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Boardman, Oregon
Boardman water tower (before 2017)
Boardman water tower (before 2017)
Motto(s): 
On the river, on the way
Location in Morrow County and Oregon
Location in Morrow County and Oregon
Country United States
State Oregon
County Morrow
Incorporated May 20, 1921
Area
 • Total 4.17 sq mi (10.80 km2)
 • Land 3.77 sq mi (9.77 km2)
 • Water 0.40 sq mi (1.04 km2)
Elevation
308 ft (94 m)
Population
 (2010)
 • Total 3,220
 • Estimate 
(2019)
3,749
 • Density 994.43/sq mi (383.90/km2)
Time zone UTC-8 (Pacific)
 • Summer (DST) UTC-7 (Pacific)
ZIP code
97818
Area code(s) 541
FIPS code 41-07200
GNIS feature ID 1136082

Boardman is a city in Morrow County, Oregon, United States on the Columbia River and Interstate 84. As of the 2010 census the population was 3,220. It is currently the largest town in Morrow County, Oregon

Geography

Boardman is in northeastern Oregon, along Interstate 84 south of the Columbia River. The city is 308 feet (94 m) above sea level. It is 25 miles (40 km) west of Hermiston and 164 miles (264 km) east of Portland.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 4.17 square miles (10.80 km2), of which, 3.79 square miles (9.82 km2) is land and 0.38 square miles (0.98 km2) is water.

Climate

Boardman has a steppe climate (Köppen BSk).

Climate data for Boardman
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °F (°C) 70
(21.1)
74
(23.3)
80
(26.7)
92
(33.3)
102
(38.9)
106
(41.1)
109
(42.8)
107
(41.7)
100
(37.8)
88
(31.1)
76
(24.4)
68
(20)
109
(42.8)
Average high °F (°C) 41.3
(5.17)
47.9
(8.83)
57.8
(14.33)
65.6
(18.67)
74
(23.3)
81.4
(27.44)
90.1
(32.28)
88.5
(31.39)
79.4
(26.33)
66
(18.9)
51.1
(10.61)
41.4
(5.22)
65.4
(18.56)
Average low °F (°C) 27
(-2.8)
29.2
(-1.56)
34
(1.1)
39.6
(4.22)
46.8
(8.22)
53.7
(12.06)
58.8
(14.89)
57.7
(14.28)
48.7
(9.28)
39
(3.9)
32.9
(0.5)
27.9
(-2.28)
41.3
(5.17)
Record low °F (°C) -13
(-25)
-13
(-25)
10
(-12.2)
21
(-6.1)
30
(-1.1)
35
(1.7)
39
(3.9)
39
(3.9)
25
(-3.9)
11
(-11.7)
-9
(-22.8)
-15
(-26.1)
-15
(-26.1)
Precipitation inches (mm) 1.23
(31.2)
0.85
(21.6)
0.67
(17)
0.65
(16.5)
0.69
(17.5)
0.5
(13)
0.22
(5.6)
0.29
(7.4)
0.39
(9.9)
0.6
(15)
1.14
(29)
1.32
(33.5)
8.55
(217.2)
Snowfall inches (cm) 1.9
(4.8)
1.3
(3.3)
0.2
(0.5)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0.1
(0.3)
0.5
(1.3)
2.7
(6.9)
6.7
(17)
Avg. precipitation days 9 7 6 5 5 3 1 2 3 4 9 9 63

History

Boardman was homesteaded in 1903, by Samuel Herbert Boardman, the first superintendent of the Oregon State Parks System. Boardman and his wife worked for 13 years to develop irrigation for their land; during those years his wife taught school, and Boardman at times worked on railroad construction projects. The Union Pacific Railroad passed through Boardman, where it had a station. The community was platted in 1916 at about the same time Samuel Boardman went to work for the Oregon State Highway Department and became involved in the development of roadside parks.

The Boardman post office opened in 1916. The city was incorporated in 1921. During construction of the John Day Dam on the Columbia River in the 1960s, the city had to be moved south, further from the water. Lake Umatilla, behind the dam, covered much of the original city.

Demographics

Historical population
Census Pop.
1920 113
1930 100 −11.5%
1940 110 10.0%
1950 120 9.1%
1960 153 27.5%
1970 192 25.5%
1980 1,261 556.8%
1990 1,387 10.0%
2000 2,855 105.8%
2010 3,220 12.8%
2019 (est.) 3,749 16.4%
source:

Boardman is part of the PendletonHermiston Micropolitan Statistical Area.

