Today, Portland City Manager S. Tutt Gorman provided an update on the ice jams and flooding in the area.
According to his media release, at about 10:22 a.m. Friday, ice jams on the Grand River broke up and caused additional flash flooding. In collaboration with emergency services personnel and city engineers, the decision was made to close the Grand River Avenue Bridge, the Bridge Street Bridge and the River Trail Pedestrian Bridge.
Several residents were immediately evacuated from affected areas with no injuries reported. Portland City Hall has been designated as a temporary shelter until a permanent shelter is established.
The Grand River continues to flood upstream and evacuations continue. The electric grid is in stable condition, but we may be disconnecting power in the affected areas.
The Wastewater Treatment Plant has been operating at levels far exceeding its design due to excessive storm water that has entered the system.
In order to protect the health and safety of our residents, partially treated or untreated wastewater has been discharged into the Grand River during this event. The city has provided notice to all required agencies.
The city’s water system is fully operational with no issues reported.
City officials have been in further discussion with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers who restated that using explosives or other means to break the ice is not effective and problematic under these conditions.
The city, along with county and state agencies, continues to monitor this active situation and will provide more information as the event progresses.