(Photos taken this morning by WSB co-publisher Patrick Sand)
For a while this midday, it was raining again – just as they’re trying to pump out the floodwaters at the homeless encampment on the southeast edge of West Seattle that calls itself Nickelsville, as it has since it was founded at that site four years ago, the site to which it returned a year and a half ago. After publishing these photos by WSB contributing photojournalist Nick Adams during Monday’s deluge, we went back this morning to see what’s needed, since many are asking. The campers we talked with said about half the residents had gone to emergency shelters when their tents became uninhabitable in the floodwaters. But even tiny residents are poking around, like Coffee the cat:
You may have heard via our friends at KING 5 News that a pump donated this morning was making progress in clearing out the standing water – before the rain resumed. Here’s what they told WSB they need:
Gas for the existing pump
Another pump, as this pump was donated but has to go back tomorrow morning
Dry blankets and dry bedding
Labor needs are up in the air, as they need to get the standing water out before they can determine what needs to be done
With donated items or any other offers to help, just show up at their main gate, which is off the small parking lot on the southwest side of the triangle of land they are on, at West Marginal Way and Highland Park Way.
SIDE NOTE – NICKELSVILLE’S FUTURE: The water woes are bringing new light to the camp’s situation – a year and a half without either authorization or eviction on a government-owned site. We’re waiting for a reply from Mayor McGinn’s office regarding its stance on what’s happening there. We also checked this morning with Food Lifeline, the nonprofit which is pursuing a possible purchase of the site, as reported here in October. From spokesperson Amy Lee Derenthal: “We’re still in conversations with both the city and state and nothing has changed since we first shared we were interested in the property for our Hunger Relief Center.”
12:59 PM UPDATE: We had asked Mayor McGinn’s office earlier today for comment on the situation and just got the official reply via spokesperson Aaron Pickus: “Our Human Services Department is working with Public Health to help place families with children in shelter tonight. We have opened our severe weather shelter at Seattle Center and are providing bus tickets to residents who wish to access shelter. Our shelters at City Hall and Frye Hotel are also open. Our Public Utilities and Finance and Administrative Services department are also assisting, as appropriate.”
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Header image by Nick Adams. ABSOLUTELY NO WSB PHOTO REUSE WITHOUT SITE OWNERS' PERMISSION.
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