09-23-2020  5:36 am   •   PDX and SEA Weather
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NORTHWEST NEWS

US Judge Blocks Postal Service Changes That Slowed Mail

The Yakima, Washington judge called the changes “a politically motivated attack on the efficiency of the Postal Service” before the November election.

Black and Jewish Community Join to Revive Historic Partnership

United in Spirit Oregon brings together members of the NAACP, Jewish Federation of Greater Portland, others to serve as peacemakers 

Feds Explored Possibly Charging Portland Officials in Unrest

Federal officials were told that Portland police officers were explicitly told not to respond to the federal courthouse

Latest: Report: Downed Power Lines Sparked 13 Oregon Fires

As wildfires continue to burn in Oregon and the west, here are today's updates.

NEWS BRIEFS

Black Leaders Endorse Sarah Iannarone for Portland Mayor

Iannarone seeks to unseat an embattled Mayor Ted Wheeler, who has increasingly high unfavorable approval ratings. ...

Today in History: Senate Confirms Nomination of First Female Justice to Supreme Court

On Sept. 21, 1981, the Senate unanimously confirmed the nomination of Sandra Day O’Connor to become the first female justice on the...

Free Masks and Gloves Now Available for Small Businesses

Businesses with fewer than 50 employees that are headquartered in Oregon with principal operations in Oregon are eligible. ...

Forest Service Explains 'Containment'

US Forest Service, Riverside Fire provides a special update to explain how they achieve wildfire containment. ...

Oregon Receives Approval of Federal Disaster Declaration for Wildfires

Decision will enable federal aid to begin flowing, as unprecedented wildfires ravage state and force evacuation of thousands ...

Seattle City Council overrides mayor's veto of policing cuts

SEATTLE (AP) — Seattle will reduce the police department’s budget and reallocate some money to community programs after the City Council voted Tuesday evening to override Mayor Jenny Durkan’s vetoes of adjustments to this year’s budget.The council’s proposals...

Authorities: Wrong-way interstate driver caused fatal crash

Authorities say a wrong-way driver was involved in a three-car crash on northbound Interstate 5 in Portland, Oregon, leaving one person dead, another injured and the highway closed for about two hours.KOIN reports the wrong-way driver was reported around 3:45 a.m. Tuesday and as police were...

AP Top 25 Reality Check: When streaks end, but not really

For the first time since the end of the 2011 season, Ohio State is not ranked in the AP Top 25.The Buckeyes' streak of 132 straight poll appearances is the second-longest active streak in the country, behind Alabama's 198.Of course, in this strange season of COVID-19, Ohio State's streak was...

Potential impact transfers this season aren't limited to QBs

While most of the offseason chatter surrounding college football transfers inevitably focuses on quarterbacks, plenty of notable players at other positions also switched teams and could make major impacts for their new schools this fall.Miami may offer the clearest example of this.Quarterback...

OPINION

Defeating a Demagogue: A Reminder from History

Mel Gurtov dedicates this column to Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, whom he calls "a warrior for human rights, decency, and the rule of law" ...

SPLC Statement on the Passing of Rev. Robert S. Graetz Jr.

Graetz was the only white clergyman to publicly support the Montgomery Bus Boycott ...

Tell Your Senators: “Let the People Decide”

Just 45 days before Election Day, voters like you should have a say in choosing our next Supreme Court justice ...

Inventor Urges Congress to Pass Laws Upholding Patent Rights

German Supreme Court ruling prevents African American company Enovsys from licensing its widely used technology in Germany ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

China blasts US House bill, denies forced labor in Xinjiang

BEIJING (AP) — China on Tuesday lashed out at the passage of a bill by the U.S. House of Representatives that threatens sanctions over the alleged use of forced labor in China’s Xinjiang region, calling the accusation a lie. Foreign ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin said the bill...

Mars drops Uncle Ben's, reveals new name for rice brand

NEW YORK (AP) — The Uncle Ben's rice brand is getting a new name: Ben's Original. Parent firm Mars Inc. unveiled the change Wednesday for the 70-year-old brand, the latest company to drop a logo criticized as a racial stereotype. Packaging with the new name will hit stores next year....

Recorded attack on Black runner is charged as a hate crime

NEW YORK (AP) — A woman who was captured on video hurling a bottle and a racial slur at a Black runner in New York City has been charged with attempted assault as a hate crime and aggravated harassment, authorities said Tuesday.Lorena Delaguna, 53, was arraigned in Queens criminal court on...

ENTERTAINMENT

Review: Millie Bobby Brown has fun with ‘Enola Holmes’

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Kevin Hart inks new multi-platform deal with SiriusXM

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Kevin Hart is bringing more of his funny back to SiriusXM.The satellite radio company announced on Tuesday a new multi-platform deal with Hart and his comedy network Laugh Out Loud. The superstar comedian-actor will host new regular and live programs on his channel, Laugh...

Something unusual is missing among Nielsen's top programs

NEW YORK (AP) — There's something missing in the Nielsen company's listing of last week's 20 most popular prime-time programs, something that once would have seemed inconceivable.Not a single scripted program is included — no drama or no comedy.The most-watched scripted show of the...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

President of Belarus inaugurated despite election protests

KYIV, Ukraine (AP) — President Alexander Lukashenko of Belarus assumed his sixth term of office Wednesday...

