A close look at Blue Ridge Fault

Ten miles west of Parkdale, the north side of Mount Hood bears a several-mile-long scar representing a previously undetected seismic fault that may still be active. The fault may also represent a future threat to the valley.

The last time the “Blue Ridge Fault” came to life was in response to a magnitude 6-7 earthquake near Mount Hood. The quake, occurring sometime during the last 12,000 years, resulted in a 6-foot vertical shift in one side of the fault, according to Ian Madin, chief scientist with the Oregon Department of Geology and Mineral Industries.

Madin will describe discovery of the fault, and other newly recognized aspects of the Hood River valley’s geology, at the upcoming monthly meeting of the Hood River Watershed Group. The 30-minute presentation is scheduled during the regular monthly meeting of the HRWG at 7 p.m. Oct. 23, at the OSU Extension Office meeting room (2990 Experiment Station Road in Hood River).

Much of this recent learning was made possible through the use of airborne LIDAR (light detection and ranging) equipment.

LIDAR is a technology that bounces laser light off the ground to uncover surface geology features. Madin’s recent work has uncovered the existence of many faults in the earth’s crust, including others near Mount Hood and others in Deschutes, Klamath and coastal counties. The work is being done by Madin and assorted partners to better understand the hazards that faults present to communities and infrastructure in Oregon.

Also during the meeting, the watershed group will be making free USGS topographic maps available to the public. Map sets are also available for pickup at the watershed group office at 3007 Experiment Station Road. The public is encouraged to attend this free education event.

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Parkdale third graders sing "12 Disaster Days of Christmas"

Welcome to your sing-able Christmas gift list. What follows is an emergency rendition of “12 Days of Christmas” – for outfitting your home or car in case of snow storm, earthquake, flood or other emergency. Read it as a simple list, or sing it to the tune of “12 Days” – you know, as in “ … and a partridge in a pear tree…” Not to make light of it, but the song is a familiar framework for a set of gift ideas that you could consider gathering together, even if the recipient already owns items such as a bunch of coats, tire chains and flashlights. Stores throughout the Gorge are stocked up on all these items. Buying all 12 days might be prohibitive, but here are three ideas for checking any of the dozen off your list (notations follow, 1-12.) The gift items needed to stay warm, dry and safe are also coded to suggest items in your abode (A) in your car (C) or both (B). 12 Gallons of Water (A) 11 Family meals (B) 10 Cans of propane (A) 9 Hygiene bags (B) 8 Packs of batteries (A) 7 Spare coats (B) 6 Bright red flares (C) 5 Cozy blankets (B) 4 Tire chains (C) 3 Flashlights (B) 2 cell phone chargers (B) 1 And a crush-proof first aid kit (B) Price ranges? Here’s a few quotes for days Three, Two, Four and Nine: n A family gift of flashlights (three will run $15-30, Hood River Supply, Tum-A-Lum) n Cell phone chargers (two will run $30-60) n Tire chains (basic set, $30, Les Schwab, returnable if unused for the winter) n Family meals ($100 or so should cover the basics for three or four reasonably well-fed days) n The home kit should be kept in a handy place near an exit, and remember that water needs to be replenished every few months. If you have a solid first aid kit already, switch out the gift idea with “and-a-sto-o-u-t- tub-for it-all …” Otherwise, it’s a case of assembling your home or car kits and making sure all members of the family know what the resources are and how to use them (ie flares and propane). Emergency situations are at worst life-threatening, at best deeply uncomfortable if you and your family are left without power for an extended period, or traveling and find yourself in a situation where you need to wait out a storm, lengthy traffic delay, or other crisis. Notes on the 12 gift ideas: 12 – Gallons of water: that’s one per person in a four-member family to last for three days, the recommended minimum to be prepared for utility outages. 11 – Easy-open packaged goods, energy bars, dried food and nuts are good things to include for nutrition. Think of what your family of four needs for three days to stay fortified and hydrated (see number 12). Can-opener also recommended 10 – If you have a propane camping stove, keep extra fuel handy. 9 – Hygiene bags: put packaged moistened towelettes, toilet paper, and plastic ties in large garbage bags (for personal sanitation) Resource list courtesy of Hood River County Emergency Management, Barbara Ayers, manager/ 541-386-1213. The county also reminds residents to Get a Kit, Make A Plan to connect your family if separated, and Stay Informed. See www.co.hood-river.or.us to opt-in for citizen alerts. Enlarge

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