West Seattle, Washington
(Photos by Nick Adams for WSB)
Anyone seen a dock? After the big-surf day on Beach Drive, Kathleen is missing one from the 5400 block. She says: “I’m certain we are not the only ones, but if you end up with an unfamiliar dock on or near your beach, please post a pic or give me a call at 206-734-5992.”
That’s just one of today’s many storm stories. We covered the high wind, high waves, and high tide as it all unfolded this morning – see our morning coverage here for as-it-happened video and photos – but tonight, we have one more look at a day that won’t soon be forgotten. WSB contributing photojournalist Nick Adams captured the fierce beauty …
… and the hard work:
That’s Rhonda Porter and son Taylor carrying water-pump hoses to a neighbor’s home. It was a day for neighbors helping neighbors, and for the Seattle Fire Department to be called in here and there:
The water caused some electrical trouble here and there.
Eight more photos ahead:
Next year, two young playwrights who attend Explorer West Middle School (WSB sponsor) will get to see their work produced – as will audiences. The school shares the photo and the announcement:
Explorer West Middle School has received a second round of accolades from the Young Playwrights Program presented by ACT Theatre. More than 300 students from 16 schools (mainly high schools) in Seattle, Bellevue, Bainbridge Island, and Burien participate in the program. Out of hundreds of submitted plays, only eight are chosen to be produced as part of the Young Playwrights Festival in March.
One week ago, two of Explorer West’s seventh-grade, student plays won the opportunity be produced by regional companies as part of the festival. Lizzy Sutherland’s 10-minute, one-act play entitled, “Journey to a Journey to Earth,” will be produced by Ghost Light Theatricals. Sam Hoyt’s 10-minute, one-act play entitled,”The Play,” will be produced by Macha Monkey Productions.
Plays written by Marvin Hernandez and McKenzie Carlson received honorable mentions in the contest, and Mia Bilick’s play was featured at the awards ceremony and performed by professional Seattle actors.
Explorer West works with a playwright in residence from ACT Theatre. They help each seventh-grade student write a 10 minute, one-act play over the course of 10 weeks.
This is the second year that students from Explorer West have been honored. Last year, Finnley Kafer received the top prize and her play was produced at ACT Theatre.
(SIDE NOTE: The Young Playwrights Program is coming to Youngstown Cultural Arts Center next month, in partnership with Arts Corps, with an afterschool class for teens Mondays and Wednesdays from January 14th-March 20th. If interested, e-mail Kristina.Sutherland@acttheatre.org.)
(WSB photo of Youngstown Cultural Arts Center, from February 2012)
City Council President Sally Clark and Councilmember Nick Licata were among the guests at this month’s North Delridge Neighborhood Council meeting – the holiday edition, held at Youngstown Cultural Arts Center instead of the usual Delridge Library – and Youngstown’s new manager was on the agenda too.
(The Olympics seen Monday morning from Beach Drive, by Nick Adams for WSB)
The mountains today – your place tomorrow? Here’s the latest on whether we might see some snow early Tuesday morning (and beyond). The newest forecast includes the possibility of rain/snow showers after midnight – and pegs the snow level at 400 feet (West Seattle’s highest spot is 512′ by Myrtle Reservoir); the chance of snow showers continues throughout the day, but the snow level is expected to rise to 500 feet in the afternoon.
Weather analyst Cliff Mass just published a late-afternoon update, and says he does not think the lowlands will see much if any – he believes the city will be in a snow shadow. But, as with this morning’s wind, waves, and high tide, we’ll be tracking the weather again overnight and into tomorrow, so stay tuned.
5:12 PM: Crews are checking out a house-fire call in the 5200 block of Beach Drive SW. It’s a small fire, reported to be under control, and some of the units are being dismissed.
5:28 PM: The call has closed.
(1/1/12 West Seattle Polar Bear Swim on Alki, photo by Henrik via WSB Flickr group)
Half a dozen times in the past week or so, we’ve received inquiries about whether the annual Alki Polar Bear Swim is on for New Year’s Day as usual. So we e-mailed organizer Mark Ufkes to ask – and he has now formally announced the event for Tuesday, January 1, 2013:
The annual West Seattle Polar Bear swim starts at 10 am sharp on January 1 each year. It is a great way to wash away the complexities of the previous year, and celebrate the unlimited potential that awaits each of us in the new year. Year after year, Polar Bear swimmers declare that this ritual creates a sense of renewal, and helps make the new year stronger and more positive.
On January 1, 2013, West Seattle will attempt to reach 1,000 swimmers participating in a Seattle-area January 1 Polar Bear swim. We meet at Alki Beach across from Duke’s and Christos restaurant’s on Alki. Last January, we had about 325 swimmers on January 1, 2012. Swimmers gather at 9:45 am, fan out into a long line along our beautiful Alki beach, hold hands, and then, with a loud cheer, run together into Puget Sound sharply at 10:00 am. Swimmers should bring a towel, good water shoes and dry clothes to change into. Traditionally, Dukes restaurant generously provides free clam chowder and local families bring hot chocolate for the crowd. Afterwards, Alki beach is full of hundreds of smiling swimmers and their families and friends. Come join the fun. Do the West Seattle Polar Bear swim. You will have a great time!
