PBOT crews practice placing flood wall along Marine Dr. - KPTV - FOX 12

PBOT crews practice placing flood wall along Marine Dr.

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It’s something they rarely have to use, but city crews spent Wednesday practicing setting up an emergency flood wall to protect businesses in north Portland.

It was a dress rehearsal so to speak, as the crews reviewed the processes involved in setting up the temporary flood wall on Marine Drive and Portland Road.

The wall is close to 10 feet tall, and the city has 150 feet of it to use if the Columbia River gets past flood stage.

The wall is set up to fill in where the permanent retaining wall has gaps. It crosses over Marine Drive to block rising water and protect nearby buildings from getting flooded.

With new employees joining the Portland Bureau of Transportation all the time, officials said they want everyone to be prepared for the unexpected.

“This is something we’ve been doing for decades now, practicing this,” PBOT’s Hannah Schafer explained. “It’s really important in this low-lying area right next to the Columbia River that we have all our crews trained up in the case that we would need to respond to a flooding event and protect the businesses and infrastructure in this area.”

While officials were glad to have new employees trained on the procedure, the wall is rarely needed. The last time the city set it up to block rising water was in the 1996 floods.

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