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Our Washington County community experienced significant tree and building damage, transportation impacts, power outages and overall disruption resulting from the wind, snow and ice events. Our road and traffic crews put in a lot of long, cold hours to clear or partially clear streets, plow and sand priority travel routes and make repairs to traffic signals. Here’s our update: 

Tree removal: A collaborative effort 

Our road crews

There were an unprecedented number of fallen trees on county-managed streets and roads resulting from the high winds starting Jan. 13. Crews always prioritize life safety by clearing at least one travel lane so people can get through. By clearing just one lane, crews are able to open lanes on more roads sooner. Our crews cannot clear fallen trees involving power lines until our PGE partners have made repairs and/or cleared the power lines.  

Now that weather conditions have improved, crews will return to clear any remaining travel lanes. This may involve: 

  • Making sure sufficient sight distance is maintained and signs are visible. 
  • Cutting large trees into rounds that will be left on the roadside for people to use or dispose of.  
  • Clearing sidewalks, bike lanes and areas where debris is impacting travel. 

This process may take several weeks. Depending on the size of the tree and/or extent of the debris, some locations may require several trips.

Please be patient. As always, we continue to focus on life safety, while working as efficiently as possible. We may hire local contractors to help expedite clean up where possible. 

To report fallen trees impacting one or more travel lanes on county-managed streets and roads: 

  • Online: Complete a Request a Road Service form. 
  • By phone 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Friday: Call 503-846-7623 (Road Maintenance) 
  • By phone after 5 p.m. and on weekends/holidays: Call 503-629-0111 (Washington County nonemergency) 
  • Email: [email protected].

NOTE: Report fallen trees only once. Do not report locations we’ve already worked on. We will return to finish clearing the travel lanes, sidewalks and bike lanes as soon as possible. 

Property owners 

Removing any trees and related debris on private property is the responsibility of the property owners. Property owners are also responsible for debris in the right-of-way adjacent to their properties that is not blocking sight distance, signs or access. See Washington County’s What to Recycle and Where to learn about disposal options. 

Property owners are also responsible for maintaining or removing damaged or leaning street trees adjacent to their properties. In unincorporated Washington County, property owners can plant new street trees next to their property without a permit.

Street trees cannot impact sight distance, signage, utilities or access when fully grown. See Approved Street Trees. A right-of-way permit is required if the planting process impacts traffic.

NOTE: Washington County cannot remove trees on private property.

Neighborhood disputes 

Washington County Land Use & Transportation does not get involved in neighborhood disputes, including disagreements about tree removal, maintenance or planting. Neighbors may be eligible for free mediation services through Beaverton Center for Mediation and Dialogue (east of 185th Avenue) or Hillsboro Mediation Program (west of 185th Avenue). 

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Before - Saturday, Jan. 13

After - Friday, Jan. 19

Traffic signal repair

Several traffic signals were out of commission starting Jan. 13 due to either wind and tree damage or power outages. Most notable was the signal at the NW Cornell Road/NW 118th Avenue intersection.  

During the Jan. 13 wind event, the signal poles and lights were damaged by wind and a falling tree. No injuries or vehicle damage resulted. Our crews responded, moving the damaged equipment out of the roadway, returning Jan. 15 to further assess the damage. Fallen trees and related debris has been cleaned up. A temporary signal was installed Jan. 19. 

A permanent repair will take significantly longer. The manufacturing and delivery timeline for the replacement pole can take about five months. 

Reminder: When traffic signals are out, treat intersections as four-way stops.  

Building permitting process

Our Building Services team is preparing for increased questions and permit applications resulting from storm-related damage to homes and businesses. 

In an emergency, such as damage created by falling trees or broken pipes, we ask property owners to start working directly with their insurance companies as soon as possible. Some minor emergency repairs, such as using tarps to cover damaged areas or plywood to cover broken windows, are allowed. 

If damage is severe, the fire departments may declare a structure unsafe for habitation until repairs are made. Once the owner has met insurance requirements and a contractor has been hired, they’ll go through the typical permitting processes. 

Learn more about our Building Permit Process

New Grabhorn snow zone makes its debut

The new Grabhorn Road snow zone was activated for the first time from Jan. 16-17 along with our three other snow zones

Following the first round of freezing rain, road crews were not able to immediately treat the road due to ice accumulation that prevented our trucks and plows from gaining traction, leading to a second snow zone activation late on Jan. 18-19.  

Our snow zones are on major streets in areas of high elevation with steep grades. When activated, snow zone warning signs flash, alerting drivers that traction devices are required due to severe road conditions. 

Snow zone locations: 

  1. 175th Avenue, between Scholls Ferry and Rigert roads 
  2. Barnes Road, 118th Avenue east to the County line, adjacent to a city of Portland snow zone 
  3. Cornell Road, Cedar Hills Boulevard east to the County line 
  4. Grabhorn Road, between Farmington and Tile Flat roads 

Learn more about snow zones and traction devices
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Washington County Department of

Land Use & Transportation