Trapped by a Titanic disaster

Nov 16, 2017

Public safety should be our city’s leaders first concern. And with the City of Mill Creek bringing in the highest taxes in whole state of Washington, surely the city has enough financial resources and staff to focused on this public issue.

Remembering back to last year’s October fizzed out storm, Mayor Pam Pruitt believed Mill Creek was ready for the storm of storms. She stated “Everyone was working together to keep Mill Creek safe. That is the way it should work. I am so proud of our staff.” Apparently “everyone” just met the city leaders and its staff.

In my option, keeping us safe should also include all of our city residents working in unison with the city workers, Ms. Mayor.

Let’s look at a dramatic scenario, which is becoming even closer to turning into reality. After an earthquake the emergency broadcasting systems goes into effect and warns all residents who live on “The Village Green Drive hill” of Mill Creek (which incidentally only has four escape routes) to immediately evacuate the area. But the majority of the people who are scrambling to exit will find they cannot use their vehicles to do so because large trees have fallen across all the main escape roads.

Now all roads are closed due to the blockage, which leads to more individual and group psychological trauma. Thus there is even less of a chance the potential fleers would use their normal problem solving skills.

The earthquake script outlined above could be changed by taking out the earthquake word and replacing it with the rainy and high velocity windstorm periods which are coming. But no matter what the scenario is the final outcome will be the same, which is that large timbers crashing down and wiping out any traffic movements.

For those of us who live on “the Mill Creek Community Association hill” there are only a few escape routes for us to take. Let’s not let this dreadful scenario happen to our residents and to keep it from befalling on us, let’s take corrective action now to prevent such a horrific and titanic disaster.

As many of us well remember both from the windstorms on March 10 and the March 13 in 2016 when it was proven beyond a shadow of a doubt our egresses are often times not exits. This is especially true of the March 13 storm, when four fallen trees shackled or greatly reduced several of our city’s right of ways. This stoppage or slowdown of traffic flow was only a microcosm of what is in our city’s future when it comes to evacuating some portions of our city.

In the last few years I have taken several pictures of uprooted trees that have blocked several of our heavily trafficked main thoroughfare. These fallen trees became hazards not only for First Responders, who during an emergency had to detour around the large roadblocks, but also those individuals who were trying to follow their normal escape routes.

My major concerns now are all those trees that are are leaning about 15 degrees or more and are located on the side of a steep mound or hill incline. These trees are usually located between sidewalks and major escape roads and from my observations these are the surest ones to tumble when Mother Nature takes her negative courses.

The good safety news is just this past month at least three large trees were removed so how about the city and in partnership with private property owners, red tag several other trees that fit the above descriptions and then remove them within a short period of time after their red tagging?

On many occasions I have heard city leaders begin a statement with, “We are working hard to…” I personally do not know what this means, however I do know this is not the same as working smarter. By working smarter, as our highly dedicated city employees have more often than not have work smarter, we residents, along with all concerned, must come together to identify any of the Mill Creek City probable escape routes problems now. If we choose not to the barriers WILL again, not if, fall over our evacuation roads and snare us from reaching a safe area.

Darn right, the residents of Mill Creek are our city’s eyes and ears and we residents must continue to let those in city hall know what we see, hear and know regarding potential community problems.



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