We’re adding it now to the list of other New Year’s Day (and Eve, and Christmas Eve/Day) events/activities in the WSB Holiday Guide, which we’re continuing to update daily as the season continues.
Next Saturday at 5 pm, you are invited to gather at Alki Statue of Liberty Plaza for a candlelight vigil honoring the community of Newtown, Connecticut, as it grapples with last Friday’s massacre. The vigil has been organized by local entrepreneur Casey Ann Rasmussen, who created a flier for the event that says:
We have a responsibility to humanity not to forgot or pretend that the horror we have witnessed this last week hasn’t happened but rather to join hands, raise the collective consciousness and increase the worldly compassion toward peace and healing during this difficult time. Please join us for a non-political evening of love, remembrance and hope for a better future.
PLEASE MAKE DONATIONS TO:
Sandy Hook School Support Fund
c/o Newtown Savings Bank
39 Main Street, Newtown CT 06470
DONATIONS FOR EVENT PROVIDED BY:
Friends and Family of Violent Crime Victims
Sugar Rush Baking Company
She adds, “Rain or shine; people should bring a light source as our supply will be limited.”
(EARLIER COVERAGE: Our as-it-happened morning storm coverage with video and photos is here)
With all of West Seattle’s west/northwest-facing shoreline getting pounded by this morning’s high-tide/high-wind double-punch, and Lincoln Park has suffered some damage, shown in photos by Trileigh Tucker:
That hole in the top of the seawall was being checked out by Seattle Parks workers while Trileigh was there:
Parks’ media liaison Dewey Potter is checking for us to find out if any damage has been officially tallied in local parks so far. Meantime, Scott Bessho also shared photographs from the north side of Lincoln Park:
That was the most striking view – debris all over the north end of the waterfront trail, just before the park makes way for the south end of residential Beach Drive. We’ll add any information we get later about park damage. we also have another set of photos coming up that shows how it went at Constellation Park – this area’s most-popular wave-watching spot – this morning.
If you have a child at Chief Sealth International High School, you might hear of an extra security measure principal Chris Kinsey decided to take this week = closing the campus (which mostly means no students leaving to have lunch or take breaks off-campus). We heard about an announcement made this morning, and asked Seattle Public Schools‘ communications team if it was a districtwide decision or just Sealth. SPS spokesperson Teresa Wippel replied that “in light of last Friday’s [Connecticut] tragedy, [Sealth’s principal] has decided to close the campus as a precautionary measure designed to keep everyone safe and accounted for this week. It will only last until this Friday and Chief Sealth will return to the school’s regular routines when school resumes in January. Students are strongly discouraged from leaving campus during school hours, including lunches, and the cafeteria staff is ready to serve all students this week.”
That’s Justin. He works at 35th/Avalon Starbucks. When he’s not directing traffic – which he decided to do today because the 35th/Avalon signal got stuck again, second time in less than 24 hours, and last night wasn’t the first time, either. We found him directing traffic when we arrived following multiple texts (thank you!) about the signal woes – SDOT’s crew had arrived, but no police in sight. We asked SDOT about the chronic problems, and spokesperson Rick Sheridan explained that it has to do with the bus-favoring “transit signal priority”: “A component that supports transit signal priority has been malfunctioning. We disabled that component to ensure the signal operates appropriately. We’ll work to reinstitute the transit signal priority at this location in the near future.”
11:14 AM: As if the high tide, high waves, high wind, etc. wasn’t all scenic enough – we just got a text about orcas heading southbound off Alki Point. As always, please let us know if you see them – thanks!
11:33 AM UPDATE: Just got another text – they are described as “north of Alki Bathhouse, in the Bremerton ferry lane,” still headed south.
12:45 PM: Donna from The Whale Trail called – she had them in view off Blake Island (Tillicum Village), but warned they’re tough to see because of the whitecaps.
(SCROLL DOWN for the newest photos/video)
(Added 8:44 am – high tide swamping Statue of Liberty Plaza)
ORIGINAL 6:06 AM REPORT: So far, no major damage or outages reported in West Seattle in the four and a half hours since the wind started kicking up. We’re starting this new report to track whatever happens – including our usual traffic watch – during the morning commute and beyond.
(The west-facing bridge camera is back! Other cams are on the WSB Traffic page)
VASHON WATER TAXI CANCELED: King County just sent a text alert that the Vashon-Downtown Seattle Water Taxi is canceled TFN because of the wind. There are **no** changes reported to the West Seattle Water Taxi so far, though.
HIGH WIND WARNING: The National Weather Service’s wind advisory has been upgraded to a high-wind warning, in effect till noon. See it here; it mentions sustained wind out of the SW, 25-35 mph with gusts of 60 mph possible until midday, though it’ll still be breezy then, with gusts of up to 40 mph.
SNOW TONIGHT/TOMORROW? We mentioned it on Sunday – and the possibility of snow after midnight is still in the newest forecast.
