Oregon declares state of emergency in 13 counties due to winter storms

Oregon declares state of emergency in 13 counties due to winter storms
Oregon Governor Kate Brown declared a state of emergency in 13 counties late Thursday after days of extreme winds and rainfall caused flooding and landslides in the northwestern part of the state.

The affected counties include: Benton, Clackamas, Clatsop, Columbia, Lane, Lincoln, Linn, Marion, Multnomah, Polk, Tillamook, Washington, and Yamhill.

The declaration allows the counties to apply for state funding to repair damage, in addition to providing them with emergency response personnel that can respond to communities if local resources are stretched too thin.

A series of powerful storms and record rainfall have slammed the state since Monday, causing widespread flooding that has closed roads from Portland to the coast. At least two storm-related deaths have been confirmed by officials.

"Heavy rains and wind have required the evacuation of residences, and mudslides and high water have severely damaged or blocked major roadways in these areas of the state,” Governor Brown said in a statement. "The emergency declaration ensures state resources, emergency response personnel, and equipment can be activated to respond to communities in need if their local resources are exhausted."  

The deluge set a daily record in Portland, which saw 2.75 inches of rain on Monday alone, CNN affiliate KOIN said.

The storms also brought lightning strikes, and an F1-rating twister that reached maximum wind speeds of 15 miles an hour.

The state of emergency will remain in effect until the governor’s office lifts it.