Early earthquake warning system up and running in Grants Pass

GRANTS PASS, Ore.— Shakealert, which is being implemented up and down the west coast, is now up and running in Grants Pass.

Medford and Grants Pass are just a few of the cities in the state that are taking part to prepare for the next big earthquake.

The system is an early earthquake warning system which detects when an earthquake has happened, gives an advanced warning if shaking is going to occur, as well as an estimate on how strong the shaking will be.

From the time the alert could come in a few seconds or a couple of minutes before the time that shaking occurs.

Despite, the short alert time, Jason Canady with Grants Pass Public Works says this gives the city time close valves and shut off waterways. He says that’s important because in cases like this, pipes will inevitably burst and by cutting the water supply off, the city would be able to save water and distribute to the public after a natural disaster happens.

“It would take a very large event, somewhere off of Cascadia to reach into here but that’s really what we need to prepare for and what all utilities in Oregon and the pacific northwest are looking to be ready for,” Canady said.

Eugene was the first city in Oregon to have Shakealert up and running, according to Leland O’Driscoll, Shakealert project manager. Grants Pass is the first city that’s partnered with RH2 to get the system connected with automated services that relay information back to local municipalities in the water/wastewater realm.

The city has a total of eight reservoirs but as of now only one has a sensor on it.

Canady says they plan to get Shakelaert working on all reservoirs.

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