Read the press release from Karen Carrillo, MCDD Public Affairs & Project Manager, just released 5/17/18. Feel free to email or call her with questions: firstname.lastname@example.org or 503-281-1132 ext. 302.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Portland, OR – Rising water levels on the Columbia River prompted the Multnomah County Drainage District (MCDD) to move to Enhanced Operations on May 12.
MAY 17, 2018
There is no immediate threat of a flood in the areas protected by 27 miles of Columbia River levees.
During Enhanced Operations, MCDD conducts weekly surveillance of the levee system, coordinates with partners such as the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the Portland Bureau of Emergency Management, and reaches out to the public to minimize inundation exposure to low-lying communities. At this time, no structural issues have been identified.
Some houseless camps are in areas that could be subject to flooding by rising water levels. MCDD is working with City of Portland Park Rangers and Multnomah County Joint Office of Homeless Services crews to conduct outreach to assist people living in those areas.
MCDD protects areas of North and Northeast Portland including Portland International Airport, Interstate 5, drinking water facilities and industrial and residential areas.
Communities and businesses depend on the continued maintenance and upgrade of the levee and flood risk management system. Levee Ready Columbia, a partnership of over 30 organizations, is working to ensure that the levee system meets the requirements for participation in federal programs and continues to reduce the risk of flooding for important regional assets in the area now and into the future.
According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s weather predictions, the Columbia River levels are expected to remain below 17 feet at the Vancouver Gauge over the next week. MCDD crews will keep monitoring the levee for signs of ponding or erosion and inform the community about significant changes or impacts to the levee system. Unusual activity can be reported to MCDD at 503-281-5675.
Seventy years ago, the 1948 Vanport Flood destroyed what was the second-largest city in Oregon. The flood killed 15 people and left 18,000 houseless. To raise awareness about flood risk and to commemorate the stories of survivors, MCDD will host a forum with community partners from 1-3 p.m. on May 28 at the Expo Center in
Portland. Emergency preparedness experts, advocates and disaster survivors will come together to discuss Portland’s current flood risks, levee readiness, and disaster preparedness along the Columbia River. More information is available at www.vanportmosaic.org.
You may have noticed higher than usual river levels on the Columbia River in recent days. Rising river levels are due to Spring snowmelt in the upper Columbia River Basin. Over the next 12 hours, river levels are expected to surpass 15 feet (at the Vancouver Gage) but remain below minor flood levels. Multnomah County Drainage District (MCDD) staff will begin surveillance of the levee system and keep a close watch on river levels.
There is no reason to be alarmed at this time – MCDD staff are taking precautionary steps to inform the community of the predicted conditions. We ask for your support in sharing the message below with Bridgeton neighbors, particularly those who live on or directly behind the levee. Additionally, if there are contacts that we should reach out to directly, we would appreciate if you could share those with us.
If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to reach me on my cell at 907-209-0370.
Thank you for helping to share this information with the community!
Public Affairs & Project Manager
1880 NE Elrod Drive Portland, OR 97211
Office: 503.281.5675 ext. 302