October 4, 2022

Whole Community News

From Kalapuya lands in the Willamette watershed

EWEB halts East 40th project after flying debris from blast damages home

3 min read
EWEB project staff and the blasting contractor meet with neighbors Sept. 20, 2021.

EWEB project staff and the blasting contractor meet with neighbors Sept. 20, 2021.

The Southeast Neighbors board heard about a blasting accident at the EWEB water storage site. During public comment, Sandra Bishop.

[00:00:09] Sandra Bishop: My name’s Sandra Bishop, I live up at 40th and Hilyard. Today our house was hit with rock from EWEB’s blast on the construction site at 40th and Patterson. Our house was struck with rocks up to the size of a softball. The projectiles came within three to five feet of hitting my husband. He had just gotten out of his truck, walked around the corner of the house, and there was a blast that was supposed to be underground and it threw rocks and projectiles into the air. The force of the rocks hitting the house was enough to crack the wood siding and overturn a rock on the ground. A rock bounced off the house to a rock on the ground and overturned it. The rock on the ground was about the size of a soccer ball. It took a lot of force to do that. A lot of debris sharp shards of rock, and mud. This is an outrageous negligence on EWEB’s part. They should never have been allowed to build this close to a residence and to operate this site in the middle of our residential neighborhood.

[00:01:26] They have stopped all work on this site for the time being to figure out what happened.

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[00:01:33] Southeast Neighbors Co-chair Devon Mann: Thanks, Sandra. And I did read the report today about this that EWEB sends out automatically. And I know that they have halted all construction, and everything is stopped now until they complete an investigation.

[00:01:50] Councilor Matt Keating: Thank you. I just wanted to let Sandra know that beyond whatever she is requesting from the neighborhood association, that I’m going to take my notes to the City Manager and to the Mayor, I’m going to call them both tomorrow and let them know I heard from you.

[00:02:03] And that’s a pretty unacceptable position to be in. I don’t know of any neighbor that would long for projectiles to be blasted into their home. And I’m shocked and alarmed, and I’m glad that you and your husband are safe.

[00:02:17] So I’m pleased that there’s a halt. I’m curious about an investigation, who’s doing the investigation, who do they report to? And I’d like a copy of that email, your testimony as well.

[00:02:28] John Q EWEB told neighbors this was not supposed to happen. Work is halted until they understand why, to ensure it won’t happen again.

EWEB is building two 7.5-million-gallon water storage tanks on the site. Original plans called for one tank in 2021 and a second tank 10 years later, but the EWEB board formally approved concurrent construction of two tanks at its April 2021 board meeting.

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