Heavy rain causes sewer to overflow into the Willamette

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Portland officials say recent heavy rainfall has caused its combined sewer system to overflow into the Willamette River.

The Bureau of Environmental Services says the overflows started at about 9:15 a.m. Sunday and continued into the afternoon. The agency says it doesn’t know how much leaked into the river.

KATU-TV reports that the bureau advises people to avoid the river downstream from the Ross Island Bridge for 48 hours after the overflows end.

The city says combined sewer overflows consist of about 80 percent storm water and 20 percent sewage.

The city says sewer overflows were reduced after the Big Pipe project was completed in 2011.