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Leaders from SF, LA, other disaster-prone cities look to Houston for real-life lessons

San Francisco's seawall is prone to collapse in an earthquake. Though the Port is working to engineer a solution, a fix is likely still years away.

San Francisco’s seawall is prone to collapse in an earthquake. Though the Port is working to engineer a solution, a fix is likely still years away.

Excerpts from SF gate:

Cities across the country that live with the threat of disaster — from earthquakes in San Francisco to hurricanes in Miami — are anxiously watching the catastrophe unfolding in Houston for lessons learned, cautionary tales, anything to soften the blow when their residents are the ones in danger.

“We know we are racing against the clock,” said Elaine Forbes, the executive director of the Port of San Francisco, her office buttressed by a century-old seawall that could collapse in an earthquake. “Seeing Houston stoked the fire.”

“We look at this and realize that while they might be underwater, we someday will be under crumbled buildings,” said Eric Garcetti, the mayor of Los Angeles. “And it will take years, if not decades, to rebuild.”

Some of the lessons, officials said, have been encouraging, in particular the initial willingness of Republicans in Washington, some of whom famously resisted providing assistance after Hurricane Sandy pummeled New York and New Jersey in 2012, to approve the billions of dollars that will be needed to rebuild.

More at SF gate

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