Last month, the anniversaries of the March 27th 1964 Great Alaska Earthquake and Tsunami, (M 9.2, which impacted Grays Harbor County), and the March 27th 2011 Japanese “Tohoku” Earthquake and Tsunami, (M9.0), passed without much fanfare. I contacted John Schelling, the Earthquake/Tsunami/Volcano Programs Manager at Washington Emergency Management Division to ask the question, “Have any […]Continue Reading ...
New tsunami evacuation maps will help the Hispanic populations of Grays Harbor and Pacific counties learn the best routes to take in order to safely reach a designated assembly area on high ground. The brochures also offer critical safety information in Spanish to help communities understand what a tsunami is as well as preparedness tips. […]Continue Reading ...
On Tuesday, Representative Derek Kilmer introduced two amendments to the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) to help servicemembers find jobs and authorize overtime for civilian shipyard workers overseas. The amendments will be considered by the House Rules Committee for inclusion in the NDAA bill set to be debated on the floor this week in the […]Continue Reading ...
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe pledged to boost rebuilding efforts as the country marked the third anniversary Tuesday of a devastating earthquake and tsunami that left nearly 19,000 people dead, destroyed coastal communities and triggered a nuclear crisis. Tuesday March 11, 2014 marks the 3rd anniversary of the Japanese earthquake & tsunami. Today, Japan is still […]Continue Reading ...
OLYMPIA – Pacific County resident Russ Lewis is being honored with an Environmental Excellence Award for his exemplary efforts to keep Washington beaches clean and his tremendous support of Washington State Marine Debris Task Force efforts.
The Task Force formed to monitor and respond to marine debris from the tragic March 11, 2011, Japan tsunami along Washington coastal beaches. Before that time, Lewis already had been removing marine debris from beaches almost daily for years. In 2012 Lewis also assisted the
Task Force by:
- Stepping up his efforts and collaborating with others to remove marine debris and ensure it was put into a secured commercial trash bin for proper disposal.
- Supplying nearly daily reports on conditions along the coast, including information on both long- and short-range debris washing ashore, post-storm reports and weather patterns.
- Providing early reporting to Ecology about potentially hazardous materials such as oil drums or fuel canisters washing up on beaches, and taking steps to secure any area with hazardous debris until responders could arrive.
- Providing considerable assistance to the state Department of Fish and Wildlife in its surveillance efforts to monitor and respond to potential aquatic invasive species attached to incoming debris.
- Working with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service office near Leadbetter Point to help prevent debris from entering Snowy Plover nesting areas when these areas are closed to the public. Lewis also was the first one in to clean debris when the seasonal closure ended.
The March 11, 2011, earthquake and tsunami that devastated Japan is a human tragedy. The disaster claimed nearly 16,000 lives, injured 6,000 people and destroyed or damaged countless buildings.
Most debris sinks, unknown amount still in Pacific Ocean
The tsunami also swept approximately 5 million tons of debris into the Pacific Ocean. About 70 percent of the debris sank near Japan’s shore.
It is still unknown how much of the remaining 30 percent of the debris remains afloat. The debris dispersed in the northern Pacific Ocean where it is making its way eastward, carried by currents and wind.
Assessing tsunami debris, monitoring impacts
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is collaborating with federal, state, tribal and local partners to collect data, assess the debris, and reduce possible impacts to our coastal communities and natural resources. Ecology has been closely involved in this coordinated effort.
If you see suspected tsunami debris, NOAA asks that you report it, including the specific location and associated photographs, to[email protected].
Please don’t burn any tsunami debris — burning wood or natural vegetation that has soaked in saltwater creates dangerous toxic pollution. In Washington, burning garbage is always illegal.Continue Reading ...
MONTESANO, Wash. – On Thursday, April 21st 2011, from 9am -7pm, Grays Harbor County will be conducting a “Boots on the Ground” Full Scale Exercise. The exercise will involve virtually every area of the County, Cities, Tribes, schools and response agencies. Citizens may see Law Enforcement vehicles, Fire Apparatus and Public Works vehicles moving around the county in response to the local emergency plans of their jurisdiction. The regional Hospitals and Grays Harbor Community Hospital will be taking part in a functional exercise as part of their capabilities preparedness plans. All Police & Fire entities of the County will also be testing their secondary communications during the events. Participants will be involved at varying times through the day and will include neighboring counties and the WA State Emergency Management Division.Continue Reading ...
