January 18, 2012
NEW — 8 a.m. Jan. 18, 2012
Come winter, the nonstop struggle between man and Mother Nature unfolds in a teeth-rattling ride aboard city snowplows.
Snow, split into quarters from tire tracks, clung to the streets late Tuesday afternoon in Montreux, a tony neighborhood on Cougar Mountain named for a city in the Swiss Alps. In methodical maneuvers, city snowplow driver Kyle Patterson edged back and forth along cul-de-sac after cul-de-sac, pushing snow from the roadway to form dirt-flecked berms along the street.
January 17, 2012
Snow blanketed Issaquah and the Puget Sound region Jan. 15 and 16, as officials and residents prepared for more challenging conditions in the days ahead.
The potential for more snow — plus flooding as the snow melted — reminded emergency planners to gird for harsh La Niña conditions, albeit later in the season than expected.
“It’s going to be pretty messy in the next couple of days,” said Johnny Burg, a National Weather Service meteorologist in Seattle. “People should just pay attention to the forecast.”
November 29, 2011
Issaquah city arborist and horticulturalist Alan Haywood said trees can suffer significant damage in winds of about 40 mph.
And Haywood said winds of that strength are not all that unusual in Issaquah. So, what do you do about the potential problem?
“Well, you can’t do anything to stop the wind,” Haywood said.
But there are steps you can take to protect both your trees and your home and other property from damage. Kevin Zobrist is a forestry educator for WSU and was one of the instructors for a recent outreach course on protecting trees. He said unhealthy or potentially hazardous trees will exhibit several warning signs, including yellowing or thinning foliage. Zobrist said the most common tree problem locally is root rot, a type of fungal infection.
According to Zobrist, the Douglas firs common in the Northwest are particularly susceptible to root rot. Some signs include a rounded, as opposed to a pointed, treetop.
November 22, 2011
Leaders could trim the workforce at City Hall and merge some services as municipal government retools in response to recommendations from a consultant.
The recommendations, in a report released Nov. 18, call for Mayor Ava Frisinger and other leaders to restructure how city government handles development and planning.
The report is meant to offer a roadmap to streamline city services and improve communication across municipal departments. Changes stemming from the study could occur early next year. Some require City Council approval; Frisinger can enact others.
November 21, 2011
NEW — 5 p.m. Nov. 21, 2011
King County is under a flood watch as a precipitation-laden system barrels into Western Washington, and Issaquah residents should prepare for localized flooding as rain and wind pelt the area.
The flood watch is in effect until through late Wednesday night. Expect 2 to 4 inches of rainfall Monday night and Tuesday as the snow level rises to about 6,000 feet, and then another 1 to 3 inches Tuesday night and Wednesday as the snow level gradually dips to about 3,000 feet.
National Weather Service meteorologists in Seattle said any flooding related to the system is expected to be minor.
In addition, a wind advisory is in effect through noon Tuesday.
Bret Heath, city Public Works Operations and emergency management director, said leaves dislodged from trees by rain and wind could also clog storm drains and lead to flooding along city streets.
Issaquah Creek flooding is not expected to pose a major problem in the days ahead.
September 13, 2011
The decade since 9/11 has reshaped how Issaquah and King County leaders prepare for disasters and manage the response to emergencies.
The attacks also meant increased attention — and dollars — for emergency management efforts, although local officials said the initial focus on counterterrorism sidelined plans about other dangers, such as floods and earthquakes.
“All of the sudden there was a big focus on emergency management in general. That was good news from an emergency management perspective,” said Bret Heath, city public works operations and emergency management director. “The bad news is that it shifted from all hazards to almost strictly terrorism immediately following 9/11.”
Issaquah planners focused on more common emergencies — floods, snowstorms, windstorms and the like — in the years before the attacks.
September 6, 2011
Sharon Peet, of Issaquah, and Kyle Patterson, of Duvall, were married Aug. 5, 2011, at Willows Lodge in Woodinville.
Martin Redman officiated.
The bride is the daughter of Shirley Fritts and Warren Peet, of Issaquah. Her maid of honor was Cassie Irwin; her bridal attendants were Brittney Thurlow and Courtney Rutherford.
Sharon is a 2007 graduate of Skyline High School. She works as a pre-school teacher at Bright Horizons in Issaquah.
The groom is the son of Debbi and Gordy Patterson, of Duvall. His best man was Cory Patterson; his groomsmen were Evan Brumfield and Mike Peet. The ring bearer was Matthew Fritts.
Kyle was home schooled. He works for the city of Issaquah Public Works Operations department. He is also a volunteer firefighter with the Duvall Fire Department.
August 28, 2011
NEW — 6 a.m. Aug. 28, 2011
Motorists headed to Central Park in the Issaquah Highlands should prepare for changes Monday.
The road to access the park from Northeast Park Drive closes from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. as crews build a satellite storage yard for the municipal Parks & Recreation and Public Works Operations departments.
Motorists can instead access the park via 24th Avenue Northeast.
May 24, 2011
Floodwaters inundated Snoqualmie in January 2009 and, even as nearby Issaquah dried out from a major flood, officials sent equipment to the other flood-plagued city.
Issaquah and other local governments previously needed to negotiate a patchwork of interlocal agreements among local governments, law enforcement agencies and emergency service providers in order to receive aid from other jurisdictions during a disaster.
Under legislation signed last month, asking for help from other agencies in Washington is simpler for Issaquah and other local governments.
Bret Heath, city Public Works Operations and emergency management director, said the measure allows local governments to request aid from other jurisdictions in Washington, even if the parties do not have interlocal agreements in place.
“Prior to this, it was easier to bring resources in from out of state than it was from other counties,” he said.
The measure could serve a crucial need during a regional disaster, such as a major earthquake.
“Typically, during those types of emergencies, all of the jurisdictions in King County are in the same boat, if you will,” Heath said. “We’re not in a position where we can share resources with each other, because we’re all maxed out. So, we need to bring resources in from outside.”
April 5, 2011
In Issaquah, a city of more than 30,000 people, only a handful of the population has completed the most rigorous training to respond to disasters.
The unfolding disaster in Japan — caused after a magnitude-9 earthquake rocked the island nation early last month — renewed attention on emergency preparedness on both sides of the Pacific Ocean.
Even in a city as focused on preparedness as Issaquah, some gaps remain in the system.
The city has spearheaded lessons in Map Your Neighborhood — a program to coordinate disaster recovery on a block-by-block basis and identify special skills, such as medical training, among residents — for dozens of neighborhoods, although less then 300 people had completed the more rigorous program, Community Emergency Response Team training, by mid-March.
City and independent emergency planners said the numbers belie the effect of trained responders, especially as CERT members start to educate family members and neighbors in disaster preparedness and response.