Japan earthquake hits Costco operations

March 15, 2011

Costco Wholesale executives said all but one warehouse in Japan has reopened after a catastrophic earthquake and tsunami, and the Issaquah-based company has accounted for all employees in Japan.

The warehouse in Tamasakai, a Tokyo location, is scheduled to remain closed for several months, pending further inspections and repairs. The company said two people died after a parking ramp collapsed at the warehouse.

Overall, Costco operates nine warehouses and a cross-docking facility, or depot, on the island nation.

Costco is also accepting donations to the Red Cross relief fund at cash registers in warehouses around the globe. The company also set up a donation link on the corporate website, www.costco.com.

Costco operates 581 warehouses worldwide — 424 in the United States and Puerto Rico, 80 in Canada, 32 in Mexico, 22 in the United Kingdom, seven in Korea, six in Taiwan and one in Australia, plus the Japan outlets.

Costco employs 2,700 people in Issaquah, more than any other business. The company claims 57.4 million card-carrying members worldwide.

Press Editorial

March 15, 2011

Earthquake in Japan is call to action here

The international effort to help the people of Japan deal with massive catastrophes is gaining ground. We have no doubt that Issaquah families will do what they can, with prayers, finances and volunteer efforts.

But there is something else every family here can do. Prepare.

The shock of the earthquake in Japan is way too close to what could happen here. If you had been ignoring the warnings to get ready for an emergency, now is the time to pay attention.

Yes, there is food and water to be stored, along with basic medical supplies, but there is more to be done.

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Comcast broadcasts Japan earthquake coverage to Issaquah customers

March 11, 2011

NEW — 4 p.m. March 11, 2011

Comcast digital customers in Issaquah and elsewhere in Western Washington — regardless of service level — can watch TV Japan on Channel 245 through March 18. The channel is broadcasting ongoing live news coverage from earthquake- and tsunami-stricken areas in Japan.

Officials directed people to check the American Red Cross Safe and Well Program or call the U.S. Department of State at 888-407-4747 or 202-647-5225 for information about relatives impacted by the earthquake and the tsunami.

People can donate to disaster relief efforts through the Red Cross Serving King & Kitsap Counties. People can also text REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation to help people affected by the earthquake in Japan and tsunami throughout the Pacific Ocean.

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Red Cross Month is reminder to prepare for disasters

March 1, 2011

NEW — 6 a.m. March 1, 2011

March is American Red Cross Month — a chance for families and businesses to update disaster plans, and build or restock emergency kits.

Every year, the American Red Cross Serving King & Kitsap Counties brings together 2,500 people to care for neighbors, train 100,000 people in life-saving skills and respond to emergencies about once every other day.

FEMA Regional Administrator Ken Murphy lauded the Red Cross for providing help, hope and healing if disaster strikes — and praised the nonprofit organization for also offering CPR, automated external defibrillator, first aid and emergency preparedness training.

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Leaders urge preparedness on Nisqually earthquake anniversary

February 26, 2011

NEW — 10 a.m. Feb. 26, 2011

Monday marks 10 years since the Nisqually earthquake — a magnitude-6.8 earthquake credited for changing attitudes about emergency preparedness and for spurring a decade of reforms.

In Issaquah, city leaders credited the temblor for alerting officials and residents to the importance of disaster preparedness and response. Issaquah School District planners also learned lessons from the earthquake.

The state Emergency Management Division prepared a summary of changes implemented since the earthquake struck at 10:54 a.m. Feb. 28, 2001.

American Red Cross leaders used the 10-year anniversary to encourage Western Washington residents to evaluate personal earthquake preparedness plans and to prepare for disasters.

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Issaquah road crews deploy to clear priority routes

February 22, 2011

NEW — 10 p.m. Feb. 22, 2011

Issaquah road crews remain on standby to apply sand or de-icing fluid to Issaquah streets if needed throughout Tuesday night and Wednesday morning.

In the meantime, roads remain open in Issaquah, though drivers should prepare for winter driving conditions, even on treated roads and especially at night.

Crews focus on priority routes and then start to clear side streets as conditions allow.

National Weather Service forecasters in Seattle issued a winter storm warning for Western Washington through Thursday.

Forecasters said 1 to 2 inches could accumulate overnight Tuesday. The chance of precipitation is 90 percent.

The weather service said another 1 to 3 inches of accumulation is possible in Issaquah on Wednesday. The chance of precipitation is 80 percent.

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Nisqually earthquake anniversary jolts memories

February 22, 2011

Issaquah is more prepared now than during 2001 roller

Then-Skyline High School senior Sean Edwards (left) and then-4-year-old sister Quinn leaned over to look inside the cracked asphalt Feb. 28, 2001, as dad Maury looks along a crack in the 1400 block of East Lake Sammamish Parkway Southeast. File

The ground started to shake as Bret Heath stood upstairs at the old municipal public works office — the steel-frame and metal-clad structure used nowadays as the parks department maintenance facility — and in seconds, the building rolled, like a ship tossed on ocean swells.

“I remember thinking, ‘I wonder if this building is going to hold together,’” the longtime Public Works Operations and emergency management director said.

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Red Cross urges earthquake preparedness on Haiti anniversary

January 12, 2011

NEW — 2 p.m. Jan. 12, 2011

Though most Western Washington residents focused on a brief snowstorm Tuesday and Wednesday, the local American Red Cross chapter urged residents to prepare for earthquakes on the anniversary of a devastating earthquake in Haiti.

“Washington is not only known for its beautiful landscape, but for its earthquakes risks, which can create widespread damage and extended power outages,” local Red Cross CEO Randy Hutson said in a statement. “The Jan.12 anniversary is a good reminder for families to review their emergency plan and select an out of area contact should a strong earthquake strike the Pacific Northwest.”

Though the region has not faced a major temblor since the magnitude 6.8 Nisqually earthquake rattled Western Washington a decade ago, emergency planners train often and encourage residents to prepare.

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Planners urge Issaquah residents to prepare for snowfall

December 28, 2010

NEW — 2 p.m. Dec. 28, 2010

Snowfall is possible in Issaquah in the days ahead, as the mercury dips below freezing.

National Weather Service forecasters in Seattle said the snow level should drop from 1,600 to 900 feet overnight Tuesday. The chance of precipitation is 70 percent.

Issaquah residents at higher elevations on Cougar, Tiger and Squak mountains and Grand Ridge could experience snow accumulation of less than a half-inch.

The chance of snow is 50 percent for Wednesday, and accumulation could reach 1 to 2 inches. The mercury is expected to hover below freezing on Wednesday night, but temperatures should climb above freezing on Thursday.

Issaquah residents can find information about conditions on the city website, emergency information hotline, the city radio station at 1700-AM and on Channel 21, the municipal access channel. Call the emergency information line at 837-3028.

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American Red Cross offers flooding safety tips

December 12, 2010

NEW — 1 p.m. Dec. 12, 2010

The deluge has prompted National Weather Service forecasters issued a flood warning for Issaquah and King County.

The flood warning is in effect until 9 p.m. Sunday. The warning means flooding is imminent or has been reported.

Western Washington lowlands had received 1 to 3 inches of rain by 9 a.m. Sunday. Forecasters expect another 0.5 to 1.5 inches to fall throughout the region.

Residents can receive real-time Issaquah Creek flood data from flood gauges in Hobart and near the mouth of Issaquah Creek.

Though emergency planners monitor both gauges, only the Hobart gauge is used to determine flood phases in Issaquah.

American Red Cross emergency planners encouraged residents to use the following tips to prepare for flooding: Read more

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