Burned hillsides may fail when heavy rains hit Clackamas Co

Wildfires

Heavy rains expected in area on Thursday

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — For Clackamas County residents still trying to recover from the historic Labor Day wildfires, they may have to deal with landslides from the heavy rains expected to fall on Thursday.

KOIN 6 News Meteorologist Joseph Dames said Thursday will be a tandem of an early front and then a second area of low pressure catapulting in behind that front. Overall, there could be about 3/4-inch of rain by Friday morning.

Landslides and flooding may be an issue in the areas where the fires burned the protective cover off hillsides, the National Weather Service said.

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“When heavy rains hit those hillsides, they could fail, causing mud and debris to enter creeks and rivers,” Clackamas County Resilience Coordinator Jay Wilson said in a statement. “That could increase chances of landslides or flooding downstream or at the bottom of barren hillsides.”

When the hillsides fail, they might fail quickly with no warning and move at avalanche speeds, officials said. And as they move they will pick up “trees, boulders, cars and other material.”

Wilson said this is a good time for property owners to look at flood insurance.

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