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May Webinar: Levee Ready Columbia Addresses the need to Recertify the Portland Metro Area Levee System
May 27, 2020 @ 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
Mark Wilcox, Sr Project Manager at Multnomah County Drainage District, discusses Levee Ready Columbia.
A unique partnership to address a problem more common across the United States than most might think, Levee Ready Columbia (LRC) hopes to address the need to recertify the Portland Metro area levee system, and much more. The four drainage districts that span Portland, Gresham, Troutdale, and Fairview were spawned by the grassroots efforts of farmers and livestock interests over a hundred years ago. Periodic investments by the Army Corps of Engineers developed the modest levee systems -built to address the Columbia River spring freshet- into its substantial present form: 27 miles of levees and 12 pump stations. This system protects a variety of land uses, including Portland International Airport, a multitude of commercial and light industrial facilities (collectively generating $16B in economic activity), a host of recreational and natural resource assets, and critical infrastructure such as the Portland well field. The drainage districts are also the home of approximately 10,000 residents that depend on this system to fend of spring floods as well as more common “rain-on-snow” events in our evolving climate.