Home Back Issues June 2011 Cannon Beach plans tsunami-resistant structure

Cannon Beach plans tsunami-resistant structure

| Print |  Email
Articles - June 2011
Wednesday, May 18, 2011

 

0611_HighAndDry
The design features a 10,000-square-foot structure on concrete pillars supported by concrete piles and beams and four-foot walls in front and back. // Photo courtesy Ecola Architects, PC

When the Sendai quake and tsunami hit last March, many Japanese residents took refuge in “vertical evacuation structures,” reinforced concrete buildings that were strong enough — and tall enough — to withstand the force of the waves. Now officials in Cannon Beach aim to build a similar tsunami-resistant structure — the first in the United States.

Raised 15 feet off the ground, the two-story building, tentatively sited at the intersection of Gower and Hemlock streets, would provide shelter for about 1,500 people and also serve as a new city hall. “The goal is to save lives and provide continuity of government,” says Jay Raskin, an architect and former mayor of Cannon Beach who is spearheading the design process.

Just 50 miles off the Oregon Coast is the Cascadia Subduction Zone, a 600-mile fault that many scientists say is overdue for a rupture, producing a massive quake and tsunami that could engulf seaside towns. “We’re going to get what Japan got and we’re in a window of it happening within our lifetime,” says Patrick Corcoran, an Oregon State University coastal outreach hazards specialist. The proposed design was developed with assistance from Oregon State University and the Department of Geology and Mineral Industries.

Several questions remain before the project can move forward. Although the conceptual plans follow guidelines from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), there is no federal or state funding for the structure, which is expected to cost about $4 million — about twice the cost of a conventional building.

OSU researchers are also conducting an evacuation simulation study to see how effective the proposed building would be compared to a base case without the building.

Despite the uncertainties hanging over the pioneering project, Oregon needs vertical evacuation strategies, says Jennifer Chamberlain, Oregon Office of Emergency Management spokeswoman. That’s because in many areas of the coast, people won’t have time to walk — or run — to high ground before the tsunami strikes. “There is no safe haven,” says Chamberlain.

LINDA BAKER
 

Comments   

 
Jonathan K
0 #1 Evacuation Simulation ResultsJonathan K 2011-05-25 15:36:35
The research team has completed the mentioned tsunami evacuation study. Results may be found here: http://netjunky.com/cannon-beach/
Quote | Report to administrator
 
 
Karri White
0 #2 Tsunami Resistant Combo?Karri White 2012-04-16 14:35:23
I'v read several articles on this Town House but have not read anything about the building being earthquake proof too.

Most Tsunami are seismogenic, so caused by an earthquake. If the building cannot withstand an earthquake, then when this Tsunami arrives this town house will not be protecting any one.

Does any one know what earthquake resistant techniques have been put in place?
Quote | Report to administrator
 

More Articles

Private liberal arts education: superior outcomes, competitive price

Contributed Blogs
Tuesday, August 26, 2014
0826 thumb collegemoneyBY DEBRA RINGOLD | OP-ED CONTRIBUTOR

Why has six years become an acceptable investment in public undergraduate education that over-promises and underperforms?


Read more...

Shipping News

September 2014
Tuesday, August 26, 2014
BY JENNIFER MARGULIS

In 2012 The Dalles, a city of some 14,400 located 75 miles east of Portland and often seen as the poor cousin to adjacent Hood River, completed a massive project to revitalize its dock.


Read more...

Buyer's Remorse

September 2014
Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Parents and students paying for college today are like homeowners who bought a house just before the housing bubble burst.


Read more...

What I'm Reading

September 2014
Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Kim Ierian, President of Concorde Career Colleges, and Deborah Edward, Executive Director of Business for Culture & the Arts, share their recent reads.


Read more...

Powerlist: Colleges and Universities

September 2014
Wednesday, August 27, 2014
BY KIM MOORE

A conversation about higher education with the presidents of the University of Oregon and Clackamas Community College, followed by September's powerlist.


Read more...

Podcast: Interview with Steve Balzac

Contributed Blogs
Tuesday, August 19, 2014

082014BalzacBY TOM COX | OB BLOGGER

Tom Cox interviews Steve Balzac, author of "Organizational Psychology for Managers."


Read more...

Green Endeavor cleans up

News
Wednesday, August 06, 2014
080614 ULnew greenendeavorBY LINDA BAKER | OB EDITOR

Portland startup Green Endeavor strikes gold, inking a partnership with Underwriters Laboratories, an Illinois-based consulting and certification company with offices in 46 countries.


Read more...
Oregon Business magazinetitle-sponsored-links-02
SPONSORED LINKS