Lents neighbor drains flooded SE Foster Road

The City of Portland overlooked this rainy-weather trouble spot – discover why they may have caused the problem …

Long-time Lents Neighborhood resident Joyce Beedle put on her hip waders and cleared storm drains of debris she believes came from land owned by the Portland Bureau of Environmental Services. Hours later, it’s still draining!

Story and photos by David F. Ashton
We certainly didn’t get the hurricane-like conditions predicted by the forecasters on November 12 – but many of the outer East Portland streets that are prone to flooding were again underwater for hours.

Police simply closed SE 92nd Avenue, between SE Foster Road and SE Division Street – a perennial trouble spot.

Foster Road floods, but not Johnson Creek
We were surprised to learn that Johnson Creek was flowing well below flood stage, even with the heavy rainfall.

Yet, for hours, all lanes but one eastbound on SE Foster Road, just west of SE 111th Avenue, was flooded.

“This morning my son couldn’t bicycle safely to school, because all of the westbound lanes, the turning lane, and one of the eastbound lanes were completely underwater,” reported long-time Lents Neighborhood resident, Joyce Beedle.

Calls it a ‘predictable problem’
By the time we arrived, the water had receded, and only one westbound lane – and the bike lane – were underwater. That was thanks to the intrepid Beedle.

She said she put on her hip-waders, grabbed a pitchfork, and pulled leaves and grass out of the storm drain grates. “It was clear to me that the City of Portland wasn’t going to do it,” she explained.

The water from the leaf-and-grass choked storm drains backed up – and also flooded SE 111th Avenue.

The worst part, she added, is that this flooding was totally predictable – and not because of problems with Johnson Creek.

“Two days ago,” Beedle noted, “the City of Portland’s Bureau of Environmental Services mowed the property they own along Foster Road. The storm water drains were clogged with fresh grass clippings and leaves. There aren’t any trees or grass near the storm drains. I would prefer that they take care of the property in such a way that traffic is not impeded on SE Foster Road.”

So, if you drove along SE Foster Road on Wednesday, please know that it was a neighbor who helped drain the water from the street, and provided you with a safer trip!

No homes or businesses were damaged due to the flooding.

© 2008 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News

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