As your state Senator, I have been actively involved with organizations and communities as they learn and prepare for a Cascadia Subduction Zone event. This subduction zone produces 8 to 9-plus magnitude earthquakes and tsunamis that can be as high as 80 feet.

Recent research from Oregon State University geophysicist Chris Goldfinger has determined that the probability of a major Cascadia Subduction Zone earthquake occurring within the next 50 years is between 70 and 93 percent. As each day passes, our Oregon Coast residents are one day closer to this catastrophic event.

I am very aware that, because of the age of its schools and their locations, Seaside School District is one of the more vulnerable school districts on the Oregon Coast to the effects of earthquakes and tsunamis.

Three of its schools average over 60 years of age; each is only 5 to 15 feet above sea level; and they were evaluated by the Department of Geology and Mineral Industries (DOGAMI) to have a high probability of collapse during an earthquake. All schools in Seaside School District are within DOGAMI tsunami evacuation zone.

Seaside School District is giving its community an opportunity to invest in its future. The devastating reality of Japan’s tsunami, coupled with Seaside geographic similarities, provides clarity and opens an exciting opportunity for one community to provide proactive safety measures. The new K-12 school campus is being designed as a safe, long-term community evacuation shelter in the event of an emergency. It will also provide the staff and students up-to-date educational opportunities.

Bond interest rates are low, but they are beginning to increase. Because of this, it is essential to pass the bond this November. Please join me in supporting the new K-12 campus bond for Seaside School District.

Betsy Johnson

State Senator

Salem

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