Wednesday, February 6, 2013

$800M Bridge Fantasia to Trump Earthquake Prep?

Remember the big earthquake in Japan almost two years ago now?  How can you forget when concrete docks keep washing up on Washington and Oregon beaches.

There was another big quake in the south Pacific last night, and the State of Oregon is releasing a big report on Oregon's lack of earthquake readiness.

Think our bridge traffic is congested?  How about post-quake traffic!
And the SJ is editorializing about it.
So remind me again why we're looking to spend $800+ million on a new bridge and highway?

Is there budget for earthquake prep on top of $800+ million bridge?
The editorial sites a disaster scenario:
What would a Cascadia earthquake mean? The draft report, prepared by the Oregon Seismic Safety Policy Advisory Commission, states: “Available studies estimate fatalities ranging from 1,250 to more than 10,000 due to the combined effects of earthquake and tsunami, tens of thousands of buildings destroyed or damaged so extensively that they will require months to years of repair, tens of thousands of displaced households, more than $30 billion in direct and indirect economic losses (close to one-fifth of Oregon’s gross state product), and more than one million dump truck loads of debris.”

Healthcare facilities could be out of normal service for 18 months in the Willamette Valley — three years along the coast. Depending on location, drinking water and sewer service could be inoperable for one month to three years. Even the highest-priority highways in the valley could be impassable for six to 12 months.
Isn't it likely there are more important things than a big bridge and highway to be budgeting for?  What good's a big bridge and highway when the local roads are trashed, buildings are down, rubble is everywhere, there's no food and gas, and water and sewer are severed.

1 comment:

Jim Scheppke said...

While you are waiting for this report there is an important book to read: CASCADIA'S FAULT by Jerry Thompson. BC native Thompson doesn't mince words in saying that the next time our fault breaks it will be the worst natural disaster in human history. Like Katrina times 5 in terms of destruction and potential loss of life. There have only been 3 other 9 point quakes in recorded history and all in less populated places. This book is really must reading. Our regional public library system has lots of copies. Get on the list.