Portland District Dam Safety

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers owns and operates over 700 dams nationwide that serve a variety of purposes including navigation, flood risk management, water supply, irrigation, hydropower, recreation, environmental stewardship and combinations of these purposes. The Portland District owns and operates 21 locks and dams in the Columbia, Willamette and Rogue river basins.
As part of the Corps' responsibility in managing these dams, the Corps maintains a comprehensive Dam Safety Program, whose primary objective is public safety. The Corps routinely inspects its dams and continually evaluates them for safety in accordance with the Dam Safety federal policies and industry best practices.
The Corps' dams are part of our nation’s landscape, integral to many communities and critical to watershed management.  Our dam safety professionals carry out a dam safety program to make sure these projects deliver their intended benefits while reducing risks to people, property and the environment through continuous assessment, communication and management.
View a Periodic Inspection at Hills Creek Dam:

The Corps' continuously evaluates its dams to current design standards using updated information and current states of practice. The District works to understand the risks associated with dams and manage risks to tolerable levels. The Corps is dedicated to the principle that life safety is paramount in decision making while ensuring its actions are in accordance with environmental protections. 

Be prepared

We urge property owners and those living and working near the rivers to understand their level of risk and take preparedness actions.  For virtually all emergencies, county emergency management offices are the first sources of information, the first responders, and the designated authorities for deciding upon and announcing evacuations:

 Counties can declare emergencies and request support from the State of Oregon.  If the emergency is of sufficient magnitude, the state may request federal assistance, including Corps emergency response.

People should always remain aware of the dynamic nature of water and storms.  Relying on dams isn’t a substitute for smartly managing one’s property and being prepared for an emergency.  Flood preparation and insurance information is posted at FEMA’s FloodSmart website: http://www.floodsmart.gov.