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Above Lincoln City beach access.

Oregon’s U.S. Senators Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley announced Aug. 28 that Oregon State University will receive more than $400,000 in federal funds to research how large earthquakes, like ones that could strike in the Cascadia Subduction Zone, would affect the western electrical grid.

“At a time that scientists are sounding the alarm about the potential for a devastating earthquake to one day hit Oregon and the entire West Coast, it’s vital to understand the risks of a quake of that magnitude, especially the possible effects on the electrical grid that keeps everything running,” Wyden said. “The more information we can gather ahead of time, the more local communities can prepare to respond in the face of disaster. I’m grateful that Oregon State University earned this award to continue its critical research.”

The award from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to OSU will provide $433,792 to a project titled, “Earthquake Resilience of the Western Power Grid”.

“Oregonians, particularly in coastal communities, have long been preparing for the inevitability of a significant earthquake—including the risk to our power grid,” Merkley said. “This important grant will allow Oregon State University to conduct critical research so that Oregon and the entire West Coast can prepare for the challenges that will follow a major earthquake.”

Wyden and Merkley continue to support federal investment in earthquake preparedness, including a recent U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) grant to University of Oregon’s ShakeAlert research to help develop an early warning system for earthquakes along the West Coast.

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