Following rainstorm, city says infrastructure improvements needed
City of Lake Oswego Public Works Director Erica Rooney provided a brief update on the aftereffects from the Monday rainstorm in the area during a Lake Oswego City Council meeting Wednesday, May 4.
Rooney said the city's systems were overwhelmed after three-quarters of an inch of rain fell in just about two hours. She said that a manhole was damaged from the event and that the city had to remove debris. She added that the city was continuing clean-up efforts. Flooding also led to temporary closures on Highway 43/McVey Avenue. Rooney said pinecones clogged drains, leading to rainwater flooding local streets.
"I've seen worse. We've had bigger catastrophe events. But it was very intense, came on quickly and we couldn't keep up with it," Rooney said.
Rooney and City Manager Martha Bennett said the event was a reminder about the need for infrastructure that is better equipped to handle increasingly severe weather events due to climate change.
"We've seen with climate change over the last 30 years … the high-intensity rainstorm we're starting to get, our old systems were not designed for that. They're designed for nine months of drizzle and we got what used to be a week's worth of rain in a couple-hours period," Rooney said.
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