The City of Seattle Fails to Deliver Fully Operating Emergency Warning System for Carnation Residents

The City of Carnation has scheduled a press conference to express their disappointment with the City of Seattle’s Tolt Dam Early Warning System. The Tolt Dam, owned and operated by the City of Seattle, would cause catastrophic damage to Carnation and force city-wide evacuation if it ever were to break.

In the wake of distrust and general unease surrounding the Tolt Dam from residents after a string of false alarms, the City of Carnation hosted a community forum on September 30th.

“We value protecting life through our services, and clearly, we have failed in doing that for all of you,” shared Seattle Mayor’s representative Andrew Lee with Carnation citizens at the forum.

“The false alarms have largely been caused by an old and outdated system…beginning on October 18th, the new system will be activated,” said Mayor Harrell’s representative. He then went on to say that the new system is “far superior” and that the City of Seattle has “a lot of confidence in this new state-of-the-art system.”

 “The new Tolt Dam Early Warning system that was inaugurated on October 18 is inadequate and has created yet another wave of concerns,” the City of Carnation released in an October 26th Facebook post. “The message is inaudible in many parts of our City.”

In response to complaints that the new siren is harder to hear and understand than it was previously, the City of Seattle posted the following update on the Tolt Dam Early Earning System project web page on October 24th: “It’s important to note that the siren system is primarily an outdoor warning system and it may not be audible indoors depending on many conditions such as topography, wind direction, and ambient noise like running faucets or televisions.”

In addition to volume and clarity concerns, the City of Carnation calls for increased levels of communication and improved project management practices.

The City of Seattle told the City of Carnation that Siren 8 would be relocated to the City Public Works yard by the Fall of 2023. Upon learning that Seattle would not be able to adhere to their own timeline, the City of Carnation scheduled an appointment with a representative of the Mayor of Seattle to escalate the issue further.

 Click below to view a video recapping the September 30th community forum:

Tolt Dam Community Forum & Evacuation Drill – City of Carnation on Vimeo

 Click below to view Tolt Dam news coverage:

Tolt_Dam_News_Coverage_2020-PRESENT.pdf (

Time: 11:30 AM

Date: Wednesday, November 15th, 2023

Location: Nick Loutsis Park (32401 Entwistle St, Carnation, WA 98014)

[Information provided by the City of Carnation. For more information, contact City Manager Ana Cortez at or via cell at (425) 419-3697.]

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