Emergency Management

Pierce County included in disaster declaration for Washington State
Posted By Sheri Badger on Dec 13th, 2006 at 8:15 AM

Tacoma, WA – December 13, 2006 – Pierce County is part of a major disaster declaration for Washington, signed by the President yesterday, as a result of severe storms, flooding, landslides, and mudslides, November 2-11, 2006. This means that federal disaster aid has been made available for the state of Washington to supplement state and local recovery efforts. The President’s action makes federal funding available to affected individuals in the counties of Clark, Cowlitz, Grays Harbor, King, Lewis, Pierce, Skagit, Skamania, Snohomish, Thurston, and Wahkiakum. The assistance, to be coordinated by FEMA, can include grants to help pay for temporary housing, home repairs and other serious disaster-related expenses. Low-interest loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration also will be available to cover residential and business losses not fully compensated by insurance. A Disaster Recovery Center (DRC) will soon open in the Sumner area for Pierce County residents affected by the floods. In the meantime, residents and business owners who sustained losses can begin applying for assistance today by registering online at www.fema.gov or by calling 1-800-621-FEMA (3362) or 1- 800-462-7585 (TTY) for the hearing and speech impaired. The toll-free telephone numbers will operate from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. (local time) Monday through Saturday until further notice.

Share

Time is Running Out to Report Flood Damage
Posted By Sheri Badger on Nov 21st, 2006 at 1:11 AM

Tacoma, WA – November 21, 2006 – Pierce County citizens and private businesses with flood damage from the severe rain storm earlier this month have until Friday, November 24th to report their losses to the Department of Emergency Management. If or when the federal government grants a disaster declaration for Pierce County, this information will be used to contact people about how to register for federal assistance. In addition, only those people who report their damage are eligible for free vouchers to use the county disposal stations to get rid of storm- damaged possessions. Phone calls can be made to 1-866-798-6363 between 8:00 AM and 5:00 PM, including Thanksgiving. Callers should have the following information available: * Name and address of affected property, * Type of insurance (homeowners), * A description of damage, even if uninsured, * A personal estimate of uninsured losses, * Estimates of the fair market value of the damaged home or business. It is not necessary at this point for property owners to have a contractors estimate. ###

Share

Damage from Floods Continues to Rise
Posted By Sheri Badger on Nov 20th, 2006 at 3:12 AM

Tacoma, WA – November 20, 2006 – Contact: Pierce County Department of Emergency Management 253-798-2168 November 20, 2006 As flood waters from the November storm recede from Pierce County, the toll from damages continues to rise. Total estimated losses to residential and private businesses tops $71.5 million. Those figures, along with $14 million in estimated damages to the roads, levees, bridges, and other infrastructure indicate more damage than was first estimated. “This puts Pierce County as one of the hardest hit counties in the state,” reports Steve Bailey, director of Pierce County Emergency Management. There has been a large outpouring of assistance from individuals, businesses, and the faith-based communities in response to the disaster. “Until you get down there and get your shoes muddy, you cant begin to understand the impact on our citizens,” said Bailey. “Folks have been very appreciative of the help and generosity. Even so, many people lost everything they had. Our goal right now is to get the federal disaster declaration so they can get the long term help they need.” Washington State officials are gathering information from impacted counties to assemble a formal request for a Presidential Disaster Declaration. The federal government will consider each county separately. A county may qualify for Individual Assistance (IA) for citizens and businesses and/or Public Assistance (PA) which covers infrastructure damages. If the federal government agrees to an IA disaster declaration, information will be distributed as to how people can register for federal assistance. Meanwhile, citizens and businesses are still cleaning up their mess. Pierce County Solid Waste Division is issuing vouchers to enable people to take flood- damaged goods to one of the two county transfer stations. “Hidden Valley @ 176th and Meridian St. E., South Hill near Puyallup “Prairie Ridge @ 11710 Prairie Ridge Dr. E. at South Prairie Road near Bonney Lake In order to receive a voucher, people must first call the Department of Emergency Management to report their damage at 1-866-798-6363, 8 AM4:30 PM through this Friday, Nov. 24th. A representative from the Solid Waste Division then contacts people from that list to process the voucher. ###

Share

High winds close roads, knock out power
Posted By Sheri Badger on Nov 15th, 2006 at 4:44 AM

Tacoma, WA – November 15, 2006 – High winds are impacting Pierce County commuters and residents this afternoon. Several roads are blocked by downed trees or power poles, and more than 20,000 residents are without electricity. Citizens traveling on county roads are reminded to travel with caution and to use alternate routes in the areas listed below: – Fairfax Reserve Road 1.5 miles from SR 165 has just one lane open. – 198th Ave E is blocked with trees down between 120th St E and Rhodes Lake Road E. – Trees are down blocking 120th St E west of 224th Ave E. – Trees are down blocking 288th St E and 126th Ave E. – A power pole is down blocking 40th St E between 214th Ave E and 230th Ave E. Power outages are affecting 20,000 Puget Sound Energy customers as of 4 p.m. today. Another 2,100 Tacoma Power customers and 200 Peninsula Power customers are without power. Citizens without electricity are reminded to practice safe measures when it comes to storing food. If in doubt, throw it out. Food left out without refrigeration can cause digestive problems. Pierce County’s Environmental Services Building in University Place lost power this afternoon, and employees who work there were sent home at 4 p.m. CONTACT: Pierce County Emergency Operations Center, 253-798-7470

Share

Corps reduces Mud Mountain Dam releases; prepares for next storm
Posted By Sheri Badger on Nov 14th, 2006 at 12:24 PM

Seattle, WA – November 14, 2006 – Contact: Nola Leyde 206-764-6896 The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is decreasing releases from Mud Mountain Dam on the White River from 9,000 cubic feet a second (cfs) to 6,000 cfs today and will continue at that level for the next 24 hours, depending on the weather. Mud Mountain Dam operation reduced the flood stage downstream in Puyallup by more than 4 feet during last week’s heavy rains. Peak inflows to Mud Mountain Dam were 30,000 cfs, and the dam held outflow to less than 1,000 cfs. Outflows last week were as high as 12,000 cfs to empty the project for the storm predicted this week. After this next storm, weather permitting, work will get under way to remove debris from the flood storage project, and the Corps expects that work to last several weeks. At that time flows will be stabilized — what comes into the project will be released, and that amount is weather dependent. Fluctuations due to rainfall or debris in the river can also cause a rise in river levels. Residents and those monitoring the rivers should report any flooding to local emergency management officials. Possible flooding continues to be a threat with record breaking precipitation predicted for the month of November. The Corps’ Seattle District Reservoir Control Center and Emergency Operations Center will operate around the clock if weather conditions worsen. For up-to-date river forecasts, go to http://www.nwd-wc.usace.army.mil/nws/hh/index-j.html. The National Weather Service issues flood watches and warnings and should be consulted for that information. ###

Share