Just days after the Oso Mudslide, we reported another pending natural disaster, this time on the Washington Coast. The town of Taholah was experiencing yet another large winter storm. While storms and rough waters are common on the Washington Coast, this small tribal community of just 1,700 people is getting a firsthand dose of climate change.
On March 25th, 2014, waves broke through an already repaired seawall along the coast, slamming rough ocean waves against local resident Marco Black’s smokehouse. While normally, this could be attributed to an isolated incident, the town of Taholah has been facing increasing flooding from storms, thanks in part to rising sea levels. Numerous times each year, the community of Taholah, art of the Quinault Tribe has had to deal with ocean flooding.
Immediately after the storm, the US Army Corps of Engineers repaired the seawall, but they admit that it is not a permanent solution. In fact, they went so far as to call the repairs to the seawall a Band-Aid.
The Quinault tribe is responding by discussing a possible move from the coast, relocating the entire town of Taholah to higher ground because of the breached and weakened seawall. That would mean that the ancestral home for the Quinault, home to some of the most unique culture and history of the world, will be gone forever.
While an immediate evacuation isn’t needed, a decision will have to be reached soon, as it may take years to get the funds to move the entire city. The ocean will only get higher, and soon, more and more of our favorite coastal areas, culture centers and ancestral homes will be submerged beneath the ever rising seas.
See What Rising Sea Levels Will do to Your Town
For more information, please read our earlier article: http://exotichikes.com/seawall-breached-along-washington-coast/