Say the words “power outage” to a Snoqualmie Valley resident and they can usually tell stories of prolonged outages in recent years. Five days in 2006. Three days in 2012. Long outages are never fun, but they do happen here. Saturday’s (short) outage even happened right in the middle of the Seahawks playoff game, leaving many TVs black.
But now if a prolonged outage happens again, North Bend and Snoqualmie are officially prepared. In the event of a future Snoqualmie Valley electrical power outage, local residents can seek shelter at either the Mt. Si Senior Center in North Bend or the Snoqualmie Valley YMCA on Snoqualmie Ridge.
The Mt. Si Senior Center recently secured a natural gas, backup generator, along with three natural gas water heaters. Like the generator at the YMCA installed last year, the Senior Center’s generator switches on automatically in the event that electricity is lost. The Center also now has an external storage shed for emergency supplies.
Snoqualmie Valley Rotary president, Peter Bullard, sought and obtained several grants to make the project happen, including $5,000 from the Snoqualmie Valley Rotary (with a matching $5,000 grant from Rotary District 5030); $20,000 from the Puget Sound Energy Foundation; $3,000 from the City of North Bend; and $2,500 from Cascade Covenant Church.
On December 19, 2013, the Senior Center held a celebratory “Thank You” breakfast for Snoqualmie Valley Rotary and donors and supporters of the new Emergency Warming Shelter.
Among the attendees were North Bend, Mayor Ken Hearing and Snoqualmie Mayor Matt Larson, Snoqualmie City Administrator Bob Larson, City of Snoqualmie Fire Chief Bob Rowe, Mt. Si Senior Center Executive Director Paula Edwards, Rotary District Governor Ezra Teshome, PSE Foundation Director Sandra Carson and King County Councilmember Kathy Lambert.
Local emergency shelters are able to provide a warm place for residents to gather if power is lost for a prolonged period of time. They also (sometimes) offer warm showers and a heated location for overnight stays if needed.