Levee Ready Columbia: Flood Protection for the Portland Community

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) certification of the levees in Multnomah County Drainage Districts (MCDD) Peninsula #1 and Peninsula #2 expired in August 2013.  The loss of the Corps certification risks the loss of levee accreditation under the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) National Flood Insurance Program.  Levee certification standards increased with the flooding caused by hurricane Katrina in 2005.  The MCDD estimates the potential cost of repairs to meet current standards at between $100 million and $200 million.  A group of stakeholders from government, business, environmental and community organizations convened by Portland Mayor Charlie Hales and Multnomah County Commissioner Jules Bailey will meet to identify collaborative solutions for property owners and interested parties within the effected drainage districts.

The first phase of the Oregon Solutions process focused on identifying needed improvements and associated costs of repair.  The second phase will focus on cost sharing, the regulatory approval process and other implementation issues.




  • Identify, fund, and implement necessary improvements to the Peninsula 1 and Peninsula 2 levees, so that they are certified by a consulting engineer as being protective of a 1% chance flood.
  • Achieve FEMA accreditation on a timeline and in a manner that will prevent the area from being designated on the City’s FEMA Flood Insurance Rate Map as a “Significant Flood Hazard Area”.
  • Create transparency in the process, so that residents and property owners are kept informed and are provided with opportunities for input and involvement.
  • Meet US Army Corps of Engineers standards to stay in the Corps’ Rehabilitation and Inspection Program (RIP).

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