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Mt Tabor reservoirs - new argument to remove

One big quake and we are washed up.
It does not take a biowar paranoid bureaucrat to see the disaster waiting for SE Portland. The Mt Tabor reservoirs are not lakes, they are not even in natural basins. The reservoirs are contained by earthen berms built nearly 100 years ago. The lower one is at an elevation of about 300 feet, or about 50 feet above the neighborhood below. The higher one is over 50 feet higher yet.

I am not an engineer, but I know that no man made structure built nearly a century ago was built with the seismic safety standards understood today. If one or both of the west side reservoirs were to breach, a huge wall of water would crash onto SE Portland and not stop until it hit the river, and maybe beyond.

Covering the reservoirs should not be the issue. Removing them should be. The risks of maintaining these large reservoirs of water and destructive energy is too high to warrant their use as nice reflecting pools only seen by the relatively few who walk above them.
. 13.Oct.2003 09:51


what would you drink then?

What a way to go! 13.Oct.2003 10:54


Just think of all the random ways the Pacific Northwest affords people for checking out of this world. St. Helen's did in ole' Harry Truman. Multnomah Fall's sent a bus-sized chunk of rock off it's cliff, just missed taking out a wedding party. Can you see it: Wall of water wipes out ___ SE Portlanders!
We should preserve the reservoirs just for that reason! We have a volcano in that Park, as well as a potential Tsunami! S.E. Portland: A DANGEROUS PLACE TO LIVE!

Right on! 13.Oct.2003 11:34


I like the spirit of that last post!

Maybe we could get them to build more reservoirs up there, above ground, below ground, towering in the sky.

SE Portland, it just might kill you.

Re: Sam 13.Oct.2003 11:36

An Engineer

Sam writes: "I am not an engineer..." That is obvious, my friend. This is by far, the weakest arguement yet for destroying the reservoirs. Not only is this an unlikely threat, but these reservoirs have withstood several earthquakes already. If we had an earthquake large enough to catastrophically rupture on of these reservoirs, not only is the destructive potential questionable, but an earthquake of that magnitude would most likely to leave the reservoirs as being among the least of your problems.

Better off leaving them alone and simply burning the money that is proposed for this project. Sam is grabbing at straws.

I think Seismic Sam 13.Oct.2003 12:11

is probably

actually clueless Dan Saltzman in disguise. As head of the water bureau he probably is going to get payola aplenty from the contractor that gets to milk us for burying the reservoirs.

You improved my point 13.Oct.2003 13:35

Seismic Sam

Engineer, you helped the point. Someday we are going to have a big earthquake. Many buildings will come tumbling down. People will be killed. You say that when we get the double whammy of a man made tidal wave we should not care? It is one thing to have half the city in splinters, another much worse to have a violent flood, too.

When San Francisco had the big 1906 earthquake at about richter 8 there was extensive quake damage, but by far the worse damage came from the fire that followed. You are shortsighted to think of the "reservoirs as being among the least of your problems." If they breach they will be the most of our problems.

Sam jus' don't get it 13.Oct.2003 23:42

An earthquake

large enough to compromise the integrity of those reservoirs hits and all of downtown's high rises are toast, the Hospitals on Pill Hill tumble, streets are swallowed up a la Ghostbusters...
How much water do you think is in them? It's not enough to blanket Sunnyside, Richmond and Buckman in 6 inches of water, or would someone actually calculate based on its volume to let Sam's mind ease.