Tsunami Damage Estimate for California Town Rises

Wednesday, 16 Mar 2011 07:14 AM

 

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SANTA CRUZ, Calif.  — Damage estimates increased for the two California harbors hardest hit by last week's tsunami, while one Northern California county declared a state of emergency Tuesday because of extensive damage to its waterfront.

Port Director Lisa Ekers revised her estimate to $22.5 million in tsunami-related damage to Santa Cruz Harbor, up from $17 million, the Santa Cruz Sentinel reported. Ekers told the newspaper the final figure cost could be more than $25 million.

The figure includes the expected cost of rebuilding damaged docks and other infrastructure but not an additional $4 million in damage to private vessels.

Surging waters caused by Japan's massive earthquake hit the harbor along the state's Central Coast on Friday. At least 13 boats sank, down from 18 while another 100 were damaged, with nine more missing and possibly lost at sea.

Crews spread boom, or floating dams, to contain any spilled oil on the water's surface, but officials said they've seen little environmental impact.

Meanwhile, officials in Mendocino County estimated the tsunami caused about $4 million in damage to the harbor in Fort Bragg.

Violent surges pounded Noyo Harbor, battering docks expected to be used by salmon fishermen during the upcoming season.

Harbormaster Jere Kleinbach told the Ukiah Daily Journal that 800 to 1,000 feet of docks were destroyed. Kleinbach worried that some remaining docks have been fractured but said that won't be known until divers can inspect them.

The Mendocino County Board of Supervisors unanimously voted to declare a state of emergency because of the damage in Fort Bragg. Assemblyman Wesley Chesbro said he will ask Gov. Jerry Brown to declare a state-level state of emergency, which would free up emergency funds and fast-track the cleanup and recovery process.

The governor previously declared emergencies in Del Norte, San Mateo, Humboldt and Santa Cruz counties.

In Crescent City, officials once again raised their estimate of the number of vessels damaged by the tsunami to 63. Of those, 16 sank and another 47 were afloat and damaged.

The inner harbor in the small fishing town was almost completely destroyed.

___

Information from: Santa Cruz Sentinel, http://www.santacruzsentinel.com

© Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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