Cold, Dark Days in Longbranch; Emergency Services may be Stretched in Regional Disasters

A clear sky is reflected on a puddle in Home after a wet and windy morning Sunday. We probably will not see the sun most of the day, but no rain is in the forecast.
A clear sky is reflected on a puddle in Home after a wet and windy morning Sunday. We probably will not see the sun most of the day, but no rain is in the forecast.
Sunlight filters through the alders along a driveway in Longbranch. Our days are getting shorter and much colder this week.
Sunlight filters through the alders along a driveway in Longbranch. Our days are getting shorter and much colder this week.

The dark days of winter are upon us.

The sun is not rising for at least another hour (7:07 a.m.) and it will set at 4:41 p.m.

And boy is it getting cold out. It is currently 45 degrees and our high temperature for the day will barely break 50. According to the weather geeks, the low overnight was in the 30s. Brrrr…

Yes Virginia, summer is but a fading memory.

The good news is we probably won’t see rain today.

The bad news, according to weather super geek Cliff Mass, is that weather forecast models are predicting very cold air will be heading our way this week. Temperatures will be in the 40s most of the week.

It could be worse, Mass argues.

“Our mountains substantially block the westward movement of cold air. We have a double defense with the Rockies holding back cold air in Montana and Alberta. Then the Cascades blocks cold air from eastern Washington from getting into western Washington and Oregon.”

There you have it.

Now this from the Chief’s Desk…

Chief Guy Allen from the Key Peninsula Fire Department reports another busy week for his crews who responded to 5 vehicle collisions. No injuries were reported. They responded to 35 more calls that included 2 assaults with injury and gas odor at a house.

Allen had sobering advice for us on the Peninsula when a regional emergency hits.

“You should be prepared to survive for up to 7 days without help from emergency services” the Chief said. Because “you likely will not get a response to your emergency.”

He explains that even the KP Fire Department’s mutual aid partners in Gig Harbor, Kitsap County and Mason County would have their hands full during a region-wide emergency.

“Can you imagine the dozens of simultaneous 9-1-1 calls just out here on the Key Peninsula,” he said.

We most likely will be on our own, at least until they get to us. So be ready, the chief said.

“A great way to get prepared is to join a neighborhood group,” he said.

To learn more on what to do, Allen suggests going to the website for the Pierce County Department of Emergency Management.

Tonight the Board of Fire Commissioners is meeting at the Key Center fire station to talk about, among other things, the budget. A public hearing on the budget will be held at the fire station on Nov. 25 (Tuesday) at 4 p.m. Then the commissioners submit the budget the following day.

A tight turn-around. So if you have issues, speak your mind at the public hearing or attend tonight’s meeting. If you cannot go, give the chief or one of your commissioners a call and find out what’s on the budget.

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