When a warehouse caught fire in Portland, Oregon last month, the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) determined that fire debris containing asbestos had been spread to a large surrounding area via the fire’s smoke plume. DEQ and U.S. EPA, which joined forces to manage the cleanup effort, set up a public information website in the format of a story map that included updates, photos and videos, and an interactive mapping tool showing the air quality status of testing blocs throughout the cleanup area.
The incident marked one of the first times that either agency had used the Story Map tool in managing an ongoing disaster situation, and the agencies’ use of GIS won praise from both professionals and the public on social media. Oregon DEQ reported that the two agencies’ capabilities complemented each other well, and that the story map experience was an example of the successes that such an effective partnership can bring.
For more information, please contact Oregon DEQ Public Affairs at (971) 284-7500.