Warning system failed in industrial gas leak

City looking into why reverse 9-1-1 system did not work during Wednesday's toxic spill

Portland officials are trying to figure out why people living near Precision Castparts in Southeast Portland were not notified of a toxic spill Wednesday afternoon.

'We are looking into and will release the information as soon as possible, hopefully next week,' says Amy Ruiz, spokeswoman for Mayor Sam Adams, who oversees the city's Office of Emergency Management.

A private company called First Call is paid by the city to provide the emergency notification system, commonly called 'reverse 9-1-1.' It replaced a system operated by the Portland Police Bureau two years ago.

Only two city agencies are authorized to send the alerts, the emergency management office and the Portland Water Bureau.

The lead agency for the spill was Clackamas Fire District No. 1. Spokesman Steve McAdoo says the district requested the use of the system in Multnomah County. Residents of the Brentwood-Darlington neighborhood in Multnomah County were not notified, however. He is unsure whether it was requested in Clackamas County because the wind was not blowing in that requested.

Emergency management spokesman Dan Douthit says he does not know who McAdoo contacted for the notification to go out in Multnomah County.

'That is part of the investigation,' says Douthit.

Although two Precision Castparts employees and two firefighters were treated for contamination, no residents living near the plant on Southeast Harney Road near Johnson Creek Boulevard were injured during the incident.