The Portland Bureau of Transportation is cautioning the public to be prepared for heavy rain and wind that could cause localized flooding.

The National Weather Service is forecasting the strongest storm system so far this winter. The strongest winds are expected between midnight and 6 a.m. on Saturday. Wind advisories are only issued when sustained winds are expected to be 31-39 miles per hour or gusts range between 45 and 57 miles per hour.

The City recommends Portland residents monitor conditions where they are traveling, watch the forecast, and use or Twitter @publicalerts as their source for emergency updates. Public Alerts provides links to street closures, highway road conditions, transit schedules and service alerts, and other emergency information. The Bureau of Transportation asks people to drive carefully and allow for extra distance when traveling in heavy weather conditions or when visibility is low.

The Transportation Bureau is adding a crew and dispatcher on Saturday to handle an expected increase in calls to remove road hazards, clear any clogged storm drains, and close roads temporarily in case of standing water.

Despite the increased rain, the risk of landslides isn't considered to be significant. Because November and December were relatively dry, the soil isn't likely to become over saturated with water.

Citizens can call transportation dispatch at 503-823-1700 to report debris, mud, rocks, trees, or branches blocking a road. Strong winds may bring fallen trees, tree limbs, and power lines in streets and yards. Report a downed power line in the Portland area to Portland General Electric at 503-464-7777 or Pacific Power and Light at 1-888-221-7070.

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