Homeowners and public officials all keep an eye on weekend storm

Homeowners and public officials all keep an eye on weekend storm »Play Video
Sand and bags at the ready in case neighbors need them in Southeast Portland.

PORTLAND, Ore. – With potentially record-breaking rain on the way this weekend, City of Portland and Oregon Department of Transportation officials spent Friday planning to deal with clogged drains and trees or branches down across roadways.

We cruised around Portland a bit on Friday looking for the city in action. At SE 111th Avenue and Harold Street, near Johnson Creek, piles of sand and bags were out ready for neighbors to scoop them up if necessary.

ODOT spokesman Don Hamilton said state crews are ready to go at a moment’s notice if things get nasty.

“Everybody’s on standby right now. We’ve got maintenance crews on standby, we’ve got our hydrology, geology crews all ready to go,” Hamilton said. “We’re going to be watching the roads very closely this weekend along with the traffic management center, and we’re going to work as hard as we can to respond quickly to any problems that develop.”

City officials say they have completed their preparation for this storm, although we did find several storm drains filled with debris.

A city spokesperson said they need help from neighbors to help keep drains clear on local streets to prevent flooding.

Gutter specialist Conner Hearty is also busy this time of year.

“Once people start realizing that their gutters are full and they didn’t clean them during the summer,” Hearty said. “I think the most jobs I’ve ever had to do in a day was eleven, and that’s within an eight-hour period.”

Hearty said clogged gutters pose a serious risk for homeowners.

“If you have a basement and the water starts flowing over, it’s very likely that you’re going to start getting water leaking into your basement and therefore flooding it,” he said.

Hearty also advises homeowners to not use a pressure washer while cleaning moss off your roof. He recommends using a wire brush because a pressure washer could do more harm than good.

Despite the slimy mess he often finds, Hearty said he’s happy to do the job.

“They come out and they’re like ‘wow, that’s great. It’s all done?’’ he said. “It’s just that smile that gets me, you know?”