Watch out for basement floodingPermalink +
Thu, Jan 19, 2012, 11:03 pm // Paul deArmond
There are flood advisories brewing for the snow melt that will be caused by the coming rain. See the weather advisories at the UofW Weather page for the most recent reports from the U.S. Weather Service.
The last time a weather situation like this occurred in Bellingham was in January 2009, and the City of Bellingham Public Works Department was asleep at the switch. Basements flooded all over town with sewage backing up through drains. All homeowners insurance coverage has specific exclusion clauses against sewer backups, and the city hid their negligent incompetence behind sovereign immunity. The result was that over a dozen homeowners had to eat thousands of dollars of damages.
What happens is, the snow acts like a sponge. The heavy rainfall saturates the sponge-like snow. When the snow finally melts, several hours of rainfall is released in very short period of time. This creates storm flows at levels usually only seen in extraordinarily heavy rainfalls.
In many places, the city storm sewers are above the sanitary sewers, and when the storm sewers are overloaded, the excess water gets channeled into the sanitary sewers. The high flow rates increase the water pressure in the sanitary sewers so the raw sewage surges out of basement floor drains, showers, sinks, and toilets.
The city has diversion valves that will vent the excess raw sewage into Bellingham Bay. In 2009, they delayed for approximately six hours before dumping the excess by opening the valves. The result of this pointless delay was that many citizens stored tens of thousands of gallons of the city’s raw sewage at great personal expense and damage.
My own investigations found that basements in the York and Alderwood neighborhoods were flooded last time. Because of the silence by the city and the lack of professional reporting by the newspaper, the full extent of the sewage flooding in 2009 was never ascertained.
Cliff Mass’ weather blog is here.
Related Links:-> NOAA 5 day, by the hour, forecast for Bellingham.
Jim Dickinson writes: Why the surplus Washington State ferry Hiyu should replace the Whatcom Chief for our Whatcom County ferry service to Lummi Island.
Tue, Jul 12, 2016, 10:55 pm
5 comments; last on Jul 18, 2016
The Lummi Island ferry is a very old and decrepit vessel. The state ferry system wants to give us a newer one in great condition. Whatcom County says…
Sat, Jun 25, 2016, 10:08 pm
6 comments; last on Jun 30, 2016
Mon, Jun 06, 2016, 5:03 pm
5 comments; last on Jun 26, 2016
Over 2,000 volunteers have just built a new playground in six days. We do a photo story.
Sun, Jun 05, 2016, 8:29 pm
1 comments; last on Jun 06, 2016
The Greenways Advisory Committee meets this evening and may reverse their May decision to purchase the heron colony buffer woods.
Fri, Jun 03, 2016, 12:29 am
10 comments; last on Jun 07, 2016
Bellingham's only heron colony needs forested buffer - and the land owner is willing to sell. Greenways has voted to buy it, but our city council must act.
Tue, May 31, 2016, 9:51 pm
5 comments; last on Jun 01, 2016
This veteran, Chris Brown, deserves our deep thanks for his achievement with Growing Veterans as Executive Director, a post that he has left. He will continue as President…
Thu, May 26, 2016, 5:23 am
3 comments; last on Jun 08, 2016
As the city council takes up consideration of the comprehensive plan, citizen input is critical. Otherwise in a few years and in response to housing and land use…
Mon, May 23, 2016, 5:21 am
The planned concrete walkway from Boulevard Park to the Cornwall landfill, using millions in Greenway funds, has been abandoned by Bellingham. We again thank the Lummi.
Sat, May 21, 2016, 4:32 pm
11 comments; last on May 26, 2016
Jay Taber, a strong environmentalist for decades, guest writes a harsh critique of the 350 org anti-fossil fuel demonstrations at the Anacortes oil refineries last weekend.
Wed, May 18, 2016, 4:46 pm
2 comments; last on May 24, 2016
Bellingham School officials expect a slam dunk by Hearing Examiner and city council on street vacation and conditional use permit. By Patrick McKee.
Tue, May 17, 2016, 7:45 pm
2 comments; last on May 18, 2016
Uber, the cheap ride taxi company, is targeting the troops to become drivers in ads disguised as articles in publications such as the Army Times.
Mon, May 16, 2016, 5:20 am
The March Point protestors this weekend will hopefully show serious concern and not disturb the heron colony near the refineries.
Sat, May 14, 2016, 9:34 am
2 comments; last on May 15, 2016
The Seattle office of the Army Corps of Engineers has formally denied a permit for building a coal terminal at Cherry Point in Whatcom County. Updated at 4pm.
Mon, May 09, 2016, 12:10 pm
4 comments; last on May 09, 2016
Supporters say he will beat Hillary Clinton.
Sat, May 07, 2016, 10:47 pm
3 comments; last on May 24, 2016
Group cites failure to investigate assaults on anti-police-racism marchers
Tue, Apr 26, 2016, 7:04 pm
4 comments; last on May 03, 2016
Also to all U.S. Representative candidates in the 1st and 2nd U.S. Congressional districts for the election in 2016
Tue, Apr 26, 2016, 3:46 pm
1 comments; last on Apr 27, 2016
Republicans rolled over and approved the Democrats' map to set the stage for a legal challenge
Thu, Apr 21, 2016, 8:40 pm
3 comments; last on Apr 24, 2016
GOP vote for Democratic plan to prevent locked committee and then county council becoming decision makers of districting boundaries
Wed, Apr 20, 2016, 8:01 pm
1 comments; last on Apr 21, 2016
The Bellingham City Council conducted a retreat on 16 April to discuss a number of issues, including a set of proposed strategies to ensure "sustainable services."