Some transponders have reportedly been washing up along the WA Coast. The Pacific County Emergency Management Agency reports these floating instruments are about the size of a 2-liter soda bottle and were set in the ocean from different ports off Japan in 2011-12 after the massive Tohoku earthquake and tsunami. Researchers from Tattori University for Environmental […]Continue Reading ...
Invenergy Development Company, LLC announced the successful refinancing of its 620 MW Grays Harbor Energy Center (“Grays Harbor”), a natural gas-fueled power generation project in Elma, Washington. The plant began commercial operations in 2008, approximately thirty miles west of Olympia, in Grays Harbor County. The facility consists of two gas-fired GE Frame 7FA combustion turbines […]Continue Reading ...
SEATTLE (AP) – State officials say they’re suspending a hotline set up for reporting marine debris because it hasn’t been getting calls.
The hotline was set up so beach-goers and others could report potentially dangerous or tsunami-related marine debris that turned up on Washington’s shorelines.
Officials plan to take the hotline 1-855-WACOAST offline at 5 p.m. Dec. 31.
State official Terry Egan says the state hasn’t had a major marine incident in nearly a year and the overall amount of debris found on beaches has also decreased.
People can still report hazardous marine debris such as gas cans and oil drums to another hotline, 1-800-OILS-911.
Those who find non-hazardous marine debris that is suspected from the 2011 Japan tsunami can email [email protected]Continue Reading ...
MONTESANO, Wash. – Chuck Wallace, Deputy Director of the Grays Harbor County Emergency Management Agency reccommends the following actions if you see tsunami debris on Washington’s coast.
Be alert for sharp metal, nails, screws, glass and splintered wood.
** If you don’t know what it is, don’t touch it **
Report these to Grays Harbor County Emergency Management at (360) 249-3911 or [email protected]
– GUIDELINES BY DEBRIS TYPE –
Litter and other typical marine debris items:
Common marine debris types will vary by location. If an object can be linked to the tsunami, please report it to [email protected] Please provide as much information as possible. Where it’s safe and practical to do so, people should remove the debris and recycle any plastics or metals.
Call 911 immediately !
Examples: Drums, fuel tanks and containers, gas cans, gas cylinders, chemical storage totes
Do not touch or attempt to move the item. Give authorities a detailed report about what you’ve observed.
Derelict boat or other large debris item:
Do not attempt to move or remove the boat.
Report it to the U.S. Coast Guard 24-Hour Command Center, 206-217-6001.
Personal effects or possessions from Japan tsunami:
Items that appear to be personal belongings should be treated with respect. They should be reported with as much relevant detail as possible. Generally, these objects should be left in place for later retrieval. However, if the object appears likely to be moved by tide or wave action and it is safe to do so, consider moving the object above the high-tide line. Report these to Grays Harbor County Emergency Management at (360) 249-3911 or [email protected]
It is extremely unlikely any human remains from the tsunami will reach the United States. However, if you encounter any remains, immediately call 911 and give local authorities a detailed report about what you observed.
Do not touch or attempt to move.
For more information on Japan tsunami debris, please visit www.marinedebris.noaa.gov/info/japanfaqs.html
To request a shoreline monitoring guide, email – [email protected]Continue Reading ...
OCEAN SHORES, Wash. – Yesterday U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA) issued the following statement regarding the ongoing effort to monitor and address the threat approaching tsunami debris poses to Washington’s coastal communities. Wednesday in Ocean Shores, federal and local agencies, tribes, and community organizations held a workshop to continue forging strategies for responding to tsunami debris.I applaud regional stakeholders for coming together today to forge ahead on local tsunami debris cleanup strategies, this coordinated initiative is a step in the right direction in protecting Washington state’s coastal communities and economy. – U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell
“Just last month, we marked the one-year anniversary of the tragic earthquake and tsunami in Japan that killed thousands and sent an enormous amount of debris out to sea,” Cantwell continued in the letter. “One year later, our local agencies need additional tools and resources in order to protect Washington state’s $10.8 billion dollar coastal economy. I will continue working to ensure we have an aggressive plan in place to protect Washington coastal communities and jobs.”
On March 30th in Seattle, Cantwell and Senator Mark Begich (D-AK) called on President Obama to allocate emergency resources to mobilize National Science Foundation research to help track and respond to tsunami debris. Expediting NSF grants would help Washington coastal communities get more specific estimates of what might hit shores – and when.Continue Reading ...
Grays Harbor Weather Alerts
Tue, Nov 24, 2015