Reedsport tackles recurrent flooding

| Print |  Email
Articles - January 2011
Thursday, December 16, 2010
0111_ATS05
Reedsport flooded in 1934...
0111_ATS06
...and in 1964...
0111_ATS07
...and again in 2005.
The town of Reedsport’s efforts to revitalize itself into a tourist and retirement destination are being hampered by its historic problem with flooding.

In 2007, the Federal Emergency Management Agency announced a new mapping system for the national flood insurance program. In order for Reedsport, which is built on a marsh, to be part of this new remapping, the levees surrounding the town would need to be recertified.

“We’ve been jumping through hoops with FEMA to get it done, but we are working on it. We will be paying the Army Corps of Engineers to get the levee certified, but repairs need to be made,” says Scott Somers, city manager of Reedsport.

The Army Corps of Engineers built the levees in 1969 but after years of ground shifting, the levees are damaged. The town is currently working to find the funding to pay for the repairs.

The damaged levees are the main cause of repeated flooding in the area, most notably in 1964 when a flood put the town under 6 to 8 feet of water. Because of the constant flooding, businesses have been reluctant to invest in the area.

“I think owners, and potential owners, recognize that the area is near a levee and have been shy to invest or move in,” says Somers. “It’s difficult to promote economic development and job creation until this is done.”

As part of the plan to transform into a tourism-driven economy, Somers says the town recently approved a concept plan for a new entertainment plaza in the downtown area.

“We are calling it Rainbow Plaza,” he says. “Currently, it’s a large, square dirt lot which we use for most of the festivals in the area. We want to beautify it, put a hard surface down, add perimeter trees and shrubs and make it a place for concerts, discussions and other forms of entertainment.”

The town is also working with ODOT on grants to extend pedestrian and bike ways, as well as installing decorative lighting and ornamental trees.

“All of those steps combined will help make the area more attractive to tourists and those looking to relocate,” says Somers.

MAX GELBER
 

Comments   

 
2 sets if rules
+1 #1 Reedsport Flooding2 sets if rules 2011-01-12 09:51:35
How come cities are allowed to build in flood plains and home owners are not. Why are there always two sets of rules. One for government and one for the general public. I watched in Salem as 100 plus acres of prime farmland was taken out of production and a Home Depoe warehouse with 100 semi truck stalls and acres of blacktop put in. Yet a farmer can't build a home on his farmland where he wants to live and work the land. Now they ( government ) can break the rules and build in floodplains.. Go figure..
Quote | Report to administrator
 

More Articles

Reader Input: Road Work

March 2015
Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Oregon's roads are crumbling, and revenues from state and local gas taxes are not sufficient to pay for improvements. We asked readers if the private sector should help fund transportation maintenance and repairs. Research partner CFM Strategic Communications conducted the poll of 366 readers in February.

0315 input01 620px

 

Reader comments:

"I feel private enterprises are capable of operating at a higher efficiency than state government."

"This has been used in Oregon since the mid-1800s. It is not a new financing method. This form of financing may help Oregon close its infrastructure deficit by leveraging funds."


Read more...

Photo log: Murray's Pharmacy

The Latest
Friday, July 17, 2015
OBM-Heppner-Kaplan thumbBY JASON KAPLAN

Photographer Jason Kaplan takes a look at Murray's Pharmacy in Heppner.  The family owned business is run by John and Ann Murray, who were featured in our July/August cover story: 10 Innovators in Rural Health Care.


Read more...

Preserving the Legacy

July/August 2015
Monday, July 13, 2015
BY KIM MOORE | PHOTOS BY JASON E. KAPLAN

A New York floral and gift business takes on the iconic Harry & David brand.


Read more...

The 5 highest revenue-generating parks in Oregon

The Latest
Thursday, June 11, 2015
parksthumbBY JACOB PALMER | DIGITAL NEWS EDITOR

In 2014, total revenue for camping and day use in Oregon State Parks was a little more than $17 million. That figure may even higher this year "because we've had exceptionally nice weather," Hughes says.


Read more...

Staffing Challenge

July/August 2015
Monday, July 13, 2015
BY KIM MOORE

A conversation with Greg Lambert, president of Mid Oregon Personnel Services.


Read more...

6 key things to know about summer baseball in Oregon

The Latest
Friday, June 05, 2015
basedthumbBY JACOB PALMER | DIGITAL NEWS EDITOR

As temperatures in Oregon creep into the 90s this weekend, Oregonians' thoughts are turning to — summer baseball.


Read more...

Modern design defines new Portland indoor market

The Latest
Thursday, June 25, 2015
thumbSnøhetta JBPM exterior www mir noBY KIM MOORE | RESEARCH EDITOR

An international architecture firm known for its design of the National September 11 Memorial Museum Pavilion in New York unveiled its plan this week for a modern indoor/outdoor food market at the foot of the Morrison Bridge in downtown Portland.


Read more...
Oregon Business magazinetitle-sponsored-links-02
SPONSORED LINKS