The Manzanita Visitors Center’s Manager Dan Haag came to Seaside to give an update on Manzanita’s tornado recovery efforts.
The Oct. 14 event tore through downtown Manzanita before striking U.S. Highway 101.
“It could have been a lot worse,” Haag told members of Seaside’s Chamber of Commerce at its Friday breakfast. “From what you’ve seen and heard on the news, obviously some serious damage. Luckily it happened when no one was around and a lot of those houses were unoccupied.”
According to Haag, 128 different buildings were damaged and six businesses sustained damages. “The cleanup has progressed really well,” Haag said. “Ninety-seven, 98 percent of our merchants are open for business. Lots of trees are down — that’s going to take some getting used to. But if you came down and you saw the damage immediately after the tornado, you’ll see the difference is amazing.”
At a special Manzanita City Council meeting Oct. 21, officials estimated they had spent about $35,000 clearing debris from city rights-of-way.
The decision was made to wait and see how much debris remains after a few weeks before possibly making damage estimates, according to Manzanita Administrative Assistant Kristin Grasseth.
“We’re trying to find what insurance is doing and who’s doing what,” she said Friday. “What we’re coming to find is that there’s more homes with damage that wasn’t visible.”
Doors not being able to shut are indications that “something shifted,” Grasseth said. “Some people are not even aware there is damage to their homes.”
Engineers are being called in to examine homes in the tornado’s path.
Grasseth described one property on cinder blocks that shifted 19 inches.
“That house is coming down,” she said. “Those are the things we’re up against right now.”
On Friday, Laneda Avenue was closed throughout the day from Third Street North to Fourth Street North so that a contractor could remove the roof from the damaged building across from the post office.
The Manzanita City Council meeting on Nov. 9 will provide an update and “we’ll see where things are at,” Grasseth said.
Haag invited Seaside chamber members to show their gratitude to first responders, utility workers, city employees and local contractors, among others, at a breakfast held Saturday at the Pine Grove Community House in Manzanita.
“We’re very fortunate,” Haag said. “We have a very well-oiled, well-prepared emergency response team. Everybody jumped right into action.
The best way to help with the recovery, he added, is to come to Manzanita.
“Come visit your favorite shop, have a meal at your favorite restaurant, say ‘Hi’ to your local merchants,” Haag said. “They’ll love you for it.
Send donations to Fulcrum Community Resources/Manzanita Tornado Relief, PO Box 44, Manzanita 97130 or visit the Manzanita Tornado Relief Facebook page.