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Ocosta Elementary School Celebrates Completion of First Tsunami Evacuation Structure in U.S.

On June 11, 2016, Ocosta Elementary School representatives and members of the Westport, Washington community gathered to dedicate a new replacement elementary school which includes the nation's first vertical tsunami evacuation structure. The dedication included soldiers from the Washington National Guard exercising their rooftop helicopter evacuation capabilities.

More than 100,000 people are at risk from a tsunami on the Pacific Northwest coastline. Tsunami waves are expected to hit some parts of the coast within 20 to 30 minutes of an earthquake on the Cascadia Subduction Zone. For locations like the Westport peninsula, this does not provide sufficient time for horizontal evacuation.
Degenkolb Engineers, working with TCF Architecture, designed the structural system for the elementary school and vertical evacuation refuge. The roof of the school gymnasium is designated as a safe refuge and it has a capacity for over 1,000 people, including students, faculty, staff and the general public. The inundation modeling combined with design guidelines resulted in a safe refuge which is 55 feet above sea level and 28 feet above grade. The building features reinforced concrete stair towers and concrete-encased steel columns to protect against impact forces and drilled concrete pile foundations to resist scouring and liquefaction.

For more information, contact Project Manager, Cale Ash, at (206) 262-9240 or or Robert Pekelnicky, at (415) 354-6404,

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Posted by tinabarni on November 29, 2016 3:53 PM
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