Flash flood warnings issued as parts of Arizona and New Mexico could receive up to 150mm of rain over the next days.
Portland, Oregon has had its wettest single day on record, and there is more rain to come. The city recorded 76mm of rain on Monday, breaking the previous record set on November 19, 1996. The December average is 99mm.
Rescue workers have been working tirelessly to clear flooded roads and evacuate people from their homes and vehicles. There have been landslides in the area and even a sinkhole.
Dylan Rivera, a spokesman for the Portland Bureau of Transportation, called the weather an “extraordinary event that had extraordinary impacts”. Portland’s metropolitan area has already recorded 144mm of rainfall this month.
Portland’s combined sewer system has also been badly affected. On Monday it overflowed into the Willamette River and Columbia Slough.
The National Weather Service has flood warnings in effect right across the Pacific Northwest, and the rain is not expected to clear before Thursday. The next bout of heavy rain is expected during the Tuesday evening rush hour.
Some areas across the Pacific Northwest could well see a further 300mm of rain over the next two or three days. Such a forecast evokes memories of the epic floods in the area in January 2009.