Significant Snow Accumulation
Citizens asked for assistance
December 29, 2008
Ketchikan, Alaska - Yesterday's snow brought difficult travel
issues to say the least. Getting around town was hazardous for
the average commuter but made extremely difficult and dangerous
for emergency equipment and responders said Jim Hill, Chief of
the Ketchikan Fire Department.
Hill said, "The Ketchikan
Fire Department had eight emergency calls for assistance during
the day Sunday. Four calls were non-medical related calls, including
one call for 'people trapped on an elevator' which was quickly
remedied when power was restored. There were four calls for medical
assistance with off-duty personnel with four-wheel drive vehicles
and snowplows helping ensure a rapid response."
Measured at 1:00 pm Sunday, December 28, 2008, 12 miles North
Photo and measurementsby Mike Houts
Over the next few days Chief
Hill said the Ketchikan Fire Department asks local citizens to
"help us help you" during this period of cold weather
and significant snow accumulations. City of Ketchikan street
crews are busy clearing stockpiles of snow and plowing your streets.
Remember Hill said, if you just shovel your snow into the street,
it will just get plowed into your neighbor's driveway and can
make driving hazardous in front of your house.
The City of Ketchikan Department
of Public Works will be clearing snow in the downtown area Monday.
They will be working throughout the next several evenings. The
areas they will be concentrating on for the next couple days
will be: Main Street, Mission Street, Dock Street, Grant Street,
Mill Street and Bawden Street.
Here are a few things you and
your neighbors can do to help all of us get through this period
of nasty weather said Hill:
1. Please park your vehicles
so snow removal equipment, police vehicles, fire apparatus, and
ambulances can get through.
2. If there is a fire hydrant near your property, please dig
it out so the fire department can see it and use it if necessary.
3. Shovel and access point to your residence so fire and EMS
personnel have access you.
4. Make sure we can see the house numbers on your residence or
Digging-out -- South
Photograph by Lisa Thompson
Here are some other important safety tips provided by the Ketchikan
1. Fuel fired equipment like
boilers and furnaces can create carbon monoxide. Make sure equipment
like this is properly maintained.
2. Make sure any space heaters have plenty of clearance, cords
are maintained, and extension cords are not overheating.
3. Never leave candles unattended.
4. Check your smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors. They
can't protect you if they are in the wrong spot or have the batteries
5. Check your heat-tapes on water pipes. If they are worn out,
replace them. They must be installed properly or they can cause
6. The Emergency Telephone Number is 9-1-1 anywhere on the island.
Make sure the call gets made and make sure authorities have all
the information they need to provide you with the best possible
7. Make sure you have an escape plan with your family if you
do have a fire! You and your family are our priority.
Digging-out -- Ketchikan
Photograph by Chris Wilhelm
It is importmat to remember that snow loads can collapse roofs,
decks, carports, and balconies. If you can safely remove the
snow, now is the time to do it, before the rains come and additional
weight is added. Few roof failures occur without warning signs.
Warning signs of structural roof problems include roof leaks,
"strange popping sounds", cracks in walls and ceilings,
and excessive sagging of structural roof elements or ceilings.
During the bad weather, give
your neighbor a hand too. If you have neighbors or family members
that are elderly, have special needs, or need assistance, give
them a hand, check on them often and make sure they are safe
On the Web;
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