Friday, March 11, 2011

There It Is

It's just flat astonishing that the tsunami came all the way across the ocean, at the speed of a jet plane, and then it was here.

Spent the morning at the tribe. I had actually more or less planned to play hookey from the tribal library and go do a beached bird survey, but by 1:30AM the county emergency folks were reporting a tsunami watch and saying to stay off the beaches (but no flooding likely). The central area at Lower Elwha is right down at Strait level. The tribe went through its whole Emergency Operations routine, and as a precautionary measure went house-to-house waking up everyone on the Rez at 6:45 AM and requiring them to evacuate up the hill to the prepared emergency shelter.

I watched the First Beach web cam, couldn't see anything that I was sure was anything but surf. But look: the blue line is the predicted tide, the red line is the water level observed on the gauge, the green line is the difference between the two. Sure enough, there were several waves, and the water level receded and then rose for each, and the biggest wave was not the first but a later one.

Preliminary Water Level at La Push, 03/11/11 (Click for larger image.)

There was only about a 6-inch surge in Port Angeles harbor; and as you see, about 2 feet at La Push.

1 comment:

Sky said...

thinking of you today, imagining you with your curious nature and your love of the ocean somewhere near the water, hopefully high above the sea, peering out over the surf! glad nothing too overwhelming occurred here in the US, but sorry to see considerable damage at crescent city, an already financially suffering port whose days of golden glow have passed. (I would love to see someone invest in developing it into a wonderful retreat for us west coasters.) I did not imagine there would be a great deal of US damage. I tracked it all night via television news coverage until it arrived on our CA and OR coasts. then off to sleep I went. such heartbreaking scenes in japan. so scary for all of us who live in earthquake country. and now we wait to see if there is a radioactive meltdown. too much to ponder these past 2 days. the devastation is stunning. :(