Area residents got lucky this timeBY CHUCK TUCK | JOURNAL REPORTER With last year’s flooding disaster still fresh in the minds of many people, the news of high-winds and continuous rainfall could have spelled disaster with a capital “D”.
However, Lake Stevens and Granite Falls were fortunate enough to be spared the disastrous flooding this year, but that’s not to say our firefighters were not prepared for the worst.
Lt. Chris Burt of the Granite Falls Fire Department said that their preparations began early this year with calls to other stations.
“We called our resources to be prepared with hovercrafts, swift water rescue teams, and the 6x6,” Burt said.
The 6x6 is an all-terrain type vehicle with high ground clearance used in rescue operations.
“We also called Station 8 and 22 about staffing, making sure everyone was prepared with plenty on their staff,” he added.
The danger this year is many new people have moved into the area, and may feel safe because they are not living along a river bank.
“Not true,” said Burt even if you’re not on the riverfront, flooding can still occur.
Additional safety measures were taken this year with the GFFD printing flyers and going out knocking on doors warning people of impending floods and dangerous conditions.
“We went out door-belling early in the morning,” Burt said.
Nearly 400 flyers were either handed out, or left on the doorsteps for people who were not home warning and advising.
The best possible way to avoid disaster, according to Burt, is to always be prepared and listen to the news and weather reports.
“Watch the rivers and listen to the weather reports,” he said.
Safety is always what firefighters strive for, and that includes safety for both the civilian and the fireman.
When more people need to be rescued, the more difficult the situation will be, and the darker it is the worse it can be.
“Safety at night is more difficult,” Burt said.
Planning and knowing your route of escape is as important as having proper supplies like bottled water, fresh batteries for a flashlight, and non-perishable foods.