Election 2020 Today: Trump vs. science, Biden takes his time

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Thousands expected to honor Ginsburg at Supreme Court

WASHINGTON (AP) — Thousands of people are expected to pay their respects at the Supreme Court to the late...

Malaysian opposition leader Anwar plans new government

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) — Malaysian opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim said Wednesday he has secured a...

EU tries yet again to fix broken down asylum system

BRUSSELS (AP) — Conceding after years of chaos and dispute that its costly asylum system is broken, the...

President of Belarus inaugurated despite election protests

KYIV, Ukraine (AP) — President Alexander Lukashenko of Belarus assumed his sixth term of office Wednesday...

Don't Call the Police for domestic disturbances
McMenamins
Helen Silvis

Floods. Fires. Snow and ice storms. Earthquakes and epidemics. Terrorist attacks. Emergencies happen. In fact, according to FEMA , we've had 69 disasters this year already, in the United States -- 43 of them in Washington and 23 in Oregon.  

Oregon Rep. David Wu is leading an effort to improve our ability to predict and prepare for natural hazards. Chairing a hearing in the Science Subcommittee on Technology and Innovation last week, Wu called for a coordinated approach to all disaster research funding.

"Wind and fire cause approximately $28 billion worth of damage and kill an average of 4,350 Americans each year," Wu said. "The key to successful mitigation of any and all potential hazards is a coordinated and effective public education program."

Wu is advocating for a single hazards mitigation program to fund research into wind, fire, earthquakes, tsunamis and other disasters, instead of the current piecemeal funding system.

Disasters, whether natural or manmade, can cause tremendous damage, destruction and death. Nobody can predict when a disaster will strike, or exactly who will suffer.
 But using the data we have collected over time, experts can predict the kinds of disasters that are most likely to happen and where.  Nationally, for example Texas, California and Oklahoma and Florida rank one to four in the list of disaster prone states. Washington state is ranked number 20 with 43 emergencies declared so far this year while Oregon ranks number 33 with 23 declared disasters.

Few of us want to spend our lives worrying about disasters that probably will never happen. Yet we are told everyone should be prepared to cope in an emergency. So what kind of disasters are likely to happen in the Northwest?

In both Washington and Oregon states, the record tells us that the most likely natural disasters are winter storms, floods, mudslides and fires, Earthquakes and droughts are rarer although potentially even more devastating. Multnomah County's 2005 hazard mitigation assessment mapped the areas most vulnerable to natural disasters. That included flooding in low-lying areas of Portland and fires in natural areas such as Mock's Crest. King County's emergency management site lists 16 hazards from avalanches and power outages to hazardous materials spills.

Which potential danger would hurt Northwest residents the most? According to the State of Oregon's 2006 hazard analysis and mitigation plan, the three potentially most devastating natural disasters, would be of disaster prone states. Washington state is ranked number 20 with 43 emergencies declared so far this year while Oregon ranks number 33 with 23 declared disasters. Few of us want to spend our lives worrying about disasters that probably will never happen. Yet everyone should be prepared to cope in an emergency. So what kind of disasters are likely to happen in the Northwest?In both Washington and Oregon states, the record tells us that the most likely natural disasters are winter storms, floods, mudslides and fires, Earthquakes and droughts are rarer although potentially even more devastating. Multnomah County's 2005 hazard mitigation assessment mapped the areas most vulnerable to natural disasters. That included flooding in low-lying areas of Portland and fires in natural areas such as Mock's Crest. King County's emergency management site lists from avalanches and power outages to hazardous materials spills. Which potential danger would hurt Northwest residents the most? According to the State of Oregon's 2006 hazard analysis and mitigation plan, the three potentially most devastating natural disasters, would be

A major earthquake

A tsunami, or

A volcanic eruption.

The last time a large earthquake hit the Pacific Northwest was in the year 1700, said John Vidale, director of the Pacific Northwest Seismic Network. "A big earthquake of magnitude nine comes about once every 500 years, so we have a 10 percent chance of seeing one in the next 50 years."

Video

Watch this video where Jonathan Jui speaks about disaster preparedness, focusing on the events of Hurricane Katrina.



A former UCLA professor, who is now Washington State Seismologist, Vidale says studies of Seattle and Portland suggest that Seattle would suffer more damage than previously thought if an earthquake hit the Puget Sound area. "We're thinking that Seattle is more dangerous than we had thought because of the big basin in the Puget Sound," he said. "Portland seems like it may be less in danger than we had thought." However, he said, "If a six occurred in Portland it could do a lot of damage."

Vidale said the good news is that better seismometers and more careful studies have improved our ability to predict and warn citizens of an approaching earthquake.

The risk of a coastal tsunami is similar to risk of an earthquake. In fact tsunamis are caused by earthquakes under the ocean floor. All coastal areas could be affected.

Man made disasters, such as terrorist attacks, chemical spills and radiation leaks, are more difficult to predict. But experts say that families and businesses who prepare for a natural disaster will be prepared for any kind of disaster. The keys to being prepared are to make a plan for what you would do if:

Your family was separated when a disaster struck

You had to stay in your home for several days

Your home had no power or water supply

Local telephones won't work

Roads were closed

Shops and pharmacies were closed

 

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