As luck would have it, our Samoa Peninsula Fire District volunteers were called out on a fire in the woods just west of the end of the Samoa Bridge near the “Doghouse” right before our public meeting about the Tsunami “Mountain/Sewer System/RV Park” Berm being proposed in Fairhaven.
Samoa Peninsula Fire District Chair Troy Nicolini, whom is also involved with National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration http://www.noaa.gov/, led the meeting first as a NOAA Rep who wants organized Evacuation Plans and actual drill planning for emergency situations. He made it clear that Fairhaven is not ready for a tsunami.
Then, Troy covered his shirt NOAA logo and spoke as the chair of the fire department. He said the intent or idea has been brought forward to develop a mountain that would serve as an evacuation point for Fairhaven. There are waste “spoils” near the airport that could be used to build the hill. People talked about gridlock to get off of Peninsula, environmental issues, where is the best spot and past history of tsunami warnings. There was a clear consensus from the crowd (Over 30 people) that the concept was agreeable.
Then the funding was discussed. How do we get this done? The Army Corp of Engineers will pay for the feasibility studies to see if this is even doable. FEMA money should also be available. A community private partnership, Coast Guard, BLM and City of Eureka help was also discussed. (Eureka owns the airport and other land adjacent to Fairhaven) The creation of a new service district or expansion of the Manila Community Service District to include the whole peninsula was also brought up. And what about the Harbor District and Humboldt County’s roles in bringing recreation to the peninsula without helping with emergency services? Many layers.
The real driving force for this project is also entrepreneurial. Kurt Kramer Properties has been told that he can not continue to build residential homes in Fairhaven, (He owns many parcels) unless he mitigates the Tsunami issue. He also needs to come up with a sewage plan for his parcels. In the past, Wisconsin mounds SEPTIC TANKS (basically a mound leach field in the back yards.) were deemed OK, but that has changed lately. So there is need for the community as a whole, for a new sewage system. So Kramer is willing to partner in building a Berm over 30 feet tall with a new Fire Station/Evacuation point, with a sewage treatment plant below and just for good measure, a new RV Park on the other side. Stay tuned.