Storm damage [updated]

Everyone seems to be OK. However, I took a glimpse at the harbor and it was very scary to watch (from higher ground, of course.) Here are a few videos taken at the harbor that day.

The human scale was missing; boats were getting tossed into each other, barrels and whole chunks of the pier were bobbing around. I saw three helicopters flying low, and the Coast Guard trying to keep people off the docks and the boats. Boat owners kept scrambling toward the docks, trying protect their stuff.

There were some bad surges still hitting the harbor as of early afternoon– and they seemed to be getting worse for some reason.

Several vessels are still knocking into each other — and I saw a boat sinking right in front of me. Seems like they managed to evacuate just about everybody out of that area.

The bottom line is that it was frightening to witness even though the damage barely registered compared to the devastation in Japan. It was also scary to think about the fact that it only took 12 hours (!) for those swells to reach our shores. There were a few people hooting and hollering and trying to have a “tsunami party” near the steps going up to Frederick Street Park but it seemed like false bravado to me; I think everyone who saw it was thoroughly creeped out.

I wish people would take emergency warnings and safety procedures more seriously around here, considering the incredible amount of damage in other parts of the globe. In light of all that, it seemed like people were taking unnecessary risks. I just saw about a thousand people standing right in the middle of the splash zone, paddle-boarding, taking millions of pictures, shooting videos of sea gulls and eating corn dogs while staring at the water. I even saw someone standing on the viaduct over the San Lorenzo River, assuming a body-boarding stance in case the water swept over the bridge. (not good.)

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