Public Works prepares for storms packing heavy rain, high wind

VANCOUVER – Clark County Public Works is ready to respond to two major storms expected to begin hammering the region Thursday.

The heaviest rain is forecasted to fall Saturday as remnants of Typhoon Songda roll into the Pacific Northwest, bringing with it wind gusts of 30-65 mph.

Clark County crews will be prepared to remove fallen trees and branches from county roads, clear blocked storm drains and plugged culverts, monitor roads and bridges in flood-prone areas and, if necessary, close roads because of standing water.

Drivers should never ignore or move closure signs and drive through water. Half of all flood-related deaths occur in vehicles. A small car can be swept away by as little as 1 foot of rapidly flowing water.

Weather-related problems outside city limits can be reported to Clark County Public Works by calling (360) 397-2446. After-hours calls are forwarded to an answering service that will dispatch crews as necessary.

For urgent situations that pose an immediate threat to public safety, call 911.

Downed power lines or trees that have fallen into power lines should be reported to Clark Public Utilities at (360) 992-3000. Always assume a downed line carries a live charge.

Public Works posts road closures and other storm information on its Twitter account, ClarkCoWa_PW.

Clark County has a limited supply of sandbags and sand at 4700 N.E. 78th St. and 11608 N.E. 149th St. Residents should bring their own shovels to these self-serve sites and take only what they need. Please do not call 911 to request sandbags.

The upcoming storms are not expected to cause significant river flooding, but street flooding could result from clogged storm drains and plugged culverts. For this reason, residents should not blow, rake or sweep leaves and other debris onto streets, where they can block storm drains, cause flooding and create driving hazards.

Clark County and the city of Vancouver provide coupons for free disposal of up to 5 cubic yards of leaves at four locations. Coupons are available on the county’s website, www.clark.wa.gov/public-works/leaf-disposal, and can be used through Dec. 31.

To help prevent flooding on neighborhood streets with relatively light traffic, residents can clear clogged storm grates by standing in a safe place and using a rake or other garden tool to pull leaves and debris from the path of flowing water.

Residents should not try to clear storm drains on busy streets. Call Clark County Public Works at (360) 397-2446 to report clogged storm drains or flooding outside city limits.

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