Disasters and Accidents

Disasters and Accidents

Ian C. Bates

As heavy rains move into the Northwest, geologists are watching the Oregon side of the Columbia River Gorge. This summer’s wildfires have made slopes that are already prone to landslides even more treacherous.

Ian C. Bates

Now that the fall rains have begun, the fire danger at Multnomah Falls has declined. But Oregon’s popular gem still won’t open anytime soon.

Anna King / Northwest News Network

Government experts are warning that landslides, rockfall and downed trees are likely in the Columbia River Gorge this fall and winter as the rains come. But one Gorge businesswoman worries that she can’t afford another natural disaster.

Tom Banse / Northwest News Network

More people than ever—1.2 million in Washington state and more than 570,000 in Oregon—are registered to participate in the annual Great ShakeOut earthquake and tsunami drill Thursday morning.


Not coincidentally, a Washington state agency is using this week to highlight how the Evergreen State needs to play catch up with neighboring states on earthquake preparedness.

Liz Roll / FEMA News

Last week’s earthquake in Mexico provided another reminder about the risks of poorly reinforced buildings. According to government studies, there are literally thousands of older brick and concrete buildings in Oregon and Washington that could collapse in a strong earthquake.

Emily Schwing / Northwest News Network

The victim of a high school shooting outside Spokane was memorialized over the weekend. At the same time, his friends and neighbors remembered him at a big event that is important to the small community of Freeman, Washington. 

Oregon Department of Geology and Mineral Industries

Geologists for the state of Oregon are warning of the risk of major landslides in parts of the Columbia River Gorge that were hit by wildfires this year.

A new report released Thursday focuses on areas of the Gorge that are highly susceptible to landslides—which also happen to overlap with some of the areas hit by this year’s wildfires.

Sgt. Jodi Eastham / U.S. Army National Guard

In a sign that the wildfire threat is receding, hundreds of Washington National Guard soldiers are being demobilized and sent home over the next 48 hours. They were activated to help fight wildfires earlier this month.

Tom Banse / Northwest News Network

Intelligence experts say North Korea is several years or more away from having the capability to threaten the U.S. West Coast with a nuclear missile. But recent sabre rattling was enough to make Washington state senators hold a hearing Wednesday about preparedness.

Inciweb

This year’s intense wildfire season in Oregon has re-ignited a long-simmering debate at the state Capitol: How to manage forests in a way that doesn’t lead to infernos.

But the politics of wildfires are complicated.

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