Offering frequent news and analysis from the majestic Evergreen State and beyond, The Cascadia Advocate is the Northwest Progressive Institute's unconventional perspective on world, national, and local politics.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

The situation on the Eastside

Here's a well written article by Debera Carlton Harrell of The P-I about conditions on the east side of the Puget Sound region.
Some residents tried to make the best of it. Eva Freeman, a nurse who like most Overlake Medical Center employees worked overtime during the storm, had the day off Saturday. But with the power still off, she headed to the nearest shelter in hopes of warming up and at least finding a hot cup of coffee.

That particular shelter, operated by the American Red Cross in the Bellevue High School gym, had electricity, heat -- and a functioning cafeteria serving hot meals.

Kathy Brasch, shelter manager, said about eight people stayed at the shelter Friday night, but more had come looking for "warmth and food." Some were also looking for hot showers -- another bonus at the site.
Most of us like to think we are prepared, but it's pretty jarring when things we take for granted are not available.

When the power went out here in Clark County at about 3:45 Thursday, I figured we might very well be without power for some extended period of time. Luckily for us, power crews got power back on in short order, and while the lights flickered all night, they never went out again.

These situations are most difficult on the ill, the very young and the very old. So hopefully power crews, who deserve a lot of thanks for their efforts, can get even more households up and running soon.

MORE-- The Seattle Times reports a somewhat astounding number of carbon monoxide poisoning cases in the region, most of them blamed on the use of charcoal grills indoors.

Goodness. Although it's unlikely someone who is reading this would be affected, you simply can't burn charcoal indoors or even in a garage. A neighbor who is a fire fighter once responded to a case of carbon monoxide poisoning caused by the proximity of a charcoal grill to an open window that allowed the fumes to build up in the victims' residence.

Generators and propane heaters are other possible culprits.

It's better to be cold than dead. If someone is that cold, perhaps they can find a shelter somehow, or go to an open public facility for a while.

OREGON UPDATE-- The number of households served by PGE in Oregon without power is about 71,000, according to The Oregonian.
Meanwhile, 71,000 PGE customers remained without power by 2:30 p.m., down from almost 250,000 at the storm's peak. Power also was still out in Tillamook County, which was hit especially hard by Thursday's storm.

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