Landslide sweeps away car in Oregon; people inside OK

Huge landslide on Burnside knocks vehicle off road

PORTLAND, Ore. -- Three men in a car were swept away by a mudslide in Portland Wednesday morning, but they all escaped without injuries.

Passenger Tyler Baker told KGW he was looking out the window and yelled 'Landslide! Landslide!' but it was too late. 

Driver Jason Baughman told KGW the car was pushed off the side of the road. "A split second, I was worried we were going to be buried but it only came up to the windows."

Raw Sky8 video: Car trapped in Burnside landslide

The trio, who were commuting from Aloha to Gresham,  got out of the car via a passenger window. All three, including passenger Scott Luther, told KGW that once they were out of the car and free of the debris,  they were laughing and enjoying the moment.

Their car appears to be the only vehicle involved in the landslide but much debris has yet to be cleared. Initially, emergency crews feared the worst. The Portland Fire & Rescue Bureau tweeted an "unknown number of cars involved."

Photos: 3 survive major West Burnside landslide

An initial report indicated that the slide could be 15 feet deep and 150 feet wide, and ground around the slide remains unstable. 

A flood watch takes effect Wednesday due to heavy rain and snowmelt, and the Oregon Department of Geology and Mineral Industries warns drivers should be aware that more landslides are possible.

"Be alert for landslide hazards as well as flood hazards as this heavy rain continues," said agency geologist Bill Burns. "Use extreme caution when driving, and avoid areas where landslides may be more likely to occur."

More: Rain not the only trigger for Portland landslides

File: West Burnside reopens after landslide

People, structures and roads located below steep slopes may be at serious risk, Burns said. In general, dangerous areas can include:

  • Bases of steep hillsides
  • Road cuts or other areas where slopes of hills have been excavated or over-steepened
  • Places where slides or debris flows have occurred in the past
  • Canyon bottoms, stream channels, and areas of rock and soil accumulation at the outlets of canyons

More from DOGAMI on debris flows and landslides

RELATED: Portland metro area under flood watch Wednesday night through Saturday

© 2017 KGW-TV


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