AK: Under Water (Part 1)

This week we go Under Water. We’ll visit Southeast’s very own Atlantis and learn about a proposed fast ferry that might be a bit slow in coming. Plus, in preparation for Tsunami Awareness Week, stories from tsunami survivors and a trip to Palmer’s Tsunami Warning Center — one of just two in the U.S. All that and more this week on AK, heard statewide on local APRN stations statewide.

Tsunami Story: Lituya Bay
AK’s Scott Burton speaks with Howard Ulrich, a survivor of the 1958 tsunami that rocked Lituya Bay.

Tsunami Warning Center
When the mega-tsunami hit Lituya Bay, the U.S. had just one facility dedicated to alerting the public about tsunamis: the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center in Ewa Beach, Hawaii. But after the 1964 Good Friday earthquake, Congress provided funds to build another one — this time, in Palmer. AK host Rebecca Sheir speaks with geologists Cindi Preller and Bruce Turner at the Pacific Coast/Alaska Tsunami Warning Center.

Tsunami Story: Indian Ocean
Sonja Marshall was teaching in Dillingham when she decided to spend winter break 2004 in Thailand. She was lying on a beach when the now-legendary tsunami hit. In this interview from the AK archives (January 2005), Marshall shares her story with reporter Jody Seitz.

  • Break: “Underwater” by Danny Elfman from Big Fish: Music from the Motion Picture

Southeast’s Atlantis
Scientists are finding evidence that Southeast Alaska’s outer coast used to have another layer of islands and peninsulas. The now-sunken ground could harbor hidden evidence of the region’s first human inhabitants. CoastAlaska’s Ed Schoenfeld spoke with Forest Service geologist Jim Baichtal, geology professor Cathy Connor and anthropology professor Daniel Monteith of the University of Alaska and New Mexico-based anthropologist James Dixon, to bring us the story.

  • Music Button: “Wade in the Water” performed by Herb Alpert from Greatest Hits Vol. 2

Port MacKenzie Ferry
The MV Susitna, a state-of-the-art icebreaker being built in Ketchikan, is already making waves. The Mat-Su Borough and the city of Anchorage can’t agree on where to land the vessel. In this story by AK’s Ellen Lockyer, we hear from project front man Lou Madden, Anchorage Economic and Community Development head Mary Jane Michael, Mat-Su Borough manager John Duffy and Steve Ribuffo, deputy director of the Port of Anchorage.

  • Calendar of Events (“Agua de Beber (Water to Drink)” by Antonio Carlos Jobim from The Man From Ipanema)

Blood’s Thicker Than Water
The Zahaski family lives together, home-schools together, travels together and works together… in a most musical way. AK’s Scott Burton recently had breakfast with the members of The Alaska String Band.

  • Break: “Bridge Over Troubled Water” from A Bluegrass Tribute to Simon & Garfunkel: Homeward Sound

Tsunami Story: Chenega
Chenega is the oldest continuously-inhabited native community in the Prince William Sound area. Roughly 120 people resided there in early 1964 — on the side of an island, below a mountain — practicing a subsistence lifestyle and maintaining a deep devotion to the Russian Orthodox Church. After the 1964 Good Friday earthquake, the ensuing waves wiped out the village and more than a quarter of the population was lost. AK’s Rebecca Sheir brings us the story of tsunami survivor Paul Timothy Selanoff.

  • Music Button: “Song of the Black Swan” by Pink Martini from Hang On Little Tomato

300 Villages
Saint Mary’s

Tsunami Story: Seward
Seward resident Doug McRae was 20 years old when the 1964 earthquake hit. His whole family piled into the car — his mom and dad, sister and brother, wife and new baby — and drove out of town, away from the burning fuel tanks. They went to his in-laws’ house at the head of the bay – and ended up in the path of the tsunami. He shared his story with AK producer Jessica Cochran.

  • Music Button: “Zissou Society Blue Star Cadets/Ned’s Theme Take 1” by Mark Mothersbaugh from The Life Aquatic With Steve Zissou Soundtrack
  • Closing: “Tsunami” by DJ Egoiste from Trance Generation