For some, the March 11th tsunami is ancient history. But for those in California who were most directly and significantly affected, like Crescent City, the wounds are still open.

The small fishing town sustained millions in damages to its harbor, as well as the sinking of 16 vessels. Four months later, the clean up is still underway while residents find too little relief from reimbursements or loans, many which can’t be afforded.

The clean up, which includes dredging up the harbor which is now as shallow as four feet in some places, has been slowed by environmental red tape. The hope is to have the harbor dredged and reopened by August which would allow fisherman to prepare for the December 1 start to crab season.

From California

It’s been four months since tsunami waves generated by a magnitude 9.0 earthquake off the coast of Japan ravaged the harbor in Northern California’s Crescent City, destroying pilings and sinking 16 boats after ripping them from their docks.

But the diminutive harbor is still a long way from functional, crippling to a local economy dependent on the fishing industry. Tsunami victims, meanwhile, are finding little help in disaster relief, much of it in the form of reimbursements and loans they can’t afford.

Excluding the inmates who reside in Pelican Bay State Prison, Crescent City is home to about 4,200 people. The town already took a significant hit when most of the lumber mills and fish processing facilities were shuttered in the last decade, forcing hundreds to leave in search of jobs. Once home to eight lumber mills and three fish processing plants, Crescent City is down to just one of each.

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