Underpasses closed after brief storm

Rain floods Third, Franklin in Bend; crews reopen streets by late evening

By Rachael Scarborough King / The Bulletin
Published: June 05. 2007 5:00AM PST

The brief but torrential storms that moved through Bend on Monday night flooded underpasses and roadways throughout the city, Public Works Director Ken Fuller said.

The Franklin Avenue and Third Street underpasses were closed for a few hours starting around 7 p.m. Monday, Fuller said. The westbound lane of the Greenwood Avenue underpass was also shut, although the eastbound lane stayed open. It did not appear that any houses had been flooded.

Fuller added that the flooding stranded one car in the middle of a pool of water at the Third Street underpass. Public Works Department crews were quickly dispatched to pump out the water, and Fuller estimated that all of the roads would be reopened by 10 p.m. Monday.

“We’re getting everything manned up and out there on the street … and we should have things cleared up pretty fast,” he said. “It looks like it’s just this one thunderstorm dumped on us and hopefully that’s it for the day.”

The rainfall did not appear to have set any records, said Mary Smith, a forecaster with the National Weather Service in Pendleton.

“There may be some local areas that could get some pretty significant amounts of rain, but I would have a hard time seeing any records,” Smith said.

The next few days will see cool temperatures and a good chance of rain, she added. The forecast high for today and Wednesday is only in the 50s, warming up slightly to the low to mid-60s on Thursday.

“We have a pretty strong low-pressure system coming across, and we’re just starting to see some thunderstorms ahead of that system, but then as it moves across (Monday night) and kind of remains over us through midweek, we will have periods of rain and much cooler temperatures in the afternoon,” Smith said.

Friday and Saturday look drier, but there could be a chance of rain again on Sunday, she said.

Lightning from Monday night’s storms also started one small fire in the Des-chutes National Forest, according to the Central Oregon Interagency Dispatch Center. COID Floor Supervisor Jerry Barney said that a fire about one-tenth of an acre in size started near Paulina East Lake. He estimated that the two engines working on it would contain the blaze by Monday night.

“We’re getting lots of rain with everything, and so far no other new starts right now,” Barney said. “Plenty of strikes though.”

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