To the editor:

I'm writing to offer a possible solution to the area flooding.

I recently resided in Las Vegas, Nevada. During that time, they were working on a system, to avert their flooding problems. They tore up some streets, one of which was Craig Road, on the north side of town. Craig Road is a 5 or 7 lane street, and they closed one direction, and dug down 15 or 20 feet. They put in a flood tunnel, that was about 10 feet by 20 to 30 feet inside dimensions, then covered the tunnel up and made a street on top of the tunnel. They put many of these throughout the city. They tunneled under The Strip casinos, going down 40 feet below ground level, where necessary. They eventually diverted the water to Lake Mead, using tunnels and concrete waterways. 

Something like this, in a smaller degree, could be considered in Portland. I would think that the area where a retention pond is being considered, in the vicinity of the fairgrounds, could be a start, for a tunnel. The tunnel should begin at the river, and be a concrete tunnel of, maybe, 4 feet by 8 feet, possibly larger, or possibly a 6-foot round concrete pipe, about 2 or 3 feet below the flood point of the river, and be run through the east, possibly north side of town, possibly tied into a similar type drain system, which would connect into the tunnel, and connect with a drain system for the west end, connecting Haynes Park, and running to a retention pond, near the river, west of Portland. The retention pond could alleviate some of the rural flooding, before returning the water to the river.  My main thought is to get around the railroad bridge, that has some impediment of the river.

I'm no engineer, but I think that this could be made possible. It would be costly, burying the tunnel, but it could alleviate a major problem for Portland, and rural Jay County, if undertaken. There have been other possibilities mentioned, and nothing agreed on. This is merely an idea that the local politicians could consider, and possibly implement. This idea puts the flood water on the west side of town, rather than the northeast side, when it is diverted to a retention pond. 

I'm throwing out an idea. I would hope others would consider this, and add it to other possibilities, and debate the potential merits of it. It is different than anything brought up so far, and it may be time that a new idea were thrown into the mix. Input would be greatly appreciated.


Daniel E. Chase