Our Northwest

Northwest among safest places to live

Tuesday, September 2, 2014by  Jon Osterberg

Hey there, you worrywarts living in Ontario, Ore., and Nampa, Idaho. Now you have something to cheer you up, just like the fusspots in Big Timber, Mont.
   You’re safe from natural disasters. Generally speaking, of course. Same with our friends in Weiser, Idaho, and Wasco, Ore.
   That’s according to research from NOAA that tracks destructive events dating to 1950. We’re talking about big storms, earthquakes, floods, lightning, wildfire, tornadoes, heat, cold – you name it.
   NOAA data points to Sweet Grass County, Mont. (above), as the safest place in America. It’s too far inland to see hurricanes, too far west to get tornadoes, too arid to receive heavy rain, and too wide open to burn from forest fires.
   Washington County – home to Weiser, Idaho – ranks second, followed by Wheatland County, Mont., and Sherman County, Ore. Overall, seven of the nation’s 15 safest counties are in Montana.
   It’s no shock that earthquake-prone California has five of America's 15 most dangerous counties, led by Orange County (No. 2 overall), Los Angeles County (No. 5), and San Diego County (No. 8).
   Read the Time magazine article to learn which offers more peace of mind – East Coast or West Coast.

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