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Thursday, June 26, 2014

The Valdez Museum in Valdez, Alaska

The $7.00 admission for an
adult includes a visit
to the Museum's Annex.

A beautifully restored
1886 Gleason & Bailey
Hand Pump Fire Engine

The North Pacific Fur Fish

This region's "wildest"
tourist attraction.

The piece on the left is
titled Chenga Mourning.

The tag line for the piece
on the right is, "... in rolled
the sea... over the troubled
spirit... we called the land."

The Alaskan Bush Pilot Display
features Bush Pilots who linked
Valdez to the rest of Alaska.

These skis were attached to
a Bush Pilot's plane for
landing on glaciers &
snowy airstrips.

Alaskan Natives fished these
waters for many years before
came to this region.

A replica of a miner's

Surveying was important to
map out miners claims.

As Valdez grew from a
tent town, more services
became available.

A photo studio

A table sits in the corner
with materials for an art
project for the museum's
youngest visitors.

The ground started to shake
at 5:36 pm on March 27, 1964.

Valdez was built on top of gravel.  After the earth shook, an underwater landslide occurred, followed by a tsunami.  The harbor docks were wrecked.  Three blocks of Valdez were under water.

The Union Oil tanks, located
harbor side, caught fire
& exploded.

Thirty-two people in Valdez were killed.  Sections of the Richardson Highway were damaged and Valdez was cut off from help for a time.

The National Guard arrived with assistance.  The homes and businesses were inspected.  Some of them were condemned.  The people of Valdez were relocated in communities around Alaska. A plan was set in motion to move Valdez to a more stable site four miles away.  Two years later, residents returned to Valdez. Some lived in homes that were moved to the New Town.  Others moved into new homes.

Valdez is the most northerly ice free fresh water port in the United States.  It was chosen as the southern terminus of the Trans Alaska Pipeline.

This statue honors the Trans
Alaska Pipeline construction

Built between 1975 and 1977, the Trans Alaska Pipeline is an engineering feat.

The first barrel of oil that
traveled from Prudhoe Bay
to Valdez in 1977.

Just after midnight on March 24, 1989,
the Exxon Valdez, a single hulled oil tanker,
struck Bligh Reef & its hull was torn open.

The largest scale clean up of
oil in history of the world started
 in Prince William Sound.

Workers camped in tents
 adjacent to the areas they
 worked to clean up.

A piece of the Exxon Valdez's
hull reminds visitors that the
ship had a single hull.
Alaskans and the world learned a lot about emergency response procedures following a large scale oil spill. Much needed  emergency response equipment was buried under 12 feet of snow on March 24, 1989.  The delay in using the much needed equipment allowed the oil to spread from its initial impact area.  Today, an emergency command center with  response equipment is kept on a ship in Valdez harbor.  The ship is manned 24 hours a day. Other caches of emergency equipment are located close by and easily accessible year round.

Exxon paid $900,000.000 in fines for the damage done to Prince William Sound caused by the Exxon Valdez oil spill.  Immediate and long term effects of the oil spill have been studied and documented.  Careful studies of the plants, birds, fish and mammals of Prince William Sound have provided much new information wildlife in the Sound.

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