From debris in lawns and driveways to crawl spaces and basements filling with water, many neighbors were quick to head out in the rain, trying to clean up what they could.
The late spring storm quickly had some streets resembling a river, as water rushed downhill through the neighborhood. Portland Fire and Rescue says a ruptured culvert — designed to channel water away from homes — is to blame.
“The side wall of this culvert was affected by the increased water runoff from the spring rain and now we’re having water flowing through people’s homes,” said Rick Graves, spokesperson for Portland Fire and Rescue. “The water is just finding its low point and it’s continuing on through. Unfortunately, some of these homes are located right in the pathway of the water.”
Portland Fire and Rescue says at least 14 homes in the area of SW 63rd and Dickinson St. were damaged, varying from minor issues to crawl spaces filling with water, and at least one basement had heavy flooding, with sump pumps already at work. Graves added that so far, no one has been displaced and Water Bureau vacuum trucks are helping divert water, while the City of Tigard and Tualatin Valley Fire and Rescue brought sandbags for residents.
“We could be in here for the long haul, things may not be as they are now, but right now, there’s no structural compromise of any of the homes that we’re aware of at the moment,” said Graves. “If you have a way to create a diversion, if you have water flowing toward your home or if you’re in a low spot and can craft measures to create your own diversion plan, I would recommend.”
Some residents had water channeling from the backyard through the garage and out the front. Others were left with debris in their yards from the runoff while they monitored another culvert downhill that was already filling with sediment and water. Neighbor Lauren Robinson says in her seven years at their home, they’ve never had rain that caused immediate flooding.
“All of a sudden at 5 p.m., I looked out the window and it was just raging across the street and into our driveway. My husband quickly came home and we looked in our basement and it was filling up with water,” said Robinson. “I’d say like two to three inches but enough that you start moving a lot of stuff really fast and bringing up. Luckily our main floor and our upstairs is completely fine.”
Their driveway also eroded from the water runoff. Like many of their neighbors, the clean-up now begins, both outside and inside.
“I don’t even know where to begin, haven’t had to deal with this before so I’ve already called and left a voicemail at our insurance company,” said Robinson.
Portland Fire and Rescue is asking any neighbors who may notice new flooding or damage overnight to call the non-emergency dispatch line.
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