San Mateo County Coastside Residents Pay Attention to Tsunami News Today

My thoughts are with the injured, survivors, first responders, and emergency crews in Japan.

Most of us awakened to the horrible news of the evolving devastation following a huge earthquake in Japan this morning.  Those of us who live on the California coast, especially in our neck of the woods, Half Moon Bay, El Granada, Moss Beach, Montara, Pacifica and Pescadero, also woke to either news alerts, phone calls, or knocks on our doors.  The tsunami following the massive earthquake across the sea was heading in our direction!  Many of us subscribe to the San Mateo County Alerts, which we can get either via email or text.  The notice said voluntary or mandatory evacuation was in force for certain areas of the Coastside.  If you live in San Mateo County, I recommend subscribing to this great service.

I received calls from friends and family all over early this morning just to make sure I was OK!  Our neighborhood (east side of Highway 1 in El Granada) was a voluntary evacuation, not mandatory.  It is especially unsettling if you live here but are away from home right now and have to hear about this on the news.  They only show you the worst!  I’m trying to keep those friends in the loop too.  Fortunately, the San Mateo County coast was spared much damage (from what I know so far).  However, early this morning, I took our dog, Monte, and headed to higher ground at the top of Coral Reef.  There were many cars there, and people hanging out with their PJ’d kids excited for the change of pace and dogs fired up at the “party” so early in the morning.  Some people were using binoculars, just waiting to see something.  The children, of course, don’t understand the seriousness of this, but I’m hearing some are excited for a “tsunami day”.  (Diversion:  When we lived in Michigan, my kids loved the “snow” days!…parents, another story.)

My husband, on his way to work anyway, said “hundreds” of cars were parked at the top of Hwy 92 near Skyline, just waiting.  None of us knew what to expect.  Emergency officials and news services were taking care to offer clear communications, which was reassuring.  Another good “live” resource, which incorporates media, news, and citizen posts is Coastside Current , a local community-service site I implemented with the assistance of Domus Consulting and Media Transparent about a year ago.  Check it out…I’m watching it in the background now as I work to keep up with what’s going on in our area today!  The latest from BCN:  could be big waves for 10 hours…currently there is a boat in distress off Pillar Point Harbor…

The San Mateo County coastal area potentially most affected would be Princeton, in the area of Pillar Point Harbor, but we do have ocean front homes all along the San Mateo Coast.  I got a notice that officials knocked on doors early this morning requesting evacuation.  Even the early morning Starbucks Half Moon Bay shift was sent home between 5-8 am.

About an hour ago when I decided to leave the house, Highway 1 was blocked between Capistrano and Coronado roads in El Granada (preventing access to Sam’s Chowder House or the Beach House, which are right on the water.  See pictures below when I went into town.

I’m curious how this event will affect potential Half Moon Bay Coastside and Pacifica buyers?  I’m showing property to three new prospective clients today, tomorrow and Sunday, so I guess I’ll find out!  Local area natural hazards are detailed in our purchase disclosures and I discuss these with prospective sellers and buyers.  It’s certainly a part of living at the coast, just like tornadoes (or the warnings) were a part of the Midwest experience.

Sunny with a little overcast.  10:30 a.m this morning along the San Mateo County coast in El Granada, overlooking Surfer’s Beach and Princeton and Half Moon Bay (approx 4 miles) to the south.

Copy of P1010612Pillar Point Harbor 3.11.2011 10.30am

Related articles from Coastside Real Estate and Lifestyles:

Coastside Continues to Prepare for the Big One.

Building Business Opportunities in the New Princeton.