SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

The Nation

March 12, 2011

Calif., Ore. sustained most damage from tsunami

(Continued)

CRESCENT CITY, Calif. —

"Just if you ask me, they're being too bold," Wood said. "It's still early. They're just not being cautious."

Erik Bergman was back at the shore by 9:30 in the morning. Roughly 100 feet away was a man playing with his dog. Two small children chased seagulls.

"People aren't too nervous," Bergman said.

President Barack Obama said the Federal Emergency Management Agency was ready to come to the aid of any U.S. state or territory that needed help. Coast Guard cutters and aircraft were readied to respond as soon as conditions allowed.

Outside Brookings, Ore., just north of the California border, four people went to a beach to watch the waves and were swept into the sea. Two got out on their own, and the others were rescued, authorities said.

Brookings harbor saw the worst reported damage in the state with half the facility destroyed and 10 boats sunk, Curry County Sheriff John Bishop said.

"The port is in total disarray," he said.

In Crescent City, Calif., miles to the south, the Coast Guard suspended their hours-long search at dark for a man who was swept out to sea. He was taking photos near the mouth of the Klamath River. Two people with him jumped in to rescue him. They were able to get back to land, authorities said.

Sheriff's deputies went door to door at dawn to urge residents to seek higher ground.

An 8-foot wave rushed into the harbor, destroying about 35 boats and ripping chunks off the wooden docks, as marina workers and fishermen scrambled between surges to secure property. Officials estimated millions of dollars in damage.

When the water returned, someone would yell "Here comes another one!" to clear the area.

Ted Scott, a retired mill worker who lived in the city when a 1964 tsunami killed 17 people on the West Coast, including 11 in Crescent City, watched the water pour into the harbor.

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