After Heavy Rain, Landslides Shut Down Roads on Portland’s Edges

Elsewhere, on a highway near Crater Lake National Park, rockslides brought down boulders the size of a living room.

Columbia River Gorge landslide (ODOT)

It's been a relentlessly rainy January, with no sign of slowing down. And all the precipitation has put Portland-area roads at risk of being buried by landslides.

Related: This January Is Portland's Rainiest Month in More Than Two Years

This morning, following a small landslide, the Oregon Department of Transportation announced that a two-mile section of the Historic Columbia River Highway will be closed until at least Wednesday afternoon while crews asses the threat of continued road damage.

"ODOT geologists and hydrologists inspected the area Tuesday morning and determined that the road should remain closed as a safety precaution," a release read. "The heavy rain forecast for the Columbia River Gorge could create further instability in an area prone to slides."

In Portland, the eastbound lane of West Burnside Street between Barnes Road and Skyline Boulevard is also closed while Portland Bureau of Transportation crews clean up debris from a Jan. 24 landslide.

"The slide remains active, with cracks at the top of the scarp that indicate a threat to public safety," the agency wrote in a statement. "The bureau needs to obtain specialized equipment to clear the material at risk of sliding […] We ask the public to travel cautiously, observe all directions by reader boards and flaggers, and use alternate routes."

Related: Avalanche Danger on Mount Hood Increases as Snow Depth Rises to Over Seven Feet

While there are only two active closures in the Portland area, Don Hamilton, an ODOT spokesperson, says there are a number of roads the agency is monitoring. Those include Highway 26 west of the Vista Ridge Tunnels; Highway 30 by the St. John's Bridge; and Oregon 99E south of Oregon City.

Elsewhere, on a highway near Crater Lake National Park, rockslides brought down boulders the size of a living room, KVAL in Eugene reported. One of the giant boulders narrowly missed a passing car, but it crashed into the next. Both passengers were taken to the hospital and about two miles of the highway are currently closed.

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