7:06 AM UPDATE: In our area, two single-customer outages are now listed on the City Light map, one in North Admiral and one in Shorewood, both with “tree” listed as the cause. The ground saturation from recent rain has increased the tree/slide risk. On the WSB Facebook page, KL reminds us that since many in West Seattle have Monday trash pickup, you’ll want to take extra steps to secure your containers since the wind will be gusty for at least a few more hours. Also note that this morning’s high “king tide” – almost 13 feet – is still more than an hour away; (added) Justin took this predawn video from Alki and 53rd around 6:30 – no beach visible:
Further west, Beach Drive Blog is tracking it, including video updates.
7:26 AM: Potential traffic trouble – 3-vehicle crash at Delridge/Genesee. Emergency responders en route.
7:51 AM: Waiting to hear from our crew at that scene. Meantime, now that it’s becoming light, we’re seeing what the mega-high tide looks like – Lise Thivierge just sent this from Seacrest:
Seattle Fire has been dispatched to a home in the 6700 block of Beach Drive reporting water coming into the house.
8:05 AM: Just got this video from Mark Tabbutt near Lowman Beach:
8:29 AM: And from Margot in the 7100 block of Beach Drive – she says this is her “front yard”:
We’ve been to Statue of Liberty Plaza, where water has swamped onto the plaza itself. Photo (also see video added atop this story):
8:41 AM: Mark near Lowman Beach also sent this photo of high water at his neighbors’ house:
And back on the north side of the West Seattle waterfront – the tide, without the strongest wind gusts, is swamping Don Armeni – Carolyn Newman sent this photo:
8:55 AM: Swamped stairway and boardwalk at Alki at highest tide half an hour ago:
A reader texted this photo from near Constellation Park (south of Alki Point):
Thanks to everyone who has shared photos – we have two crews out and will be adding more of their photos too, but your perspective from waterfront homes is unique and appreciated. Hope no one has suffered serious damage.
9:24 AM: Thom, just south of Lowman Beach, shared this video:
He added, “Since that video was taken, the other half of the gate is gone as well as the splash plank.”
10:19 AM: Further north on Beach Drive, in the 5400 block and vicinity, WSB’s Patrick Sand caught the waves and the driftwood logs looming offshore:
Thanks to Lura for letting us come shoot that view. Not far away, at Beach Drive Blog HQ, where they were busy getting word out about all this days ago, Patrick’s video shows them pumping out the water that came in:
(added) Kim sent this view of the waves along the 3800 block of Beach Drive:
We also have photos of tree trouble in Highland Park:
Nora, who shared the photo, says: “Fortunately one car is in the shop otherwise it would have been under the big branch to the left. Damage to carport with a few branches sticking through the roof. No damage to the car beneath.”
11:44 AM: We went to the Alki Bathhouse to make sure the high water hadn’t gotten inside and done damage – it had not, we’re told. But while there, we caught this only-on-a-high-tide sight:
We have LOTS more photos to publish – will update when we either add them here or launch a new story.
(Short clip of what it sounded like around 2 am – just in case you sleep through the whole thing)
1:57 AM: In the past 20 minutes or so, the wind has arrived in a big way where we are, west-facing Upper Fauntleroy. The forecast remains the same – the National Weather Service has our area under a wind advisory until 4 pm today. If the NWS keeps to its usual timetable, the next likely forecast update will be within the next two hours or so. We’ll be monitoring everything throughout the morning – here’s hoping for no major trouble, but if there’s a power problem, a downed tree, etc., where you are, please let us know (text or call 206-293-6302).
2:25 AM: Some links we’re watching:
**City Light power-outage map (none as of this writing)
**Hourly readings at weather stations (the T column is temperature, SP is wind speed, GS is wind gusts)
**Seattle City Light’s “Wind Watch” animated forecasting
The King County Sheriff’s Office is hoping someone can help solve a $2 million heist. From KCSO spokesperson Sgt. Cindi West:
More than 7,000 Wii game consoles were stolen from a distributing warehouse in SeaTac in the last 24 hours and detectives are asking for the public’s help in locating the van and trailers they were stolen in.
Employees at Seattle Air Cargo in the 19100 blk of Des Moines Memorial Dr said the theft occurred sometime between 9pm Saturday night and noon on Sunday. The suspects used forklifts on the premises to load up two 53’ trailers and a box van with at least 64 pallets of Wii game consoles.
Both Trailers are 53’ in length, white in color and have the name “McKinney” on the side:
The box van is a large International van with “Seattle Air Cargo” written on the doors. (Note: Seattle Air Cargo is NOT written on the side of the box, only the doors):
Trailer #1- California license plate 4HB3365 with a trailer number 533457
Trailer #2- California license plate 4EA5521 with trailer number 531841
Box Van- make “International” Washington license plate B40622K
Detectives believe the suspects drove two tractor trucks to the warehouse and used forklifts inside to load up the trailers and box van with the pallets of Wii games. Detectives estimate the value of property stolen including the vehicles is over $2 million.
If you have information about this crime please call the King County Sheriff’s Office at (206) 296-3311 or 911 if you see any of the vehicles.