VIEW FROM DENNY PARK
News and Views from the Superintendent
No. 83. January 12, 2007
Kenneth R. Bounds, Superintendent
A periodic electronic newsletter about Parks and Recreation news, programs,
projects and events from Seattle Parks and Recreation Superintendent Ken
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PARKS RESPONSE TO DECEMBER WIND STORM
The treacherous wind storm of December 14 and subsequent power outages
won't soon be forgotten. This came after record rainfall and a major snow
storm in November, and was followed by this week's snowfall and freezing
temperatures. What a way to end one year and start the next!
The impact of the December storm at Seattle parks and facilities was
severe in places and far-reaching. I am very proud of the professional
and caring way our staff at all levels responded to these extreme circumstances.
A summary of storm damage and our response follows, accompanied by dramatic
Overall, the windstorm resulted in an estimated $400,000 in damages.
Fallen trees caused estimated $20,000 damage just to the Lincoln Park
play area, for instance. We are still cleaning up tree and plant debris.
Flooding occurred in several parks, including the Japanese Garden, and
buildings, particularly Medgar Evers Pool.
In keeping with the city's emergency preparedness plan, we opened emergency
shelters at four community centers from Dec. 15-19 for people without
power: Bitter Lake, Delridge, Southwest, and Rainier. As many as 175,000
City Light customers had lost power soon after the storm hit.
Delridge Community Center never lost power; however, the gym floor was
partially covered with water from heavy rains. At Bitter Lake Community
Center and other shelters, community members volunteered to help at the
shelter and donated food, blankets, and books. Rainier Community Center
stayed open an extra day (until Dec. 20) after the other community center
shelters were closed.
Madison entrance to the Arboretum
Medgar Evers Pool Flooding
We estimate that more than 600 trees fell in over 130 parks as a result
of the wind storm, including 100 on our golf courses. These were all trees
in developed park areas or on park-owned boulevards. Not included in this
count were the many downed trees in park natural areas and greenbelts.
We expect the final count to be higher.
The areas hardest hit were the southwest, southeast and north central
areas of the city. Woodland, Lincoln, and Seward parks and the Washington
Park Arboretum had the most tree failures. Trees of 58 different species
fell, more maples than any other species. In addition, Parks-owned trees
fell onto 28 different private properties, some causing damage and some
not. And Park trees fell on 15 power lines.
Our crews continued to work through early January to clean up plant and
tree debris in our parks.
If you're interested in making a tree donation to help us replace these
valuable resources, you can do so through the Seattle Parks Foundation's
Tree Program. Please visit www.seattleparksfoundation.org
DAMAGE FROM FLOODING
Other damage to parks and park facilities occurred from flooding from
the heavy rain that preceded the wind storm. One of the most severe incidents
occurred at Medgar Evers Pool in the Central Area.
As the rain poured down, the low entrance area in front of the pool building
filled up with more than three feet of water in just 10 minutes. Water
seeped through cracks in the doors. Pool staff worked diligently to prevent
quickly rising flood waters from entering the pool, and as a precaution,
evacuated the pool patrons through the emergency exit on the roof.
Staff braved cold, muddy water to unclog outside drains and re-direct
water that was entering the building into one available drain. They hauled
sandbags from the basement and used every available item to block the
flow of water through the front doors and windows. After more than three
hours, they cleared most of the water from the lobby and locker room floors.
Parks plumbers arrived with a pump to remove water that had collected
in front of the building.
The following morning, pool staff began the daunting task of cleaning
the mud and remaining water from the building. The team did an outstanding
job, allowing the pool to re-open at noon on Friday. Customers were pleasantly
surprised to find the pool open on a day when most businesses in the area
Happy New Year to you all!
I'll be in touch soon.