Tsunami hits north coast

The following is from a Joint Information Center Press Release, dated March 11 10:10 am, from the City of Eureka and the County of Humboldt:
In response to a tsunami warning issued for the coastal areas of California, the Humboldt County Sheriffs Office has enacted VOLUNTARY evacuations for the low lying areas of Humboldt County and recommends residents in those areas move to higher ground and inland. The Humboldt County Office of Emergency Services is advising this is now a declared disaster. The Turf Club at Redwood Acres has been established as the evacuation center. PG&E has canceled rolling outages and resumed full operations although the town of Orick remains without power.

The first wave hit our coast at approximately 0730 hrs. in Shelter Cove with about three-foot waves. California Highway Patrol is reporting waves just under five feet high with confirmed damage to Crescent City/Commercial Fisheries & piers with waves still incoming and 35 boats damaged. Unusual wave actions are being seen at Woodley Island, Stone Lagoon, & the mouth of Mad River. Wave action has washed over US101 @ Freshwater, but has since receded with no reported damage. This is the beginning of this tsunami event and the first waves may not be the only wave nor the highest, and wave action may last as long as 12 hours after the first wave. DO NOT go to "watch" the wave. Local law enforcement agencies are reporting significant draw-down in the water level in several coastal areas. Unusual wave actions are being seen at Woodley Island, Stone Lagoon, & the mouth of Mad River.

Listen to LOCAL TV, radio, and NOAA weather radio for further advisories and instructions. We are also recommending residents with access to a computer go to www.humboldt.edu/rctwg/ to see if their location is within the threatened areas. Avoid unnecessary travel if you are already within a safe area. California Highway Patrol has closed US101 North of Orick at the 101 bypass, and south of Orick at Kane Road. Arcata Police Department has closed westbound US255 @ `K’ St.

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