California Tsunami Damage Exceeds $40 Million

SANTA CRUZ (CBS /AP) – A California official on Monday estimated that statewide damage from last week’s tsunami triggered by a massive offshore earthquake near Japan exceeds $40 million.

Mike Dayton, acting secretary of the Emergency Management Agency, gave the estimate after touring Santa Cruz Harbor, where 18 vessels sank, about 100 were damaged and another 12 remained unaccounted for.

The damage in Santa Cruz Harbor alone is estimated at $17 million.

Meanwhile, engineers were using sonar Monday to scour the bottom of Santa Cruz Harbor for missing vessels sunk by the surge.

Harbor officials and the Coast Guard had pulled four of the missing boats from the bottom of the harbor by Monday Morning.

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Jody Connolly rubbed his red eyes as crews scrambled to pull his 30-foot Trident boat out of the water Monday afternoon.

The hardwood floor contractor had made the vessel his home for the past two years.

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Connolly fled the boat when the first, powerful surge of Friday’s tsunami rolled in. He watched from land as the boat broke from its moorings and sank while the entire dock crumbled.

“One moment I don’t feel anything. The next, I’m completely torn up. It’s kind of hitting me in waves, kind of like the tsunami,” he said.

Photo Gallery: Bay Area Tsunami Damage

The harbor is housing 58 commercial fishing vessels not able to leave the harbor for at least a week until it reopens, said Lisa Ekers, director of the Santa Cruz Port District. She said she was also working to get 60 people living on boats back into their homes.

Crescent City’s inner harbor, which provided berths for more than 100 boats, was virtually destroyed by Friday’s surge.

KCBS’ Holly Quan Reports:

Federal officials said they plan to send a team there later this week with sonar equipment to help locate the sunken boats.

California Department of Fish and Game spokeswoman Alexia Retallack said the local fishing industry has been devastated by damage to the harbor.

(Copyright 2011 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services may have contributed to this report.)


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