Evacuations lifted in Dodson after landslide, recovery efforts continue


Recovery efforts of one woman who was swept away in the landslide continues

Aftermath of a landslide near Dodson, Oregon on Jan. 13, 2021. (MCSO)

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office said Saturday evening evacuations would no longer be necessary in Dodson after rain triggered multiple landslides in the area earlier in the week.

In addition, One eastbound lane of I-84 remains closed at MP 35. Recovery and debris removal is expected to continue “indefinitely,” officials said.

According to a preliminary report from engineers hired by Multnomah County to assess the hillsides south of Dodson, evacuations are no longer necessary, but recovery operations are ongoing.

About 25 households were urged to evacuate early Wednesday, Jan. 13, after excessive rain caused multiple landslides and debris flows in and near the community. One local resident, Jennifer Moore, was swept away while driving home after debris flow near the intersection of NE Frontage Road and the Ainsworth State Park exit off I-84. The recovery operations continue in that case, officials said.

On Wednesday, state geologists flew over the area to document the landslide and surrounding area to better understand the geography and geology. The hillsides south of Dodson were burned by the Eagle Creek Fire in 2017.

Evacuation recommendations remained in place in the days following the landslide due to concerns of hillside instability. Recent assessments indicate there is not an imminent threat, or high likelihood, of second debris flow at this location. However geologists noted that there are inherent risk of living in this area of the Columbia River Gorge and that the risks of debris flow at that location should be considered higher than nominal levels.

A report from Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office and Emergency Management will be made available to the public once it is finalized. MCSEM is also planning a meeting for area residents in the community, whom officials also thanked for their patience and understanding during this challenging time.

The recovery effort was supported by a number of local agencies: Clackamas County Sheriff’s Office, Oregon State Police, Lake Oswego Fire Department, Portland Fire & Rescue, Gresham Fire Department, Cascade Locks Fire Department, Corbett Fire District and Oregon Department of Transportation.

Follow Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office on Twitter for the latest updates.

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