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

Rapid ascent

March 2014
Tuesday, February 25, 2014
IMG 4255-2BY AMY MILSHTEIN

Kelly Dachtler, president of The Clymb, redefines outdoor retail.


Read more...

Making faces

News
Thursday, February 20, 2014
02.20.14 Thumbnail ModelsBY VIVIAN MCINERNY | OB BLOGGER

As retailers consolidate and newspapers fold, the business of modeling shifts to ad agencies, apparel companies and new media.


Read more...

Leader's bookshelf

Contributed Blogs
Friday, March 14, 2014
02.06.14 BooksBY TOM COX | OB BLOGGER

Five books that will make you a better leader.


Read more...

The 2014 List: The Top 34 Medium Companies to Work, For in Oregon

March 2014
Thursday, February 27, 2014

100best14logoWebOur 100 Best Companies project turned 21 this year, so pop open the Champagne. Our latest survey gives us plenty to cheer.

 


Read more...

How to help your staff solve their own problems

Contributed Blogs
Friday, March 21, 2014
03.21.14 thumb coxcoffeeTOM COX | OB BLOGGER

During a recent talk to HR Directors, I asked if they saw leaders trying to solve every problem, instead of delegating to and empowering staff. Every head nodded. Every single one.


Read more...

Eking out a living

News
Tuesday, April 08, 2014
04.08.14 thumb ourtable-coopfarmsBY HANNAH WALLACE | OB BLOGGER

It may be obvious, but most farmers don’t make a lot of money. According to preliminary data from the 2012 Agriculture Census, 52% of America’s 2.1 million principal farm-operators don’t call farming their primary occupation. Farm cooperatives may offer a solution.


Read more...

Are millennials reshaping politics in the Pacific Northwest?

News
Wednesday, April 02, 2014

MillennialsThumbA new report explores the impact of millennials on Oregon's business and political climate.


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