menu search

The 9 Most Horrifying Disasters That Ever Happened In Oregon

News about an earthquake hitting the Pacific Northwest so powerful that it “will destroy a sizable portion of the coastal Northwest,” according to a doomsday report that is to be published in the July 20 edition of The New Yorker (it’s already posted online). In it, the author describes that the Cascadia subduction zone, which runs 700 miles from Mendocino, Calif. on north to Vancouver Island in British Columbia, has the potential and reputation for producing devastating tremors throughout the region. When the next big one hits along this fault line, everything west of Interstate 5, including Seattle, Tacoma, Portland, Eugene, Salem, Olympia, Wash., home to 7 million people, not only could, but will endure the worst natural disaster in North American history.

This revelation has people all over Oregon and Washington shaken up. What would happen to the Northwest as we know it? Are we even remotely prepared? It got us thinking about other natural disasters in the state that wreaked widespread havoc. Here are a few from history.

9) North American snowstorms of 2008
This series of snowstorms dumped record-breaking amounts of the stuff across the U.S. and Canada, including in Portland, which was slammed with the most December snowfall in 40 years. The city was paralyzed. Tri-Met ceased bus service. Hundreds of flights in and out of PDX were cancelled and the city spent more than $2.1 million in removal services. Even trash pickup was canceled for more than two weeks.

In the scheme of things, some of these events were nowhere near as devastating as the super quake predicted in The New Yorker piece, but it makes you think that if a blizzard or windstorm can cause that much disruption, imagine what this mega tremor could do.

Serena Maria Daniels
Serena Maria Daniels is an award-winning freelance journalist in Detroit, by way of Chicago, by way of the West Coast. She writes about Michigan for OIYS. Serena enjoys learning about language and culture and taking road trips with her beagle Ralph.