Tsunami threat tunes up emergency systems

The threat of a tsunami on Friday turned out to be just that – a threat. But what was learned in the process was that the systems in place work.

“It’s really neat it didn’t come,” said Juan de Fuca Electoral Area Director Mike Hicks. “The town (Port Renfrew) was evacuated in the middle of the night.”

He said the phone switch system worked and people were able to talk to each other.

“Had it come, the result would have been the same, everything just worked,” said Hicks.

Hicks went on to say how well all of the emergency plans worked and the efforts of emergency coordinators Ted Mahler and George OBriain.

Port Renfrew now has phone service restored by Telus and encompasses both internal and external service.  The reception centre is closed, but able to be opened at a moment’s notice. OBriain said there was a reported rise in the sea level when the tsunami was expected at the Cove Bridge, but estimates of height were less than 0.4m.

Jordan River and Shirley are aware that they are out of Area C, but remain cautious of the Tsunami Advisory.

Hicks said that if one day a tsunami did come, the community would be prepared because of all the emergency preparation and training.

“That’s pretty cool,” he said.

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