GENERAL INFORMATION: 503-823-7404
1120 SW Fifth Ave, Suite 600, Portland, OR 97204
Teresa is well known throughout the Portland Water Bureau as one of our capable office managers. She is also a survivor of the Mount St. Helens eruption on May 18, 1980.
Here is her story.
After arriving in Washington in May 1980, I was given the choice to go camp at the Pacific Ocean or a volcano. On May 17, we loaded camping gear and headed toward Mount St. Helens.
At about dusk, we turned onto a gravel road and passed a sign that read “Entering Red Zone.” I had no idea what this meant. As we neared a ridge, we decided to camp and steered the 1958 pickup down a sloping trail to a small clearing.
The next morning, I heard an enormously loud violent rumbling of what I took to be thunder, but there was sunshine and no hint of rain. In the blue sky, a black cloud roiled upward in the distance and then a dark grey cloud charged toward us. As I yelled for my companion, I stood mesmerized by the largest lightning bolt I had ever seen.
“She’s gone off,” my friend yelled.
Suddenly, it was pitch black all around us. I was pelted by what felt like hailstones and could hear them hitting the ground around me. I followed my friend’s voice to the truck where he grabbed a flashlight, but it was useless—no light penetrated the darkness. Inside the cab, we wet bandanas and covered our faces to keep the ash out of our lungs in the stifling air.
We backed the truck up the steep trail with my companion dangling from the truck’s side shouting steering instructions as I struggled to operate a clutch for the first time, intermittently grinding the gears. It took about an hour to return to the gravel road.
By then, the ash fall was light enough to see about two to three feet with the truck headlights altered downward. He drove while I leaned out the window swiping away the constantly falling ash off the windshield. We yelled and used the horn to find others in the dark. We found a youth group immobilized by the dense ash. My companion lowered their headlights and encouraged them to keep moving forward.
Time went by very slowly, as did we. Eventually the ash fall lessened and we could increase our speed. A few hours later, we made it to a small café in Randle, Washington, seeking refuge. I realized when I looked into the restroom mirror why we were so fiercely stared at as we entered. We both were wearing sunglasses with bandanas pulled over the top rims and still had the wet bandanas on our faces. When I untied the bandana from my hair, the sink suddenly filled with a thick layer of ash and pumice.
Later, we happened upon an off-season lodge that became an emergency refuge. Two days later, we were able to travel. I called my mother to let her know I was okay. She responded with “What volcano?”
Once home, I realized my first, and last, perm had not fared well, having been coated for days in abrasive rock ash. I did receive a proposal of marriage from my companion who was impressed that I had not panicked at any moment during our experience.
I still look at pictures and read about Mount St. Helens, sometimes fascinated and sometimes emotional when I realize again just how close to the edge of disaster we were and how much different the experience would have been if we had gone to the next ridge.
Hosted by the Association of Northwest Landscape Designers (ANLD), this self-guided tour allows visitors to experience beautiful eastside gardens, meet local landscape designers, take in original art, and gather landscaping ideas.
This year there are seven exquisitely designed gardens to visit. From stunning personal garden retreats to gardens filled with incredible plant collections to finely crafted hardscapes and garden décor, there is something for everyone.
Talk with local experts about the water-wise plant options you see along the tour. You’ll find that saving water is beautiful! When the right plant is in the right place, everyone is happy! The Portland Water Bureau will have a table nestled in one of the water-efficient gardens on the tour.
This year the Portland Water Bureau has two ANLD Garden Tour tickets to give away!
To win a tour for two, simply comment on this post with your favorite water-wise plant. We’ll randomly choose from everyone who submits a comment. Winners will be contacted by June 1, 2016.
Tickets are also available at Al’s Garden Center, Garden Fever, Portland Nursery, The Gardener’s Choice Garden Center, and online at www.anld.com.
The Water Bureau is not just a place where people work, but a place where people come to stay. We have a strong commitment to customer service, equity, diversity, responsiveness, community involvement, and environmental stewardship.
Current Job Opportunities
|Position||Emp. Type||Salary||Closing Date/Time||Join Our Team|
|Assistant Program Specialist||Full Time||$4,106.00 - $6,324.00 Monthly||Mon. 05/23/16 4:30 PM Pacific Time||Apply Here|
|Engineering Technician II||Full Time||$26.64 - $33.99 Hourly||Mon. 06/06/16 4:30 PM Pacific Time||Apply Here|
|Surveying Aide II||Full Time||$24.26 - $28.24 Hourly||Mon. 06/06/16 4:30 PM Pacific Time||Apply Here|
Learn More about the Water Bureau
For more information on jobs at the Water Bureau, contact the Water Administrative Manager at 503-823-1956 or by e-mail.
Participants lined up to take part in the main break simulation led by tradeswomen from the Portland Water Bureau at the annual Women in Trades Career Fair, produced by Oregon Tradeswomen, Inc., last weekend. This interactive fair encourages middle and high school girls and women to explore the possibility of a future career in the trades.
For more than 13 years, women from the Portland Water Bureau have been a key part of this unique event with the goal of promoting and supporting the advancement and employment of women in the trades.
Young girls and adult women suited up in rain ponchos, boots and other safety gear to learn about the real work that talented and dedicated tradeswomen at the Portland Water Bureau perform every day.
“The Portland Water Bureau is a great place to work and build a career. I am proud that we have steady participation in the Women in Trades Career Fair, which strengthens our future workforce,” said Michael Stuhr, Water Bureau Administrator.
Many Portland Water Bureau employees attended with their daughters, who gained first-hand experience by jackhammering with the Bureau of Maintenance, climbing a ladder with Portland Fire and Rescue and climbing utility poles with Portland General Electric.
For more information about this successful event, please visit http://www.tradeswomen.net/fair/. To get to know tradeswomen at the Portland Water Bureau, check out these past blog articles here, here, and here.
The Bull Run water system is designed to capture and store rainfall from the rainy season to provide an adequate water supply during the dry summer months. The city has an additional, high quality water source in the Columbia South Shore Well Field which augments summer supply. This groundwater source is the state's second largest water supply after Bull Run.
Since 1993, the Water Bureau has developed annual contingency plans for summer season supply. Each spring an interdisciplinary team evaluates a range of variables related to water supply and demand. These include available water supplies, past and projected water demand, the impacts of regional conservation programs, public health protection, water quality, and native fish protection to name a few.
The plan is used to guide operational strategies to ensure the Portland Water Bureau continues to provide high-quality drinking water to our customers while meeting all of our system’s needs.
Looking Back, Moving Forward
The Water Bureau's 2015 Summer Supply summary can be viewed on our website along with tips to use our water wisely. The 2016 Summer Supply Plan is currently being developed and will be posted online as well.