Tsunami sign

The City of Bay City has begun to put up tsunami evacuation signs in their town and hope to finish by next week.

In an effort to build community resiliency, the City of Bay City, partnering with the Oregon Department of Geology and Mineral Industries (DOGAMI), the Oregon Office of Emergency Management (OEM) and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), was awarded grant funds through the National Tsunami Hazard Mitigation Program (NTHMP) to assist communities to purchase tsunami evacuation wayfinding signage for the Oregon Coast. DOGAMI and OEM will provide funding up to $20,000 in materials for their community’s projects. Communities are required to install signage using their own funding source or through in-kind match.

“Depending on weather, hopefully in the next week or so we will have all the signs up, but we are waiting to get some paving work done to finish installing the thermoplastic street markings, which will be next year,” said Bay City Public Works Director, Chance Steffey.

The City of Bay City will receive approximately $9,316 in grant funding and provide $7,220 in in-kind matching through the installation of the wayfinding signage and conducting community outreach events and drills. Bay City’s Tsunami Evacuation Plan includes seven locations where they will install thermoplastic leaving tsunami zone and light blue lines on streets, install 30 sign posts with 14 entering/leaving tsunami zone signs and 23 tsunami evacuation route and arrow signs throughout the City. The official Tsunami Evacuation Map for Bay City can be located at https://www.oregongeology.org/pubs/tsubrochures/BayCityEvac_onscreen.pdf, although the City is planning to update to include the recent addition of their third assembly site located at Watt Family Park.

“The tsunami signs provide guidance for those in the inundation zone during an event to the closest evacuation route and assembly points,” Steffey said.

On Thursday, Oct. 3, the National Weather Service Portland issued a memorandum to Tillamook County’s Emergency Management Director, Gordon McCraw, stating that Manzanita, Nehalem, and Wheeler had completed all requirements to have their TsunamiReady and StormReady designations renewed.

The TsunamiReady and StormReady programs, which must be renewed every three years, are voluntary community recognition programs that promote tsunami and storm hazard preparedness. These programs help community leaders and emergency management strengthen local safety programs. The two programs use a grassroots approach to help communities develop plans to handle all types of extreme weather and help promote tsunami readiness.

Tyree Wilde of the National Weather Service, Portland, and McCraw recently went through the requirements and ensured all three cities met or exceeded all the requirements for the program.

“By achieving and maintaining these designations, Tillamook County and our partnering cities and towns are improving public safety, before, during and after our emergencies,” McCraw said.

The new designations will be valid through October 2022.

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