Emergency Response & Preparedness


In October 2018, the Columbia Corridor Drainage Districts began drafting a Natural Hazard Mitigation Plan (NHMP) Annex to Multnomah County’s NHMP. The original plan includes Multnomah County and the Cities of Fairview, Gresham, Wood Village, and Troutdale. The City of Portland has its own Mitigation Action Plan. The Annex will assess the risk of natural hazards to the Districts and potential mitigation actions the Districts can take to make the community more resilient. Strategies can vary from infrastructure upgrades to risk communication efforts, emergency response training to interagency coordination.

In January 2019, MCDD staff brought together a local stakeholder group to inform the planning efforts and an Annex Steering Group, which included representatives from each of the four Districts. The ideas and concerns from these meetings will be converted into mitigation actions, prioritizing actions that address natural hazards with “Medium” or “High” risk to the Districts. A draft of the Annex is planned to be posted here for public comment and is tentatively scheduled to be released in March 2019.

To find out more, please reach out to Brian Eberhardt at beberhardt@mcdd.org.


During high water and heavy rain events, the Districts implement emergency action plans to keep levees and facilities functioning to protect life, property, and the environment. But, what is a high water or heavy rain event?

Impacts of wave wash on the MCDD Marine Drive levee - 1996 flood

Above: Impacts of wave wash on the MCDD Marine Drive levee – 1996 flood. 

High Water Event: The Columbia River or Columbia Slough has high water levels (normally occurring when the Vancouver Gauge measure the Columbia River at 15′ or higher). In these conditions the river is well above its natural banks and water is pushing against the levees. This occured most recently in March of 2017. Our response to a flood event is described in detail in our Flood Emergency Action Plan, July 2016 Version 1.0


Rain event: Heavy rainfall in a short amount of time may raise water levels within the Districts and possibly cause isolated flooding of certain areas in the Districts. Our internal drainage system is put to the test during this type of emergency event. This occurred most recently in December of 2015.
Note: Both of these events can happen at the same time or separately! 

MCDD works closely with partner agencies to ensure a coordinated approach during emergency events. Our key emergency partners include Multnomah County Emergency Management, Portland Bureau of Emergency Management, US Army Corps of Engineers emergency management, and the Port of Portland emergency management. The Districts also coordinate with landowners and non-profit and community organizations in the districts during emergencies. If you have questions regarding emergency management at the Districts, please contact Project Manager Brian Eberhardt at beberhardt@mcdd.org or 503-281-5675.

Learn more about past flood events the Districts have experienced here

Evacuation Plans
Though the Districts are a first responder in a flood event, the organization of an evacuation and the provision of personal services is coordinated by your city.  To see the City of Portland evacuation plan specific to PEN 1, PEN 2, and MCDD, check out their webpage here. The Cities of Gresham, Fairview, and Troutdale explain basic evacuation protocols in their basic Emergency Operations Plans.

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