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Residents stay calm during tsunami evacuation

Renee Gross, KBBI News

After tsunami sirens sounded in the Homer area this morning, some residents evacuated to  Homer High School. But the mood there was calm as many residents said they’ve been through this before.

Connie Akers is the high school librarian. She says Friday’s quake was much like the one that sounded tsunami sirens back in January.  

“Well, I think the one experience helped everyone to know [the evacuation to the high school] was going to at least be a possibility during the day,” he said. “So I don't think it was a surprise to anyone and we have a really great staff to step in wherever it's needed for help.”

Multiple schools in the area also took shelter at the high school. Marcy True is a teacher at West Homer Elementary School. She said some kids were scared but the process of evacuation went well.

“It was unexpected, but the kids got on the buses," she said. "They were excited. But when we got here, they were orderly."  

However, for some of the folks who were visiting or haven’t lived in the Homer area that long, figuring out where to go or what to do was difficult. Katie Bower and her two children are new in town. She was surprised to feel an earthquake this morning.

“I called my husband who was in Kodiak and then decided to get in my car and tried to find high ground, which we didn't know where it was,” she said. “So we found a kind stranger to lead us up here to the high school.”

The National Tsunami Warning Center canceled the tsunami warning shortly before 10 a.m. and residents were allowed to return to their homes. 

Renee joined KBBI in 2017 as a general assignment reporter and host. Her work has appeared on such shows as Weekend Edition Saturday, The World, Marketplace and Studio 360. Renee previously interned as a reporter for KPCC in Los Angeles and as a producer for Stateside at Michigan Radio. Her work has earned her numerous press club awards. She holds an M.S. in journalism from the University of Southern California and a B.A. in women's studies from the University of Michigan.