Sammamish disaster planning “not enough,” says City Manager

June 23, 2016: Sammamish participation in the Cascadia Rising earthquake drill this month was labeled a success, but City Manager Lyman Howard acknowledged the level and scope of participation wasn’t enough.

Lyman made his remarks in an interview last week with Sammamish Comment.

Sammamish wasn’t going to participate at all until The Comment began making inquiries last fall about failure to sign up for the multi-state, multi-jurisdictional, international drill. The drill, assuming an earthquake from then Cascadia fault line off the West Coast, encompassed British Columbia to Northern California.

The drill’s parameters assumed Sammamish telephone and cell phone communications were disrupted and damage on major arterials leading in and out of the City occurred.

Howard told The Comment that Sammamish focused on its inter-agency and emergency communications with local citizen groups, such as the Info Hubs operated by the Sammamish Citizen Corp and CERTs; and Sammamish Plateau Water. City Hall was evacuated. But links to the County and State weren’t tested, nor were there actual drills in the City.

“It’s not enough [what the City did], I’ll be honest,” Howard said. “We’re talking with CERT about annual drills.”

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Blustery weather adds realism to Info Hub exercise

Saturday was a blustery, rainy and generally miserable day.

It wasn’t conducive to getting a lot of citizens to outdoor events but it many ways it was perfect for the Sammamish Citizens Corp. to hold its Info Hub exercise. There were reports of power outages. Trees limbs and debris came down throughout the City. On 212th Ave. SE between SE 29th and SE 33rd streets, a limb came down on power lines, severing one and landing on two or three, causing shorts and a small fire at the out-of-reach power lines where the limb crossed the lines. The Eastside Fire & Rescue and the Sammamish Police blocked off the southbound lane of 212th through the area.

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