President declares Oregon's tsunami-hit coast a disaster

President declares Oregon's tsunami-hit coast a disaster
Boats and docks float in disarray Friday, March 11, 2011 at the Port of Brookings Harbor, Ore., after surges from a tsunami sheared off pilings and crumpled docks. (AP Photo/Jeff Barnard)

CURRY COUNTY - A coastal county in Oregon that was ravaged by a tsunami earlier this month will now be getting federal aid to supplement state and local recovery efforts.

On Friday, President Barack Obama declared the area a major disaster, which opens the door for assistance from the Federal Emergency Management Administration.

The March 11 tsunami that struck Japan the hardest ended up destroying or damaging 40 percent of the docks at the Port of Brookings-Harbor on the Oregon coast.

Disaster teams estimate there is about $6.7 million in damage there and with such a high price tag, Gov. John Kitzhaber had asked the president earlier this week to declare a disaster so the area could get help recovering.

Kitzhaber stated that a failure to quickly repair the port would cost the community $10 million in lost revenue from commercial and recreational fishing.