots.

Here's a breakdown of some of the problems out there in the Portland metro area.

  • Southeast Foster Road is the biggee. It is closed at 111th. Here's an aerial view of the flooding there from Jet Ranger 2.

And here's a driver trying to make it through on SE Foster. Yikes. Don't try this at home.

Other areas in Portland with standing water include:

Standing water has been reported on the following streets:

  • SE 114th
  • SE 122nd
  • SE 102nd
  • SE 82nd
  • SE 89th
  • SW Macadam and Bancroft
  • Barbur Boulevard near the Burlingame Fred Meyer
  • NE 102nd and Clackamas
  • 14th and Glisan