Arctic blast downs more than 350 trees, large branches in Portland

Portland is currently facing a severe ice storm, a weather condition that the area is not typically accustomed to. This storm has led to significant challenges for the city, particularly concerning older trees and water pipes. Arborists across the Portland metro area are actively responding to emergencies, witnessing trees falling due to the harsh conditions. Jonathan Pearce from Bartlett Tree Experts described the situation as devastating, with multiple trees collapsing onto houses. In his 25 years of experience, Pearce attributes the combination of high winds and ground saturation as a significant factor contributing to the fallen trees. The overly wet soil, particularly before the winter wind storm, weakened the shallow root systems of many Douglas firs and oaks.

Pearce anticipates more issues as the ice storm progresses. Overextended limbs, carrying much more weight than usual, and freezing temperatures could potentially lead to more limbs breaking. He advises homeowners with tall trees near their residences to watch for warning signs like ground movement and roots shifting during windy conditions. For those living in two-story homes surrounded by tall trees, staying on the first floor or considering staying in a hotel is recommended.

Burst Pipes and Water Main Breaks

The Portland Water Bureau is also facing challenges with burst pipes and water main breaks. Since the storm started, they have received nearly 1,400 calls for service. They expect more breaks in the coming days due to the chilling temperatures affecting the watershed. It takes about 5 to 7 days for the water to travel from the watershed into the city’s system, and this change in temperature tends to impact the pipes.

To prevent frozen pipes, the Portland Water Bureau suggests opening cabinets to your faucets and letting water drip. Knowing where your water main shut-off is located is crucial in case of an emergency. In the event of a water main break, residents are advised not to call 911 but instead contact the Portland Water Bureau’s dispatch line.

Preventive Measures and Safety Tips

Experts recommend finding a trusted arborist to check trees annually before winter to prevent such emergencies. Additionally, for any water-related issues, the Portland Water Bureau’s dispatch line should be contacted. KOIN 6 News has provided this information on their website, along with more tips to stay safe during this arctic blast.

Read More:

In conclusion, the severe ice storm in Portland has brought about critical challenges for both the city’s older trees and water pipes. The situation requires immediate attention from arborists and the Water Bureau, with the community urged to take preventive measures and remain vigilant. The ongoing response and the efforts to mitigate further damage are crucial in ensuring the safety and well-being of Portland’s residents during this challenging time.

Leave A Reply

Your email address will not be published.