Swift Dam pulls you in, drags you practically, sweeping you over the western landscape until you are ankle deep in Sid Gustafson’s world. The writing flows through the reader’s mind like water and entrenches the reader in the story. With each passing chapter, it becomes harder to discern if you are reading a published novel or a form of the author’s diary.
On a Saturday afternoon last March, Matt Carroll got a curious Facebook message from the stepdaughter of his best friend, Tom Durnell. There had been a landslide near Tom’s home. His wife, Debbie, was at work. They couldn’t get in touch with Tom.
“At first it didn’t sound that ominous,” says Carroll, a professor in Washington State University’s School of the Environment, “like maybe the cell tower went out or something.”
Still, Carroll raised his wife from an afternoon nap and told her something was going on at Tom and Debbie’s.
An earthquake is like a big finger in a spider web. Touch one spot and parts of the web far away will move.
Dan Dolan has been pondering just how far away in the hopes that the web of our state’s vast institutional infrastructure doesn’t snap under the strain. Dolan, a professor of civil and environmental engineering, looked at how we might respond to and recover from damage to the state’s building and housing stock as part of the Resilient Washington State Initiative, a multifaceted assessment of the ways an earthquake can hurt us and how hard it will be to recover.