Does Sandy have any impact for Oregon?
New York is considering how they should rebuild in the wake of Hurricane Sandy and the discussion is highly relevant to Oregon’s efforts to prepare for the Cascadia earthquake and tsunami. Mayor Bloomberg’s proposed solutions for making New York City more resilient is quite reminiscent of discussions held by the Oregon Seismic Safety Policy Advisory Committee (OSSPAC) this last year in developing the Oregon Resilience Plan requested by the Oregon House. New York is faced not only with more frequent, larger storms, and rising sea levels, but with a waterfront which now consists of expensive development that replaced the working water front of earlier years. New York University’s Institute for Public Knowledge held a forum called “How Should New York Rebuild?” where various options and their implications were addressed. While seismic resilience is the major question for Oregon in face of a Cascadia earthquake, the resulting tsunami presents many of the similar dilemma’s about what to do for low lying areas in Oregon’s coastal communities as do storm damage for New York. The tsunami happens with little warning so getting people to safety is a tougher question than New York’s storms. However, questions of reducing the impact on property, and reducing economic losses are quite similar. For both the trick is how to make changes while still maintaining a healthy economy. Having New York City involved in these types of discussions will help us here in Oregon as we talk with our Federal partners about resiliency. The Oregon Resilience Plan will be presented to the Legislature early next year, and may also help New York as well.