Portland city officials look into flooding problem

6:21 PM, Mar 8, 2013   |    comments
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PORTLAND, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- The city of Portland has started the process of looking into seeing if there's anything that can be done to stop flooding down on Portland Pier, which is common during storms when high tide is a concern.

City staff, the City Council Committee on Sustainability, and Portland Society of Architects met in December to address the problem.

They're looking into everything from increasing the height of buildings and piers to rearranging zoning, and they're focusing on the back cove and waterfront as the areas most prone to flooding in the city.

Flooding was an issue during high tide Friday morning after a storm passed to the south.  Water splashed onto the pier near J's Oyster Bar and several nearby law firms and condos.

The flooding can be a nuisance for many businesses who try to do everything to stay open when flooding occurs.

"As business owners we have to be aware of how much water goes in the basement in order to make sure we don't lose power. At our ice cream store, that's not a good thing," Captain Sam Ice Cream Owner Karen Morgan said.

"We're pretty used to it.  I don't really know what else you could do other than renovate the pier, or plan it out a little better," J's Oyster Bar employee Nate Perry added.

Portland city officials said there's no timeline for any future meetings or plans to make changes to try and stop the flooding, and it could be many years before any action is taken.

The city has been working with South Portland, Old Orchard Beach, Wells, and other coastal communities as it begins to start the conversation about potential ways to solve the problem.


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