The Oregon state geology department, formally known as DOGAMI, stocks earthquake maps for many parts of the state. The earthquake hazard map of the Mount Tabor Quadrangle includes Sumner neighborhood in NE Portland & its surrounding area.
Though the map is dated 1995, it does not include I-205, which was opened in 1976. And so this earthquake hazard map offers a glimpse into what our neighborhood looked like 35+ years ago.
Caption: Detail of a 1995 earthquake hazard map from the Oregon Dept of Geology
First the hazard details, then the historical details.
Hazard color code:
There are four shades in the map from pale yellow to deep red. They indicate relatively low hazard risk (pale yellow) to relatively high hazard risk (deep red). Most of the residential area of Sumner neighborhood is in the lowest hazard area, but some is in the next shade up. The industrial area and the north face of Rocky Butte are shown as the highest risk areas.
We’ll have another item about earthquake and neighborhood preparedness soon. In the meantime, here are a couple resources:
- Cascadia earthquake, tsunami could cost Oregon economy $32 billion, Oregonian, Feb 4, 2013
- Portland system of Basic Earthquake Emergency Communication Nodes (BEECNs), Portland Bureau of Emergency Management
- Portland Neighborhood Emergency Teams (NETs), Portland Bureau of Emergency Management
- Emergency Preparedness Toolkit, American Red Cross, Oregon Trail Chapter
Because the map does not include I-205, it instead shows what used to be in that space. Besides the missing freeway, another important item should be noted: This area — pretty much anything east of NE 82nd Ave — was unincorporated Multnomah County until the 1980s or 1990s. With those two important changes in mind, here’s an short list of items on the map but no more:
- Sandy Boulevard Drive In. This is shown on the north side of Sandy Blvd, where the SAN lot is now. The map even shows the placement of the screen in the NW corner of the property. A search of the Oregonian database shows that the drive-in held sunrise Easter Sunday services for about 25 years.
- Parkrose School. The current Helensview School, located on NE 87th at NE Sumner, operated as Sumner Elementary for many years, but is shown on this map as “Parkrose School.” (Prescott Elementary, at the intersection of Prescott and 105th, retains the same name today, but the Parkrose Junior High School is shown nearby as a collection of small buildings.)
- Sand and Gravel Pit. West of NE 82nd, the current Thomas Cully Park property is shown as a gravel pit. Local urban legend says that property was a landfill back in the day.
For comparison, here is the same area on a 1963 Texaco map. It shows Maywood Park — but not a tiny town surrounded by Portland. No. It was an actual park on the east side of NE 92nd between Sandy and Prescott. It’s now a fenced-off mound of grass owned by ODOT within the boundaries of the City of Maywood Park.