Tsunami Defenses a Tough Sell in the Pacific Northwest

The experience of communities and school districts attempting to build elevated structures for residents to wait out the high water of a tsunami, an inevitable threat in the Pacific Northwest, has been challenging and impossible to differing degrees.

1 minute read

May 29, 2022, 9:00 AM PDT

By James Brasuell @CasualBrasuell


A sign, with the blue ocean int he background, reads "Tsunami Hazard Zone: In Case of Earthquake Go to Higher Ground or Inland"

Michael Vi / Shutterstock

“A vast body of geological and historical evidence shows that the question is not whether [a tsunami in the Pacific Northwest] will happen, but when,” writes Eric Scigliano for Crosscut.

Given that certainty, “[y]ou might think it would be hard to argue with a tsunami,” but as Scigliano details in this article, regional officials have found a way to politicize resilience efforts to the point of complete stagnation.

As evidence of the frustrations of resilience planning, Scigliano cites the examples of four school bonds, proposed to fortify endangered coastal schools. The experience of approving these bonds has produced a mixed bag of success and failure—with success in Ocasta, setbacks in Ocean Shores, and failure in Long beach, for example.

Scigliano also notes a different example, of cooperation, set by nearby Native tribes. A lot more detail and insight is available from the source article, below.

Thursday, May 26, 2022 in Crosscut

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