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King County Executive
Dow Constantine


King County elevates emergency readiness in event aid is requested for residents of Vashon and Maury Islands

Summary

The King County Emergency Coordination Center this evening raised its state of readiness in the event that aid is requested on behalf of the entire population of Vashon and Maury Islands, where 10,000 have been without electricity since this morning.

Story

The King County Emergency Coordination Center this evening raised its state of readiness in the event that aid is requested on behalf of the entire population of Vashon and Maury Islands, where 10,000 have been without electricity since this morning.

“The residents of Vashon and Maury Islands are experiencing sub-freezing temperatures with no electricity, and many roads there are obstructed by downed trees or ice,” said King County Executive Dow Constantine. “We are pleased to hear that PSE has identified the origin of the damage to the transmission feed to the main island substation. If there are further complications, we are prepared to proclaim an emergency to allow the quick and effective deployment of additional aid.”

The Emergency Coordination Center (ECC) raised its state of readiness from a “Level 1” to “Level 2” activation to coordinate agencies providing emergency response for Island residents. Leading the on-island effort is “Vashon Be Prepared,” a non-profit partnership of volunteer groups, responders, and businesses who work collaboratively to plan for and respond to emergencies. The group has activated a local Emergency Operations Center at the main fire station on Vashon Island to help residents stay safe and keep warm.

“’Vashon Be Prepared’ is one of the most engaged emergency organizations in our region,” said Executive Constantine, who represented the unincorporated island as a member of the King County Council. “I’m impressed by the amount of planning and training they’ve done to prepare for situations like this, and today they are making a life-saving difference for Island residents.”

The ECC is coordinating with the American Red Cross to designate two warming centers on Vashon Island that can be opened in the event they are needed. King County is providing medical cots and other materials, and will provide further assistance when requested by the island’s Emergency Incident Commander.

“Vashon Be Prepared” organizer Jeff Hoyt is providing emergency information to Island residents via “Voice of Vashon Standing By,” a low-wattage, traffic-advisory radio station at AM 1650 radio station that normally broadcasts updates on ferry schedules, store closings and other information.

The King County Office of Emergency Management opened its Emergency Coordination Center on Monday morning, and has since been on a round-the-clock schedule to provide regional coordination of resources and information.

According to Puget Sound Energy, repairs to the transmission system to the islands are close to completion, at which point multiple crews on the islands will continue repairing areas of damage to the distribution system. Crews hope to be able to restore power overnight.




King County Executive
Dow Constantine
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