News flash: It's raining hard, so hard this grim December evening that the city's Bureau of Transportation reports some street flooding around Portland.

We pass this on because the bureau's news release has some tips to clear the catch basin if your street is underwater ("use a rake or pitch fork," "Do not attempt to remove the grate," etc.) of debris. The bureau also has this number to call for help (503-823-1700) if you can't clear a catch basin and your street is starting to get that biblical feel to it.

Here's the entire release:

Surges of heavy rain and showers have resulted in

localized street flooding around the city today. The National Weather

Service forecast calls for continued heavy rainfall tonight and through

the weekend. Currently, no streets are closed due to high water, but the

traveling public is advised to be extra careful. Portland Bureau of

Transportation crews are responding to reports of flooded intersections

and are clearing clogged catch basins.

Individuals, households, and businesses can help lessen street

flooding by cleaning the storm drain inlets near their property before

and after a heavy rainfall. When catch basins (grated storm drains) get

clogged with recently fallen leaves and debris, water can no longer be

drained from the street. Water ponds along streets and can flood

intersections and homes.

To clear debris from a catch basin, stand on the curb and use a rake

or pitch fork to remove fallen limbs, leaves, and debris from the grate

so that water can drain easily. Do not attempt to remove the grate, only

the debris on top of the grate. Dispose of the debris properly by

putting leaves and branches in your curbside yard debris containers and

other debris in your trash receptacle. Do not sweep the debris into the

gutter. For leaves that have fallen on the street, rake them about a

foot from the curb, allowing water to flow to the catch basin without

the leaves.

If you are unable to clear a catch basin yourself, notify the City’s

Dispatch line at 503-823-1700 that help is needed at a particular

location. Crews will respond as resources and conditions allow.

The public is advised not to drive through standing water; instead,

turn around safely. Slow down when streets are wet, stay away from

puddles, try to drive in the tire tracks left by the vehicles in front

of you, and be on the lookout for pedestrians and bicyclists making

their way around standing water, especially in low light conditions.

Do not drive around barricades that close or restrict access to a

street due to high water, downed trees, downed power lines, or debris

slides. Disobeying a barricade that has a street closure or other

message sign on it is a Class B violation according to Oregon Vehicle

Code and may result in a $360 fine. Driving through high water creates

wakes that can cause property damage and flood houses and businesses. If

downed power lines are hidden under standing water, there is a risk of

electrocution. For information on local street closures and other

service alerts related to winter weather emergencies, visit