Portland levee concerns raised

Portland levee concerns raised

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers say trees, building and more erected on the Columbia River levee pose safety concerns and might need to be removed.

The 18.5-mile Columbia River levee and related structures protect $20 billion worth of property, including Portland International Airport and the city’s backup water supply, from deluge up to eight months a year.

Now, in response to levee failures in New Orleans during Hurricane Katrina, federal authorities say thousands of trees, buildings and other structures permitted in past decades atop the Columbia River levee pose safety concerns — and may need to be removed or altered.

The so-called levee encroachments include Marine Drive, hundreds of privately owned condos and other buildings, 4,000 trees, BPA transmission towers and miles of utility lines.

Read more at The Portland Tribune.

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