2010 census

As of the census of 2010, there were 3,220 people, 964 households, and 759 families residing in the city. The population density was 849.6 inhabitants per square mile (328.0/km2). There were 1,017 housing units at an average density of 268.3 per square mile (103.6/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 60.1% White, 0.7% African American, 0.9% Native American, 2.4% Asian, 0.3% Pacific Islander, 33.0% from other races, and 2.6% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 61.7% of the population.

There were 964 households, of which 53.2% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 54.9% were married couples living together, 14.7% had a female householder with no husband present, 9.1% had a male householder with no wife present, and 21.3% were non-families. 14.7% of all households were made up of individuals, and 3.9% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 3.34, and the average family size was 3.70.

The median age in the city was 27.5 years. 35.1% of residents were under the age of 18; 11.4% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 28.9% were from 25 to 44; 18.8% were from 45 to 64; and 5.8% were 65 years of age or older. The gender makeup of the city was 53.3% male and 46.7% female.

Transportation

Boardman Airport, owned by the Port of Morrow, is 4 miles (6.4 km) southwest of the city. It is a public airport used mainly for transient and local general aviation. Midcolumbia Bus Company are also in the Boardman area.

Economy

Boardman Oregon coal plant pano1
Coal plant outside of Boardman

As of 2013, the six largest employers in Boardman are Lamb Weston (potato products) (370 employees); Oregon Potato Company (125); Portland General Electric (PGE) (113); the Morrow County School District (106), Boardman Foods, (100) and Amazon S3.

The Port of Morrow, Oregon's second-largest port, is adjacent to the city and located on the Columbia Riverfront. The port property also includes two (PGE) gas-fired power plants. PGE also has a coal-fired power plant in the Boardman area; opened in 1980, it had shut down in October, 2020 marking the closure of the last coal fired power plant in Oregon after 40 years of service. This 550MW power plant was the largest single point of emission of greenhouse gases in Oregon. The Umatilla Chemical Depot, which includes the Umatilla Chemical Agent Disposal Facility, is 10 miles (16 km) east of the city, northwest of the intersection of I-84 and Interstate 82. Seven miles east of Boardman is the Irrigon Fish Hatchery. Threemile Canyon Farms is the largest farm located In Boardman.

According to a November 2008 article in The Oregonian, a "huge data center linked to Amazon.com [was] under construction" at the 9,000-acre (36 km2) Port of Morrow. The data center was to have a dedicated 10-megawatt electrical substation. A website focused on data centers suggested the Boardman site was created in response to the rapid growth of Amazon Web Services; earlier in 2008, Amazon had announced that Amazon S3 was storing 29 billion objects (such as IMDb tables). The project made Boardman the second Oregon city along the Columbia River to host a power-hungry data center for web services: Google has a similar center in The Dalles. By 2012, Apple had announced plans for a server farm south of The Dalles in Prineville, where Facebook already had a similar farm. Rackspace was said to be considering a data center at the Port of Morrow. According to an August 2018 article in the East Oregonian, Amazon has two data centers in Boardman and one in Umatilla and is proposing to build four more data centers in the region. The three data centers in Boardman and Umatilla correspond to the three availability zones in AWS US-West-2 (Oregon) region.

Since 2007, Pacific Ethanol has operated an ethanol plant in Boardman. It can produce up to 40 million US gallons (150,000,000 L) of ethanol a year from grains. ZeaChem has built a demonstration biorefinery at the Port of Morrow with a capacity of up to 250,000 US gallons (950,000 L) of ethanol a year from wood waste. The company hopes to build a much larger commercial refinery with a capacity of 25 million US gallons (95,000,000 L) annually. However, in April 2013, less than a month after start-up at the demonstration plant, ZeaChem halted production, citing funding problems. The company plans to resume production if financial backing can be found.

Coal export

Ambre Energy, a company based in Australia, has proposed using the Port of Morrow as a transfer point for shipping U.S. coal to Asia. Ambre wants to export up to 8.8 million short tons (8,000,000 t) of coal per year from the Powder River Basin in Wyoming and Montana. It would ship the coal by train to Boardman, where it would be loaded on barges and hauled down the Columbia River to the Port of St. Helens. There it would be transferred to ocean-going ships headed for China, South Korea, Japan, and other Asian countries.

The Ambre plan has generated controversy among proponents touting economic benefits and opponents fearing environmental damage. After the public-comment period ends on August 12, 2013, the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality will decide whether to grant Ambre's request for permits to proceed. To export coal across Oregon in the way Ambre proposes, the company will also need approval from the Oregon Department of State Lands and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

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