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The City of Portland, Oregon

Development Services

From Concept to Construction

Phone: 503-823-7300


1900 SW 4th Ave, Portland, OR 97201

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Upcoming FREE Lunch and Learn Presentation

 Lunch & Learn

Join the Bureau of Development Services Staff for a FREE Presentation and Discussion on 

The Portland Metropolitan Levee System and BDS’s Role in its Future

Friday, November 18, 2016 from Noon – 1:00 PM
2nd Foor Conference Room 2500A

Bureau of Development Services
1900 SW 4th Avenue, Portland OR, 97201 

On the south shore of the Columbia River, in the Portland, Oregon Metro area, lies a 12,000-acre area that relies on a federal flood control system managed by four drainage districts. The area, part of the Columbia Corridor, is critical to the economic future of the region. This system includes approximately 27 miles of levees and 45 miles of ditches and sloughs drained by 13 pump stations. The four drainage districts (the Districts) are: Peninsula Drainage District #1 (PEN 1), Peninsula Drainage District #2 (PEN 2), Multnomah County Drainage District #1 (MCDD), and Sandy Drainage Improvement Company (SDIC). MCDD acts as the administrative manager for all four.  

Since Hurricane Katrina, federal agencies have been instituting a new regime of levee and floodplain regulations. MCDD along with the Port of Portland, City of Portland, and Multnomah County have worked together to create a coalition of over 20 organizations, Levee Ready Columbia (LRC). LRC is committed to a collaborative and pro-active approach to flood risk reduction to ensure that the levee system meet federal standards.  

There are high economic, social, and environmental risks posed by these aging levees systems. The risk posed by flooding in the Columbia Corridor alone runs in the hundreds of millions of dollars. Local levee agencies require a reliable, long-term relationship with local governments, state, and federal partners to ensure resilient levee infrastructure in Oregon. This presentation will discuss the history of the drainage districts, how the levees and stormwater management system function, and how development impacts these flood reduction systems.