Emergency Management

Pierce County continues to monitor river, streams
Posted By Sheri Badger on Nov 15th, 2001 at 9:00 AM

Tacoma, WA – November 15, 2001 – Yesterday, Pierce County experienced minor localized flooding in low-lying areas. Water seeped into basements and flooded lawns. Local fire departments provided sandbags to help protect homes in flood-prone areas. Fortunately, the Puyallup River stayed within its banks. Much of the flooding was road related, due to leaves and other debris clogging drains. Pierce County road crews worked into the evening, placing signs to warn drivers of hazardous conditions. The Pierce County Emergency Operations Center (EOC) continues to monitor the levels of the Puyallup River and local streams. The National Weather Service is forecasting rain, tapering to showers with drier weather likely this weekend.


Pierce County Emergency Operations Center Opens in response to local flooding
Posted By Sheri Badger on Nov 14th, 2001 at 12:19 PM

Tacoma, WA – November 14, 2001 – The Pierce County Emergency Operations Center (EOC) is open in response to urban and small stream flooding. Residents in low-lying areas are encouraged to take necessary precautions. The EOC can be reached at 253-798-7470. Here’s a brief look at some of the hot spots (many are urban road intersections, due to leaves and other materials clogging drains):

  • Road Closure: 128th east of Meridian
  • Orville Road north of High Bridge (south of Orting) is the area of most concern. The Puyallup River is currently running at 3,800 cubic feet per second (cfs) in this area – flooding usually occurs at 5,000 cfs. The river expected to crest at 6,000 cfs at approximately 4 p.m.
  • 47th Ave. E – Riverside
  • 144th and Meridian
  • 100-120th St. S. and Pacific Avenue
  • 121st and Canyon Rd.
  • 116th SW and Gravelly Lake Drive
  • Lake Grove SW from 59th to Gravelly Lake Drive
  • Custer and Bridgeport Way
  • South Prairie Creek
  • 10135 Patterson So.

Flood Preparedness and Response
Posted By Sheri Badger on Nov 14th, 2001 at 3:52 AM

Tacoma, WA – November 14, 2001 – Flood Preparedness & Response If you know that you live in a flood-prone area, taking a little time today to prepare can increase your safety and help minimize your losses during a flood. Steps to Take Today Learn the safest route from your home or business to high, safe ground. Be aware of low-lying areas which flood early and block your evacuation. If you are a rancher, make plans for moving livestock to a higher area also. Keep on hand the following items: A portable radio, flashlights, fresh batteries, containers with clean drinking water, first aid kit, warm clothing, non-perishable foods. Remember that during a flood, electric power and other utilities will probably be interrupted. You should also plan for your pet’s needs. Additional items which may help you protect your property include plastic sheeting, sandbags and plywood sheets. Sandbags may not be available during the flood. Store valuables in higher areas such as the second floor. If possible, store hazardous material above the anticipated flood level. Prepare a complete list of personal property. Photographs or a video of your house, inside and out, can help with insurance claims or uninsured loss tax deductions after a flood. Photographs should be stored in a safe place such as a safe deposit box or with your insurance company. Consider purchasing flood insurance. Most home insurance policies do not cover flood losses. Check with your insurance agent. When a Flood Comes Keep your radio tuned to a local station for up-to-date weather and flood warning information. If you have a weather radio, tune to NOAA at 162.4, 162.475 or 162- 55 megahertz (MHz). If you are outside, remember… FLOODS ARE DECEPTIVE. Avoid flooded areas and do not try to walk through floodwaters that are more than knee deep. If driving, DO NOT drive over a flooded road – Almost all drownings during a flood occur within a car or truck. DO NOT drive around road barricades that have been placed by city or county officials. If you are caught in the house, move to the upper story, then to the roof if necessary. Wait for assistance. Take your radio, flashlights and other emergency supplies – DO NOT attempt to swim to safety. If, and Only If, Time Permits Turn off all utilities, including power and gas. Do not touch any electrical equipment unless it is in a dry area. Move valuables and toxic materials to a higher location, such as an attic or upper level. Fill bathtubs and sinks with clean water in case regular supplies are contaminated. Place sandbags around the perimeter of your house – Remember that sandbags should not be stacked against the house. After a Flood Do not use fresh food, water or medicines which have come into contact with contaminated flood waters. Untreated tap water should not be used for drinking until local officials declare the supply to be safe. Before entering your house, check for structural damage that could cause collapse. Make sure both the gas and electricity are turned off. Ventilate the house well if there is a possibility of a gas leak. If the waterline inside the house is higher than any electrical outlets, the electricity should not be turned on until all wiring has been checked by a qualified person. Dry your house slowly but thoroughly. Carpets and drywall may need to be removed. Flooded basements should be pumped out slowly to avoid structural damage. After the flood waters around your house have receded, pump out about one third of the water in the basement per day. Wooden furniture should not be placed in direct sunshine to dry, or it may warp. Document your losses. Some financial assistance may be available from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). The local news media will tell you where to apply if Federal assistance is available. Emergency Contacts Call 911 only in a life threatening situation. For localized flooding associated with a public road, contact your local public works department. If you live in unincorporated Pierce County, contact the Pierce County Public Works maintenance shop for your area. For other assistance during floods, your local fire department may be able to assist. During periods of flooding or threat of flooding, the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), has a weather and flood advisory recording which can be reached at (206) 526- 6087.


Citizens can play a significant role in alleviating urban flooding
Posted By Sheri Badger on Nov 14th, 2001 at 2:17 AM

Tacoma, WA – November 14, 2001 – Citizens can play a significant role in alleviating urban flooding that is resulting from heavy rainfall yesterday and today. Pierce County Road Operations Manager Will Kinne said much of the flooding that is occurring at intersections throughout the county is caused by clogged storm drains. “Citizens could really help their neighbors, themselves and road crews if they would check the storm drains on the street near their properties. If leaves are covering the drain, simply clear them off,” he said. “That could make an immense difference in the amount of neighborhood flooding. It would increase traffic safety and save tax dollars.”


Things get ‘back to normal’ on the Narrows Bridge
Posted By Sheri Badger on Nov 6th, 2001 at 2:48 AM

Tacoma, WA – November 06, 2001 – The Washington State Patrol, State Department of Transportation, and local law enforcement agencies, have decided to resume normal operations in relation to the Tacoma Narrows Bridge. Pierce County road crews will remove road barracades tomorrow morning, Nov. 7. Security measures had been increased since Nov. 1 when the FBI forwarded information to law enforcement agencies throughout the West Coast regarding potential threats against suspension bridges. No incidents were reported.