US Army Corps of Engineers
Portland District Website

News Releases

  • January

    John Day Dam turbine spills oil into Columbia

    A turbine at John Day Dam in eastern Oregon spilled less than 25 gallons of oil into the Columbia River, Jan. 13. Crewmembers were performing maintenance on the unit and observed the spill after they restarted the system.
  • December

    John Day Dam Oil Leak Spills into Columbia River

    Maintenance technicians at John Day Dam estimated 63 gallons of oil spilled into the Columbia River from a pinhole leak in a turbine guide bearing chiller uncovered on Monday, Dec. 7.
  • Turbine at The Dalles Dam spills up to 200 gallons of oil, Corps deploys booms, skimmers and removes unit from service

    On Thursday, Dec. 3, a thrust hub cooling water pipe broke, spilling up to 200 gallons of oil into the Columbia River at The Dalles Dam. The equipment is part of a fish unit turbine designed to provide attraction water for migrating fish. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Portland District is dedicated to rapid spill responses and is in the process of containing as much oil as possible. The turbine is now isolated from the river.
  • November

    Corps replaces king piles, part of the “unsung heroes” of navigation

    A $2.1 million U.S. Army Corps of Engineers project to replace missing king piles, some of which have been in place since 1885. The project is part of a greater effort to repair pile dikes. In total, 68 new king pile markers sporadically from Puget Island (river mile 41) to Multnomah Falls (river mile 136) will go in.
  • Corps modifies operations to improve salmon passage at Detroit Dam

    The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is modifying operations at Detroit Dam to improve juvenile salmon downstream passage survival by releasing water exclusively through the upper regulating outlets when downstream passage rates are high.
  • October

    Spillway gate rehab closes Detroit Dam road

    A second season of rehabilitation of the Detroit Dam spillway gates begins Nov. 2, which will close the road on top of the dam. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers anticipates the work window and road closure to last through February 28, 2021.

News Stories

  • January

    Dam, that’s a lot of work: Bonneville buildings get face lift, cupolas

    Portland District put new roofs – one of the most vital parts of a building in the rainy northwest – on the Bonneville Project Office and Auditorium buildings, which are included in the list of National Historic Landmarks.
  • December

    Hydropower to the people: Mathematician brings energy to new position

    In the wet world of hydropower, a former math teacher has just donned a watery mantle to meet the changing demands of one of the oldest sources of energy.
  • Crowded crest in Portland confronts crafty crew of engineers, planners

    The Portland Veterans Affairs Medical Center campus sits on a 450-foot-tall basalt-rock hill south of downtown. Marquam Hill, also known as “Pill Hill” due to the amount of medical facilities clustered on its crest, is also crowded with homes, steep slopes and daily commuters (during non-pandemic times). These steep and rocky slopes garnered ridicule for Dr. Kenneth Mackenzie when he initially proposed to build a medical school on Marquam in 1914. According to Oregon Health and Science University’s historical collections, “The land, unusable to the railroad company, came to be known as ‘Mackenzie’s Folly’ in reference to its location on an inaccessible hilltop.”
  • November

    From self-hate to self-love: An Army veteran’s journey of healing

    Whatever else Anthony Johnson could say about his military service, it at least gave him a friend who cared enough to hide Johnson’s pistol away from him at a time when he might have used it to end his own life.
  • In Harm’s Way: Kyle Anderson goes above and beyond

    Kyle Anderson, a Corps' electrician at Lookout Point Dam is also a volunteer firefighter who was called into action when the Holiday Farm Wild Fire threatened his his hometown of Pleasant Hill, Oregon.
  • October

    Historic wildfires test Corps’ Willamette Valley projects

    The wildfires that closed in on the Corps’ 13-dam system in the Willamette Valley caused minor damage at four dam sites.