Thurston County Connection Newsletter
Thurston County Connection
Thurston County Connection
March, 2014
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Recently Elected Officials Honored at Swearing In Ceremonies

Service Comes First

Thurston County’s Specialty Courts Hit Milestone

One Family, One Judge.

Sheriff Recognizes Contributions to the Community

Romance on Mound Prairie

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 The Nisqually Earthquake, February 2001.

Are you prepared for a natural disaster?

Do you remember where you were just before 11 am on February 28th , ten years ago? That’s when the Nisqually earthquake hit our area, causing billions of dollars in damage. The earthquake hit exactly at 10:54 a.m. PST and was one of the largest recorded earthquakes in Washington state history. The quake measured 6.8 on the Richter scale and was centered in the Nisqually Reach area. It was felt all over the Pacific Northwest.

Miraculously, there were no reports of deaths directly from the earthquake, although there was a report of one death from a stress-related heart condition and about 400 injuries were reported.

Following the quake, many buildings in the downtown Olympia area were closed temporarily for inspection. The Fourth Avenue Bridge in downtown Olympia was heavily damaged and had to be closed. It has since been replaced. People who traveled to the Thurston County Courthouse on Deschutes Parkway had to find an alternate route. Liquefaction of the soils under the Parkway caused severe damage to the roadway and it was closed for months while it was stabilized and rebuilt. As you may recall, the dome of the state capital building was cracked and repairs to it and other state government buildings were required. The air traffic control tower at Sea-Tac Airport was heavily damaged during the quake; it has since been replaced with a more earthquake-resistant tower.

One thing we all learned from the Nisqually Earthquake was that quakes can happen at any time with no notice. In fact, similar significant earthquakes occurred here in April of 1965 (magnitude 6.5) and in April of 1949 (magnitude 7.1). If you have not yet set up a preparedness plan with your family for earthquakes and other emergencies, now is a great time to do so. Below are several links for more information. This Link will take you to the Thurston County Emergency Management site for more information on preparedness. The second link provides more background on the Nisqually Earthquake. The final link is for more photos of the earthquake thanks to the State Department of Natural Resources.

In the interest of preparing the community for natural disasters like the Nisqually Earthquake, local officials are headed to the east coast in May for special training. More than 70 county residents will attend a special week long training session put on and paid for by the Federal Emergency Management Agency. The week includes educational sessions and an intensive drill with an earthquake scenario.

By John Tennis

Damage in downtown Olympia in 2001. Damage in downtown Olympia in 2001.

The Deschutes Parkway was heavily damaged. The Deschutes Parkway was heavily damaged.

Martin Way in Olympia was also damaged. Martin Way in Olympia was also damaged.