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Flood Mitigation Efforts

Project Money Goes 'Down the Drain' | October 2013

The state Motor Pool lost 150 vehicles and thousands of gallons of fuel in January 2012 when a flash flood caused damage in many areas of Salem. But Fleet & Parking Services recently completed an improvement project at the Motor Pool and staff report they are ready should Mother Nature put on a repeat performance.

Fleet & Parking Services staff; "We're ready for a flood."
By implementing new drainage strategies, the Airport Road property can now deal with an additional 250,000 gallons of water per minute. “In other words,” said manager Brian King, “we can now handle the same amount of water that would fill an Olympic-sized swimming pool in three minutes.” Guess they won't need that kayak. 

Several serious downpours in September gave the Motor Pool its first big wet test. The Motor Pool property is low to the water table and the property has a natural slope that lends itself to standing water. And then there’s Shelton Ditch, a creek that runs between Publishing & Distribution and the Motor Pool. But the September rains were no match for newly enlarged ditches in and around the property, which never filled to the top, or two new bio-swells (see photo below). 
Even the fuel tanks stayed high and dry now that Motor Pool installed a new inlet system that prohibits water from getting in. Also, the new valves are compliant with current EPA code, another benefit. 

bio_swell.pngAt any given time, the Motor Pool has between 150 and 200 vehicles on its lots, excluding personal vehicles of employees, and roughly 40,000 gallons of gasoline underground. “It is a good feeling, knowing we now have proven methods in place to handle Oregon’s abundant rains,” said Brian. “I want to thank our construction project manager Terry Moore, who did a great job working with Willamette Engineering and K & E Excavating; Fleet’s Richard Maxwell, who worked closely with Terry, K&E and the fuel-tank contractor; and landscape manager Tom Barrows.”

Fleet & Parking Services’ recent improvement project also included installation of LED lights on the back lot and park-and-ride lot, reducing energy consumption, saving $30,000 each biennium, and providing more light and increased safety to customers.

Photo caption: FPS employees declare "We are ready for a flood" in front of one of several "French drains" that were excavated to increase the flow of water away from the property. Participants left to right:

Back row: Todd Johnson, Ken Liedtke, Carl Crowe, Leslie Hanson, Linda Haun, Mike Warmoth, Steve Wassom

Holding the paddle: Kelly Hays, Tollie Emerson, Doug Inman, Tammy Inman

Kneeling: Martina Falk, Jeff Caughell