Taking Proactive Steps To Prepare for Tsunami Hazards in Oregon

October 24, 2017 | By Jerry Ashworth | Post a Comment

waves-1379251We are all probably growing weary of the news about all the natural disasters in the last few months, from hurricanes in the Southern states and Puerto Rico, to wildfires in California, and let’s not forget to mention the devastating earthquakes experienced by our neighbors in Mexico. Perhaps the one natural disaster we haven’t mentioned much lately is a tsunami.

That’s why a recent article coming out of Oregon in The Daily Astorian stuck out at me when I came across it.  The article discusses how Oregon has received a $354,241 award from the National Weather Service under the National Tsunami Hazard Mitigation Program to help model the effect a tsunami would have on coastal communities and commercial traffic in the Columbia River. The article states that Oregon has received $4.6 million from the grant program since 2009.

The article says that the project aims to help understand the interaction between tsunamis, tides and river flows, and where ships should evacuate if they don’t have time to go out to sea.

It continues on to say that the state finished tsunami run-up models for the Oregon Coast in 2013, and that the new grant funding will allow researchers to put the data into a more useful format for coastal communities, “showing the public how quickly waves will arrive at different coastlines and estuaries.”

Further, researchers seek to account for potentially failing bridges and other infrastructure and the impact it will have on people’s courses and evacuation times, according to the article. Previous grants have funded highway signs telling people when they are entering or leaving a tsunami hazard zone, along with evacuation maps in areas with high foot traffic. The state hopes to erect more than 300 signs along the Oregon Coast by 2020, the article adds.

With all the natural disasters we’ve had lately, it’s never too early to prepare for the worst. It’s good to see federal funds are being used to help potentially save lives and property before a disaster, because after the disaster hits is too late. And just to make this a little more relevant, World Tsunami Awareness Day is coming up in a couple of weeks on Nov. 5.

Let us know what you think about the tsunami mitigation program. We’d love to hear from you.

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