CRESCENT CITY- It was a memorable day in Del Norte County Saturday afternoon as the community gathered to celebrate the years of reconstruction to Crescent City’s new harbor. The $54 million project is the first tsunami-resistant port on the West Coast.
"It was a long and arduous process, there was a lot of uncertainty along the way, a lot of obstacles to overcome along the way,” said former Harbormaster and CEO Richard Young.
The harbor was first hit hard when the 2006 tsunami caused nearly 20 million dollars worth of damage, and then just recently in 2011 the harbor was slammed yet again by another tsunami that destroyed at least 17 boats and ruined the docks.
"It was a disaster, it was absolutely destroyed” he said, “It was literally unusable for most of the boats."
It was a day community member Kathy Williams says she will never forget. "This harbor was empty, we were not allowed to get to close because everything was roped off.” She said. “It could have destroyed a lot of property."
Luckily, with $45 million dollars worth of state grant funding, officials were able to rebuild. Now, the new harbor includes hundreds of steel pilings and a sturdy H dock, which would be the first dock to encounter tsunami currants.
There are 244 steel pilings each at 30 inches in diameter and are twice the size of the old ones. The harbor is small but mighty says Young, and a staple in Del Norte County, a place that tops seafood sales in Northern California.