Saturday, December 12, 2015

A Wet and Wild Week!

The intense rainfall and flooding this week has left many homeowners wondering how to manage the rising waters. This much rainfall in Portland is very unusual. In fact, the rain storm on Monday dumped a record-setting 3.32 inches of rain in only 24 hours! 

Fortunately, fire crews and city services were prepared and ready to help. Sand and bags were available at the Lake Oswego Skate Park and in many other locations around Portland. Roads were closed for safety and water pumped out of flooded areas. In addition, officials warned drivers to use extreme caution on the roads and avoid flooded areas. Cars can easily be disabled in just a few inches of water.

With over 7 inches of rain just this week, weather forecasters don’t expect a sunbreak until possibly Monday or Tuesday. In the meantime, what can you do to protect your home from the rainstorms?  Here are some helpful tips:

  • Clear leaves and other debris from storm drains near your property — but do not attempt to remove a storm drain cover or attempt to clean a drain located in a busy street. To report flooding or other storm-related issues, call your city’s public works/maintenance department.
  • Clear your gutters of leaves and debris. Clogged gutters cause rainwater to pool, and if you've got an older roof, that rain will find its way into your house. Check the down pipes as well. Make sure the output has somewhere to go, to avoid pools near your foundation.
  • Keep large trees around your home trimmed and inspect for dead and dying branches that could come down in a storm.
  • If flooding can’t be avoided, move furniture, rugs, electronics and other belongings to upper floors (or at least raise them off a ground floor), shut off electricity at the breaker panel, and elevate major appliances onto concrete blocks. 
  • If your basement was flooded because of the massive amount of rainfall in a short amount of time, the first thing to do is dry it out using a sump pump. After the water is pumped out, open the basement windows to increase air circulation and decrease the possibility of mold. Add fans and increase the ventilation as much as possible before mold spreads.