If you follow the lead of some state agencies, you would never know that little more than a year ago, a significant tsunami caused about $8 million of damage in the community of Brookings.
Don’t get us wrong: The overall state response to the actual damage and recovery was great, starting from the governor’s office on down.
We’re slightly bemused, however, by two recent announcements of state agency training sessions along the Oregon Coast that didn’t come all the way to Brookings. One was a “road show” of Earthquake and Tsunami Preparedness Workshops and the other is a series of workshops on the tsunami debris floating toward the Oregon Coast from Japan.
The “road show” schedulers apparently thought the end of the road was in Gold Beach. The schedule for the tsunami debris squeezes four meetings into 122 miles from Newport to Bandon, but then stops 50 miles short of Brookings with a meeting in Port Orford.
We wonder how many state agency folks, when on their own time, would drive an hour each way to attend an evening information session?
We know we’re remote; we probably can all name friends or family in the Willamette Valley who have never come to see us. We joke, in fact, about how the highway southbound is much longer and inconvenient than the highway going north.
And we know that when these state agency folks consult the Oregon Blue Book, it lists the population of Brookings as only 6,470 – ignoring about 8,000 other folks who live outside the city limits but in our zip code. That makes even entering Curry County seem like “close enough.”
For our part, we wrote both organizers to encourage them to bring their “road shows” to Brookings. Neither gave us the courtesy of a reply.