Be ready for round two of flooding and high water

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Dec. 8, 2015                                          

For more information: Kimberly Dinwiddie 503-539-8454,

                                                     Don Hamilton, 503-704-7452,


Know Before You Go: Be ready for round two of flooding and high water

Travelers will again receive some of the worst from Mother Nature late Tuesday and Wednesday as heavy rain, standing water and high winds make area roadways challenging.

ODOT is gearing up for round two of heavy rain and flooding that can close roads and highways. Roads that flood will be closed.

Travelers must obey road closure signs for their own safety and the safety of highway workers. Driving through flooded roads could cause your car to be swept away or stall in the middle of the high water.

Safety for workers is another reason to follow road closure signs. Earlier this morning an ODOT manager was struck by a hit and run driver as he was inspecting the bridge joints prior to opening the Fanno Creek Bridge on Southwest Hall Boulevard after flooding. .

With round two of potential flooding travelers should check road conditions before heading out. Avoid driving and consider taking alternative modes of travel.

Heavy rain often means limited visibility, reduced tire traction and less predictable handling for cars and bicycles alike. If you must drive, to keep yourself and others on the road safe you should::

  • Slow down, watch for people walking and biking in limited visibility. Allow more time to get where you’re going and allow for plenty of distance between cars, which need two or three times more stopping distance on wet roads.
  • Don’t drive through high water and flooded roads..Driving through several inches of water at high speed can cause you to lose control of the car; it could also splash water into the engine and stall it. Lowering your speed helps you prepare for sudden stops caused by disabled cars, debris and other wet-weather hazards.
  • Keep your distance. A car needs two to three times more stopping distance on wet roads.
  • Turn on your headlights to improve visibility. Use your low beams!
  • Disengage your cruise control.
  • Allow more time to reach your destination. In severe weather, closures and crashes can cause long delays.
  • Watch for hydroplaning, which occurs when your front tires ride on a film of water. It can occur at speeds as low as 35 miles per hour, especially if tires are worn. If you hydroplane, ease off the gas, gently apply the brakes and steer straight ahead.

High winds may also bring down trees and power lines. Motorists should be alert to changing driving conditions and plan on delays due to down trees or power lines.

Plan ahead by leaving extra time when driving in heavy rain and windy conditions. Visit or dial 511 for the latest information travel conditions and road closures.


Note to editors: ODOT PIO schedule for Wednesday, Dec. 9

3 a.m. to noon - Kimberly Dinwiddie 503-539-8454,

Noon to midnight - Don Hamilton 503-704-7492,