Record rain in Portland triggers sewer overflow into Willamette River

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PORTLAND, Oregon — A strong fall storm has drenched Portland in record rain and triggered a sewer overflow into the Willamette River.

The National Weather Service reports that Oct. 22 rainfall at Portland International Airport hit 1.8 inches by Wednesday evening, eclipsing the old mark for the day of 1.31 inches, set in 1951.

Just across the Columbia River in Vancouver, Washington, meteorologist Paul Tolleson says 1.61 inches fell by Wednesday evening, besting the old mark of 1.06 inches in 1963.

Tolleson says wind gusts on the north Oregon coast included 66 mph at Cape Meares and 59 mph at Garibaldi as well as 50 mph at Cape Disappointment in southwest Washington.

Portland's Bureau of Environmental Services warned the public to avoid contact with the Willamette River for at least the next 48 hours.

Agency spokesman Linc Mann said Wednesday's sewage overflow is the third such event in 2014. The warning covers an area from south of the Sellwood Bridge to the confluence of the Willamette and Columbia rivers.

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