Congressman Earl Blumenauer on October 9th announced that the U.S. Department of Homeland Security's Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is awarding a $2.7 million 'Pre-Disaster Mitigation Grant' to be matched in part by the City of Portland and used to conduct its 'Portland East Lents Floodplain Restoration Project'--an effort to create flood storage and improve Johnson Creek's flow conditions in an area that has been subject to repetitive flood damage.

FEMA and Oregon Office of Emergency Management officials will be in Portland in early November to formally award the grant to the Portland City Council.

The Pre-Disaster Mitigation Grant will fund the restoration of over 20 acres of floodplain in the Johnson Creek watershed. This work is part of a comprehensive approach to allow areas to flood naturally--providing flood storage, while improving water quality and creating habitat for fish and wildlife. The City of Portland purchases frequently flooded properties through a 'willing seller' program, and currently owns 160 acres in four target areas.

Blumenauer said, 'In 2001, Portland demonstrated national leadership in addressing flooding by earning a Class 6 Rating in FEMA's Community Rating System (CRS). The CRS provides discounts on floodplain insurance based on local community programs to reduce flood risk. Currently, Portlanders receive a 20% discount on their flood insurance and may qualify for a 25% discount when Portland revises their status in the program later this year.'

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