Jan. 21, 2012
King County recovers from winter storms
Residents have access to important health, safety and debris removal information
Effective 5 p.m. today, the King County Emergency Coordination Center transitioned to monitoring status, with our Duty Officer available 24/7 to coordinate any needed response activities. King County continues to provide health, safety and debris removal resources and information for residents.
Puget Sound Energy crews are working around the clock to restore power to approximately 85,000 King County residents. Additional crews are arriving from other parts of the region to lend a hand. Most of the homes in north and east King County have seen their power restored, but hard-hit south King County still has areas with no power.
CenturyLink crews are working to restore service to customers impacted by the storms. Four ways customers may report issues and request assistance: Call the Century Link Repair Hotline at 1-800 573-1311, enter a ticket at www.CenturyLink.com, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or send a message via twitter @CenturyLink.
There have been telephone and cellular network outages throughout King County. Residents who need emergency assistance and cannot get through to 9-1-1 on their home phone should use their cell phone to call 9-1-1. If cell phone service is not available in your area, try your call from another area, go to the nearest fire station, or use a phone in a public place. The 9-1-1 centers cannot receive text messages.
Public Health closed its call center for people who needed power for medical equipment or replacement oxygen tanks at 4 p.m. today, due to lack of demand. Anyone needing access to oxygen should contact their regular provider or check with their insurance provider about other options.
Shelter and warming facilities open throughout King County
As power is restored and temperatures warm up, people are heading back home. As a result, the overnight Red Cross-operated shelters in Issaquah and Federal Way will close tomorrow. Several municipalities will continue to operate warming centers and homeless shelters. For more information, visit www.kingcounty.gov/prepare.
Disposing of storm debris
Residents and businesses are encouraged to recycle construction, demolition and land clearing debris. To see a complete list of recycling options and links to resources, visit http://your.kingcounty.gov/solidwaste/wdidw/material.asp.
Small amounts of construction, demolition and land clearing debris are accepted at King County solid waste transfer stations. Locations and hours for transfer stations: http://your.kingcounty.gov/solidwaste/facilities/transfer.asp. The following restrictions apply:
- No hazardous or dangerous waste.
- No items greater than eight feet long.
- Dense items that are bigger than 2 feet x 2 feet x 2 feet and weigh more than 200 pounds are not accepted. Examples include big pieces of concrete, large stumps, wood stoves and cast iron bathtubs.
- The maximum combined vehicle and trailer length limits are: 30 feet at Algona, Cedar Falls, Factoria, Houghton, Renton and Vashon and 40 feet at Bow Lake, Enumclaw and Shoreline.
Roads and Metro Transit
All Metro bus routes returned to regular routing on Saturday but there could still be some delays in areas where roads are slushy or closed. Riders should check for updated information online, through Transit Alerts, or call the Customer Information Office at 206-553-3000 from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m.
King County Road Services Division continues to make significant headway with its round-the-clock response to downed trees and slushy conditions on County roadways. Residents can check road conditions and closures at www.kingcounty.gov/mycommute. Motorists should be on the lookout for falling debris and use extreme caution when traveling, especially on roads in heavily wooded areas of the county.
Prevent carbon monoxide poisoning
There have been reported incidents of carbon monoxide poisoning in south King County neighborhoods without power.
Prevent poisoning from carbon monoxide:
- Only use a generator outdoors and far from open windows and vents
- Never use a generator or portable propane heater indoors, in garages or carports
- Never cook or heat inside on a charcoal or gas grill.
Keep food safe if your power is out
If your power has been out for more than several hours, many foods in your refrigerator are no longer safe to eat. Throw away foods that spoil easily (such as meat and fish) if they warm up above 41º F. Use this chart as a guide for which foods are safe and which should be discarded: http://www.foodsafety.gov/keep/charts/refridg_food.html.
Frozen foods that remain frozen are OK to eat. If potentially hazardous foods (such as meat, fish and dairy) are thawed but are still cold or have ice crystals on them, use them as soon as possible. If potentially hazardous foods are thawed and are warmer than 41º F, throw them away.
For ongoing updates and links to additional resources, please visit www.kingcounty.gov.