I was 10 years old and we were living just south of San Francisco, in the peaceful coastal town of Pacifica. After a 9.2 Alaskan earthquake hit, it was natural to keep a close eye on the situation. It takes about 5-6 hours for it to reach the bay area. I didn\’t worry. I was a kid and left it to the grownups. They had cars going through the neighborhoods, with bull horns telling everyone to get to higher ground. My mom freaked out. (She always freaked out) my younger sister was crying. Dad was calm and I always preferred my dad\’s calmer leadership.
We all went up to Sweeney Ridge – Parents were concerned; oldtimers talked of past tsunamis warnings, while the children saw it as an opportunity to just have fun. Some of us sat in the back of my dad\’s truck and told stories about tidal waves and earthquakes. It was like this huge tailgate party. As always, the surfers were probably the only ones who did not evacuate.
Crescent City Ca – About 20 miles south of the Oregon border.
First, there were three smaller waves that pushed into storefronts and businesses causing little damage and a false sense of calm in the people trying to clean up. Then the big wave, cresting at nearly 21 feet, slammed into the Downtown, killing eleven people and devastating 29 city blocks. This was the worst tsunami disaster recorded in the U.S., causing millions of dollars in damage and shaping what Crescent City’s Downtown looks like today. Over 289 buildings and homes were destroyed after being pushed off their foundations or damaged by rising waters, resulting in most of the Downtown being rebuilt. The massive quake unleashed a tsunami that reached heights of 150 feet in the open ocean and spread across the Pacific, striking the coasts of southeast Alaska, British Columbia, and the United States.