City receives big grant to make Safe Haven Hill safe, a haven and a function hill for earthquake evacuees.
Newport City Council Monday night accepted a nearly half million dollar grant from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to prepare for those who live in South Beach to run for higher ground right after a big earthquake. The higher ground they’ll run to will be, for most folks at the north end of South Beach, Safe Haven Hill. That’s the high hill right at the south end of Yaquina Bay Bridge on the west side of the highway.
The nearly $500,000 grant will be matched with another $140,000 from the city – from urban renewal funds, mostly. The city will build clearly marked access to the pathways leading up to the top of the hill. Once there, tsunami refugees will find a wide clearing for survivors to hang out until the all clear is given that there are no more tsunamis coming in.
There are also pathways south of Safe Haven Hill for earthquake survivors to hike up either SE 40th to the college or eventually permission to hike up the hill behind the PUD maintenance yard to the top of the long hill that connects with the college.
Improvements to Safe Haven Hill with the FEMA money is expected to be completed sometime before March of 2016.