Wednesday, January 25, 2012
Portland, Ore. – On January 26th, the anniversary of our region’s last great earthquake, the Portland Bureau of Emergency Management (PBEM) -in partnership with Multnomah County- will initiate the first-ever, citywide test of Portland’s community notification system. This relatively new system has been used successfully in real, small-scale emergencies. But it has never been stress-tested on a large scale.
During this citywide test, PBEM will attempt to send a single message via landline phone, cell phone, text, and email to a maximum number of Portlanders in the shortest amount of time possible. “We want this test to expose any weaknesses in the system,” said PBEM Director Carmen Merlo.
Greater participation in the test will ensure a larger sample group and help PBEM gauge the system’s functionality. Merlo encourages Portlanders to register for this and all future notifications by signing up at www.PublicAlerts.org. Personal contact information provided during registration is kept private and used only for the purpose of sending geographically tailored emergency messages. During the January 26th test, residents will be notified only if the contact information provided corresponds with a Portland mailing address.
It bears reminding, our region could experience a magnitude 9.0 or greater Cascadia subduction zone earthquake at any moment. The last one occurred January 26th, 1700. Scientists say we are in the average window of time during which these massive, destructive earthquakes occur. The community notification system may serve as an invaluable communication tool during this and other kinds of emergencies.
What: Citywide test of Portland community notification system
When: 11:00 a.m. until completion of task
Monday, January 23, 2012
The National Weather Service Portland has issued a Flood Watch through Thursday afternoon for Columbia County. Watch for water over roadways and localized standing water. Landslides and debris flows are possible during this flood event. People, structures, and homes located below steep slopes, in canyons, and near the mouths of canyons may be at risk from rapidly moving landslides.
Heavy rain and snow melt are expected to cause rivers and creeks to rise this afternoon/evening and remain elevated through Wednesday. Widespread 1 to 3 inches of rain is expected with local amounts of up to 3 to 5 inches depending on location.
The Nehalem River near Vernonia is forecasted to crest at 10.5 feet early Wednesday morning. Flood level is 12 feet. The Nehalem River is not forecasted to flood. The Clatskanie River is not forecasted to flood.
See www.weather.gov/portland for your local forecast and http://water.weather.gov/ahps/ for river gage levels.
Friday, January 20, 2012
The full text of the advisory is below:
...FREEZING RAIN ADVISORY IN EFFECT UNTIL MIDNIGHT PST TONIGHT FOR
AREAS EAST OF INTERSTATE 205 NEAR THE GORGE...
THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN PORTLAND HAS ISSUED A FREEZING
RAIN ADVISORY...WHICH IS IN EFFECT UNTIL MIDNIGHT PST TONIGHT.
* TIMING...THROUGH MIDNIGHT TONIGHT.
* WEATHER...AREAS OF FREEZING RAIN ARE EXPECTED TO DEVELOP EARLY
THIS EVENING EAST OF INTERSTATE 205 NEAR THE GORGE.
* ICE ACCUMULATIONS...LESS THAN A TENTH OF AN INCH.
* IMPACTS...LIGHT ICING OF BRIDGES...OVERPASSES...SIDEWALKS AND
STEPS MAY MAKE FOR SLIPPERY CONDITIONS.
A FREEZING RAIN ADVISORY MEANS THAT PERIODS OF FREEZING RAIN OR
FREEZING DRIZZLE WILL CAUSE TRAVEL DIFFICULTIES. BE PREPARED FOR
SLIPPERY ROADS. SLOW DOWN AND USE CAUTION WHILE DRIVING.
See a map of possible affected areas by clicking here:
See http://www.wrh.noaa.gov/pqr/ and add your zip code in the "Get Local Forecast" box in the upper left menu. This includes wind and flood advisories.
See http://water.weather.gov/ahps2/index.php?wfo=pqr for river level gages and forecasted crest levels.
Thursday, January 19, 2012
Yesterday, the county EOC had a limited activation monitoring the storm and sharing information with our local partners as the snow was impacting everyone. It was a hectic ten hours. Thanks for everyone's participation.
We seem to have weathered the storm. Power was restored yesterday evening to Vernonia and they closed down their EOC and their warming center. The Nehalem River is not expected to reach flood stage in Vernonia. It is expected to crest at 9.5 feet on Saturday. Flood stage is 12 feet. Most of the county roads have reopened. There will continue to be localized water over roadways, along ditches, etc as the snow melts.
Oregon Highway 30 towards Portland in Multnomah County is restricted to one lane for water over the roadway. It is causing delays. Check http://tripcheck.com/Pages/RCMap.asp?curRegion=14&mainNav=RoadConditions to see latest reports.
The County Emergency Management will continue to monitor the rivers in our county through the weekend. National Weather Service is predicting another possible heavy rain event for the middle of next week. More information will be forthcoming from the weather service after the weekend.
Full details of the advisory are listed below:
THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN PORTLAND HAS ISSUED AN
* URBAN AND SMALL STREAM FLOOD ADVISORY FOR...
COLUMBIA COUNTY IN NORTHWEST OREGON...
NORTHERN TILLAMOOK COUNTY IN NORTHWEST OREGON...
SOUTHERN CLATSOP COUNTY IN NORTHWEST OREGON...
WASHINGTON COUNTY IN NORTHWEST OREGON...
WESTERN MULTNOMAH COUNTY IN NORTHWEST OREGON...
CLARK COUNTY IN SOUTHWEST WASHINGTON...
COWLITZ COUNTY IN SOUTHWEST WASHINGTON...
EASTERN WAHKIAKUM COUNTY IN SOUTHWEST WASHINGTON...
* UNTIL 700 PM PST THURSDAY.
