Updates For Humboldt, Del Norte (Crescent City) and Mendocino Tsunami Surges

Humboldt Information:

According to KHUM, The National Weather Service downgraded the coast lines of Oregon and California from a tsunami warning to an advisory as of 3:30.

Information from Mark Lovelace and County Services at 2:30

The County’s team in the Emergency Operations Center just took part in another conference call with CalEMA and other coastal counties to update each other since our previous call this morning.  Here’s the latest:

The tsunami warning for areas North of Pt. Conception remains in effect, though it is believed that the tsunami has peaked and is diminishing.  Surges are continuing, but disapating.  Humboldt County is ramping down our emergency operations at this point, as are many counties to the South.

Part of the fishing fleet from Crescent City went out to sea to ride out the tsunami.  Due to the significant destruction of the harbor, they cannot return to Crescent City and will need to find safe harbor in Humboldt Bay for the time being.  Apparently there are a number of boats from Brookings that are also in need of anchorage here.

The tsunami has created a hazardous bar condition at the bay entrance, so there may be some delay before the Crescent City fleet is able to come in.

The Coast Guard has an active search and rescue mission underway to look for an individual who was swept out to sea at the mouth of the Klamath River.  2 others who were also swept out were able to self-rescue.

Santa Cruz reports that they have had 20 boats sunk and an additional 100 damaged.  Damage to personal vessels is estimated at $4.5 million, and damage to harbor infrastructure is estimated at $10 million.  There is no damage estimate from Crescent City harbor, yet.

Japan has experienced numerous aftershocks, including one that measured 7.9 but so far there is no indication of any additional tsunami being generated.

Del Norte Information: Excellent piece in the Boston Herald online.  The above photo comes from there.  They say:

Ted Scott, a retired mill worker who lived in Crescent City when a 1964 tsunami killed 17 people on the West Coast, including 11 in his town, watched the water pour into the harbor.

“This is just devastating. I never thought I’d see this again,” Scott said. “I watched the docks bust apart. It buckled like a graham cracker.” The waves, however, had not made it over a 20-foot break wall protecting the rest of the city, and no serious injuries or home damage was immediately reported.

Mendocino Information: A nice piece in the Ukiah Journal about Mendo’s tsunami action.  They report:

Back in Fort Bragg, seadogs and longtime residents won’t likely forget the eerie spectacle of the mini-tsunami. Rather than one large wave, the event was a series of long pulsations, as water was sucked back from shore and returned again with storm-like force. It resembled the actions of a weeks’ worth of high and low tides – occurring in mere minutes, not days. As water pulled back to sea, the normally full entrance to the harbor was nearly bereft of water.

“Here it comes again,” says an onlooker. What was just a quiet harbor is now awash, with sound as well as water, as hundreds of tons of ocean attempted to squeeze into a space made for much less volume.


  • Thanks for carrying the news, Kym.

    Japan’s Fukushima Nuclear Power plant explosion is the biggest news of today. Folks on the West Coast would best be served by staying tuned to the news of this disaster. The potential of nuclear fallout carried to the atmospheric prevailing winds is very rare but still real. Some reports indicate this danger is decreasing.

    From Voice of America:

    “Officials say a blast at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear facility destroyed an exterior wall, not the reactor. A radiation leak is decreasing, despite meltdown fears.

    VOA reporters close to the Fukushima nuclear plant say aftershocks are still rocking the area, more than 24 hours after the original 8.9-magnitude jolt and tsunami. After a serious explosion destroyed one of the Fukushima plant’s nuclear reactor buildings earlier Saturday, authorities called on all residents to move at least 20 kilometers away from the facility.

    The explosion north of Tokyo did not damage the reactor’s spherical metal containment vessel, and that the reactor’s internal pressure decreased after the blast. Pressure in the reactor built to dangerous levels after the earthquake knocked out power to essential cooling systems, greatly increasing the risk of a possible release of radioactive particles and gases earlier. Another nuclear plant near Fukushima also has been shut down due to a cooling-system failure.”

    Other local tsunami news carried by the Times-Standard wire this morning:

    Thadeus Greenson’s report, “Tsunami ‘Destroyed’ Crescent City Harbor” is found here.

    Donna Tam’s report, “Tsunami Take Toll on North Coast; Hundreds Evacuated– Governor Brown Declares Emergency” can also be found here, too.

    Ongoing discussion and updates also carried at Heraldo’s site.

    Stay tuned, people. The world is rocking and rolling today.

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