New tsunami hazard maps highlight threat facing seven California counties — even Napa is at risk
By Brian Richards
The last thing many residents in Napa County want is another devastating tsunami. That’s why they’re hoping for a positive resolution with an upcoming natural hazard mapping board meeting, scheduled for 9:30 a.m. today.
The maps, released in July by the Department of Homeland Security’s National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, highlight the risk and resources needed to mitigate those impacts. To be clear, there’s no need to worry about an actual tsunami, which have not been detected in California, though the region has been inundated with waves for centuries.
“We are in the process of making changes to our tsunami threat map,” said Lt. Mike Davis, chief of the Napa County Office of Emergency Services. “There is no current threat and we are working diligently toward the goal of a full revision once the board convenes.”
Davis said there is an actual need to revise the map:
“Our county has prepared for a disaster through the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and other institutions that are part of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration have provided significant input into what Napa County should have in our tsunami risk,” he said. This includes the ability to adjust coastal defenses, coastal safety and tsunami safety awareness. We are currently in process of implementing many of these recommendations.”
Ahead of today’s meeting, Davis said he and others would like to see specific proposals for coastal and offshore mitigation for the seven counties, whether that’s levees, breakwaters, riprap, coastal structures or even landward relocation of military bases, which are in their way.
“At present it appears there are seven different maps,” he said. “We have no intention of taking anything away from any other county or district within our county borders, but in regard to the coastal risks, we would like to see proposals submitted for the seven counties.”
Davis said he has been in communication with state officials about the updated tsunami map and said he was impressed with the latest information.