PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Heavy rainfall paired with poor terrain conditions left by the September wildfires created several landslides in the region overnight Saturday into Sunday.
I-84 Exit 41
The Oregon Department of Transportation said Sunday Exit 41 at Eagle Creek on Interstate 84 eastbound will be closed until at least Monday due to debris slide from heavy rainfall.
Columbia River Highway Closure
A landslide near Multnomah Falls has forced officials to close off a section of the Historic Columbia River Highway in both directions.
The eastbound and westbound lanes at Mosquito Springs Creek–roughly a mile to the west of the Falls–will be closed, “possibly until Monday,” according to ODOT.
Here’s another look at that rock slide on the E Historic Columbia HW pic.twitter.com/1CQKKwWezB— Robby Sherman (@BobbyShootsNews) December 20, 2020
It happened in an area that ODOT says is a typical trouble spot.
About 70 cubic yards of material had blocked the highway by 4 a.m. Sunday between Angel’s Rest and Multnomah Falls, according to ODOT. Officials said there was a potential for more debris from Mosquito Springs Creek to reach the highway as heavy rain overnight continued into Sunday.
Spokesperson David House said he believes they won’t be able to clean it up until Monday when the rain slows, because there is still potential for more debris to come down.
House said they’re also keeping watch over areas impacted by wildfire.
“We are also aware of historic wildfires in September… that’s left some areas depleted of vegetation that normally holds back erosion. There was some time for growth to come back, so we are keeping an eye open for that,” House said. “We don’t know if that contributed to the landslide on Historic Columbia River Highway. It’s possible, but hard to say.”
House said that was the only slide they were monitoring in The Gorge, as of Sunday afternoon.
He said anyone planning to head out in this heavy rain should check TripCheck.com to make sure the route is clear of slides before leaving.
Road closures in Clackamas County
Officials from Clackamas County announced two closures Sunday:
- Clackamas River Drive is closed between OR 213 and Springwater Road
- Southeast Gilbertson Road in Sandy
Both closures are said to remain in effect until further notice.
A flood watch remains in effect through Sunday evening for most of Northwest Oregon as moderate to heavy rain will continue through Sunday.