Floods, Landslides Shut Down Area Roads amid Deluge

Landslides, floods and rockfalls have closed a number of roads in Clackamas County roads following heavy rains that have pounded the Greater Portland Metropolitan Area this weekend.

Clackamas River Drive is closed between Highway 213 and Springwater Road until further notice, as is Southeast Gilbertson Road in Sandy. Both closures are due to landslides and debris covering the roadway.

Meanwhile, Telford Road between Rugg and Sunshine Valley in Boring is closed due to flooding.

No Title

High water closed Telford Road between Rugg Road and Sunshine Valley Road near Boring #ORwx pic.twitter.com/KHSOux37AF

Some areas recently burned during the Riverside Fire or other wildfires may be at increased risk of flooding and landslides.

Drivers along Highway 99E between Canby and Oregon City were impacted early Sunday morning, when Clackamas County deputies came upon a massive boulder that had been dislodged and rolled down the hillside.

The Clackamas County Sheriff’s Office says the boulder crashed down the hillside, breaking a tree and creating a large crater before landing on the highway.

A large boulder blocked northbound traffic on Highway 99E between Canby and Oregon City early Sunday morning.

The Oregon Department of Transportation, Oregon State Police and CCSO worked through the night to clear the obstruction.

Coalca’s Pillar.
Despite concern from some residents, it appears the boulder that fell was not related to Coalca’s Pillar, a well-known geological and historical oddity located a few miles north of Canby that’s also known as the “Balancing Rock,” the “Giant’s Golf Ball” and the “Devil’s Chimney.”

Though a CCSO spokesman was not able to confirm Sunday morning that the Balancing Rock had been spared, the monolith — which was something of a tourist attraction in the early 20th century, before the area slowly became more overgrown and less accessible — is located at least a mile south from where this rockfall occurred.

County law enforcement and emergency management officials urge residents to listen and watch for rushing water, mud and unusual sounds, such as trees cracking or boulders knocking together, which might indicate moving debris.

Clackamas Countians who venture out should also be wary of a faint rumbling sound that increases in volume — which would suggest a landslide may be drawing near.

During a landslide or debris flow: Heed all warnings and evacuation notices, and never attempt to cross a road with water or mud flowing. If you do get stuck in the path of a landslide, move uphill as quickly as possible, and avoid river valleys and low-lying areas during times of danger.

After a landslide or debris flow, stay away from the slide area, as there may be danger of additional slides. Listen to local media for the latest emergency information, and watch for flooding. Floods sometimes follow landslides and debris flows because they may both be started by the same conditions.

Check for injured and trapped persons near the slide, without entering the direct slide area. Direct rescuers to their locations. Allow trained professionals to check the building foundation, chimney, and surrounding land for damage.

Help us build a sustainable news organization to serve Canby for generations to come! Let us know if you can support our efforts to expand our operations and keep all of our content paywall-free. #SwimWithTheCurrent!