* AT 900 AM NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE DOPPLER RADAR CONTINUED TO SHOW HEAVY RAIN ACROSS THE REGION. RAINFALL OVER THE PREVIOUS 24 HOURS IS IMPACTING A WIDESPREAD AREA ACROSS WESTERN OREGON AND SOUTHWEST WASHINGTON. AREA CREEKS AND STREAMS ARE RISING QUICKLY AND MANY ARE ALREADY OVER THEIR BANKS WITH THE HEAVY RAINFALL.
SALMON CREEK IN NORTH CLARK COUNTY WAS REPORTED TO BE OUT OF ITS BANKS...AND AS RAINFALL CONTINUES TODAY OTHER SMALL STREAMS AND CREEKS ARE LIKELY TO FOLLOW.
RAINFALL WILL EASE THIS EVENING...BUT NOT BEFORE ANOTHER ONE HALF TO ONE INCH FALLS OVER THE REGION THIS AFTERNOON.
MOST FLOOD DEATHS OCCUR IN AUTOMOBILES. **NEVER** DRIVE YOUR VEHICLE INTO AREAS WHERE THE WATER COVERS THE ROADWAY. FLOOD WATERS ARE USUALLY DEEPER THAN THEY APPEAR. ONE FOOT OF FLOWING WATER IS POWERFUL ENOUGH TO SWEEP VEHICLES OFF THE ROAD.
WHEN ENCOUNTERING FLOODED ROADS MAKE THE SMART CHOICE...TURN AROUND...DONT DROWN.
EXCESSIVE RUNOFF FROM HEAVY RAINFALL WILL CAUSE ELEVATED LEVELS ON SMALL CREEKS AND STREAMS...AND PONDING OF WATER ON COUNTRY ROADS AND FARMLAND ALONG THE BANKS OF CREEKS AND STREAMS.
Tuesday, January 17, 2012
Below are estimates of what we can expect and during what time frames:
Location: NW OR & SW WA Coast Range
Expected window of when this will occur: Today and Wed
10 to 20 inches
Location: Central Coast Range
Today snow, then rain
6 to 12 inches
Location: Willamette & Lower Columbia Valleys (Mainly Portland Vicinity Northward)
Rain-snow line will shift north during the morning
Prime threat time: Wed (midnight – 8 AM)
Late morning (Clark-Cowlitz)
Location: Coast Range / Willapa Hills:
40 mph, gusts 80 mph (NW OR Cst Range)
20 mph, gusts 35 mph (Willapa Hills)
Expected Window of when this will occur: Wed (2 AM-4 PM)
Prime threat time: 6 AM-noon
High winds mainly Salem southward
20-30 mph, gusts 45-50 mph
Expected window of when this will occur: Wed (daytime)
Prime threat time: 10 AM – 2 PM
There is heavy rain potential. Rivers are expected to rise and there is the possibility for minor flooding later this week.
Where the rain/snow line will be
How much snow will fall on the valley floor
A Winter Storm Warning for Columbia County is in effect until 12 PM tomorrow.
Here is the text of the warning:
.COLD AIR HAS SETTLED OVER THE PACIFIC NORTHWEST AND WILL RESULT IN WINTRY WEATHER ACROSS SOUTHWEST WASHINGTON AND NORTHWEST OREGON THROUGH WEDNESDAY. A REINFORCING COLD FRONT WILL CONTINUE TO MOVE ACROSS WASHINGTON AND NORTHERN OREGON TODAY...BRINGING HEAVY SNOW TO THE CASCADES AND THE COLUMBIA RIVER GORGE...ALONG WITH SOME POSSIBLE LIGHT ACCUMULATIONS DOWN TO THE VALLEY FLOOR. A STRONGER LOW PRESSURE PRESSURE SYSTEM WILL THEN MOVE IN FROM THE SOUTHWEST LATE TONIGHT AND WEDNESDAY... SPREADING ABUNDANT MOISTURE OVER THE VERY COLD AIR MASS THAT IS IN PLACE ACROSS THE REGION. THIS WILL RESULT IN MORE HEAVY SNOW FOR THE CASCADES AND COLUMBIA RIVER GORGE...AND MAY BRING ACCUMULATIONS TO THE NORTHERN LOWLANDS AS WELL...INCLUDING THE PORTLAND AND VANCOUVER METRO AREA. DETAILS ARE STILL VERY UNCERTAIN ESPECIALLY FOR THE LOWLANDS...BUT THE POTENTIAL IS THERE FOR THIS TO BE A SIGNIFICANT WINTER WEATHER EVENT.
*Be sure your car is stocked with emergency and winter weather supplies
*Have utility companies’ numbers handy in case of power outages
*Have flashlights and other power outage supplies easily accessible
*Stay tuned to your local news and EM social media for updates on the weather
Wednesday, January 11, 2012
Please drive and walk carefully when you travel outside for the next few days.
Watch and listen to your local weather forecasts or visit the NWS local forecast web page for details.
Go to http://forecast.weather.gov/MapClick.php?CityName=Saint+Helens&state=OR&site=PQR&lat=45.8871&lon=-122.928. Click NWS refresh link to get the latest forecast or enter your zip code.
Links to Partner Agencies
- Clatskanie Fire
- Clatskanie Police
- Columbia 911 and CAN Registration
- Columbia County Sheriff
- Columbia County, Oregon Website
- Columbia River Fire and Rescue
- Mist-Birkenfeld Fire District
- Oregon Department of Foresty Wildfire Programs
- Oregon Red Cross
- Ready.gov--Website with Emergency Preparedness Tips
- Scappoose Fire
- Scappoose Police
- St. Helens Police
- The Public Health Foundation of Columbia County
- Vernonia Fire
- Vernonia Police