And we thought the seawall project in Usuiso was mammoth. And it is. $106 million is a lot of rolled quarters. But compared to Rikuzen-takata, that's exactly what it is. It's sofa change. Steve estimated the dirt required to raise the downtown by 12 meters (38-40 feet) would cost about a billion dollars, assuming downtown was, what? a square mile? Less?
When we arrived Wednesday evening, our planned tour of some key sites mostly got rained out. But we did stop at a service area, unusual to our eyes in that it featured grandstand-style seating, looking out over the...I wasn't sure. Here it is in the rain:
The other things on our tour would've been the Miracle Tree, the one surviving pine of an original 70,000. You can see the new seawall in the background:
So, the leading advice from folks on the coast: run like hell when the ground stops shaking. Even after the new seawall, the new tidal gate, the newly-lifted downtown, that's still the takeaway: go outside and git.
Because around here, that's apparently easier said than done. It didn't help that there had been a handful of false alarms, including just two days earlier. It sounds like many people blew it off. I wonder if the Oregon coast would have an equal but opposite reaction, of full-blown panicked dithering, that would amount to essentially the same result. I'd like to think not, but with mid-summer tourists around?
Next up: the value of NET training!