Tue, Apr 19, 2016, 5:14 am
Liquid natural gas terminal is rumored to be in planning stages for Cherry Point as the Oregon proposed LNG plan is abandoned.
Mon, Apr 18, 2016, 11:55 am
6 comments; last on Apr 19, 2016
Fate of new county five-district map remains uncertain.
Wed, Apr 13, 2016, 10:43 pm
5 comments; last on Apr 14, 2016
If you do, you better make sure you have something to say that's going to change someone's mind.
Wed, Apr 13, 2016, 9:09 am
3 comments; last on Apr 14, 2016
The Sunnyland residents have just learned they have only today to comment on a huge impacting building project in their neighborhood.
Mon, Apr 11, 2016, 1:06 am
11 comments; last on Apr 23, 2016
After a public hearing next week, the committee will be asked to vote on a five-district map for Whatcom County in two weeks.
Wed, Apr 06, 2016, 9:18 pm
5 comments; last on Apr 09, 2016
The Districting Master (the official title) has submitted his map for review by the Districting Committee this evening. Here it is for your review.
Wed, Apr 06, 2016, 1:14 pm
5 comments; last on Apr 07, 2016
At Clayton Beach, we have tracked increasing erosion under railroad tracks and written to the railroads and federal inspectors. To no avail.
Mon, Apr 04, 2016, 8:17 pm
2 comments; last on Apr 05, 2016
Accelerating efforts across the U.S. to install a $15 minimum wage are playing into the hands of big business and codifying enormously insufficient wages for years to come.
Mon, Apr 04, 2016, 5:25 am
2 comments; last on May 24, 2016
Fri, Apr 01, 2016, 3:49 pm
3 comments; last on Apr 02, 2016
Activist contests $10,000 fine for climbing on a Shell oil vessel. Rob Lewis guest writes this report.
Wed, Mar 23, 2016, 2:37 pm
Updated Wed, Mar 16. Tuesday, March 15, from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., any registered voter of Whatcom County can vote in person at the conservation district office.
Wed, Mar 16, 2016, 8:26 pm
Updated 4:30pm. Helena, Montana newspaper says GPT may be denied this week by Army Corps of Engineers. US Rep Zinke panics and accuses Army of politics.
Wed, Mar 16, 2016, 12:19 am
4 comments; last on Mar 24, 2016
Not even a letter from a coal terminal spokesman can save them now.
Tue, Mar 15, 2016, 12:04 am
2 comments; last on Mar 17, 2016
We post the next two maps to be discussed at the Districting Committee today, March 14. For the few who might study them and later contribute perspectives.
Mon, Mar 14, 2016, 1:53 am
Legally threatening letter sent by Seattle law firm retained by prominent leading Democratic Party leaders.
Sun, Mar 13, 2016, 1:06 pm
1 comments; last on Mar 14, 2016
The third annual deArmond dinner celebrated the work of Sandy Robson and Neah Monteiro.
Fri, Mar 11, 2016, 11:28 pm
2 comments; last on Mar 13, 2016
What almost happened on the coast of Maine could happen here at Cherry Point. Portland, Maine, stopped oil exports - and Whatcom County can also. If we act.
Wed, Mar 09, 2016, 11:20 pm
Durham is an example of the efficacy of rental inspections, putting to bed the unsupported objections of landlords by presenting facts about conditions.
Wed, Mar 09, 2016, 2:20 pm
1 comments; last on Mar 12, 2016
Wherein, we correct some misassumptions but still ask the questions
Tue, Mar 08, 2016, 2:47 pm
The Republicans made concessions on their district map but took a final stand at Nooksack, Everson and Sumas.
Tue, Mar 08, 2016, 1:15 am
6 comments; last on Mar 12, 2016
Could this address the real problem with Puget Sound?
Mon, Mar 07, 2016, 10:40 am
6 comments; last on Mar 08, 2016
Republicans and Democrats remain far apart. Democrats have the legal high ground, but Republicans would go to court to challenge that if necessary.
Sun, Mar 06, 2016, 11:39 pm
1 comments; last on Mar 07, 2016
Wherein someone's gotta do the right thing
Tue, Mar 01, 2016, 3:40 pm
Chiara D'Angelo comes across as emotionally intelligent and uncompromising in her high-stakes Coast Guard hearing.
Mon, Feb 29, 2016, 11:55 pm
1 comments; last on Mar 01, 2016
Wherein inquiring minds want to know!
Sat, Feb 27, 2016, 1:24 pm
Republicans focused their efforts on torpedoing the Democrats' five-district proposal at the second committee meeting.
Tue, Feb 23, 2016, 5:01 am
4 comments; last on Mar 01, 2016
The Coast Guard has levied $30,000 in fines on two Bellingham climate activists. They will fight to have the fines dropped.
Thu, Feb 18, 2016, 5:01 am
16 comments; last on Feb 22, 2016
Wherein sanity may finally be approaching a nagging jail issue
Sun, Feb 14, 2016, 8:54 pm
2 comments; last on Feb 19, 2016
Republicans and Democrats traded barbs on the first day of the Districting Committee, but Dems may have won the first battle.
Tue, Feb 09, 2016, 5:02 am
5 comments; last on Feb 10, 2016
Inspections of rentals cannot begin too soon. Seven fires in rental units since 2011 and almost half with ONE landlord. No but the clock may be running out.
Mon, Feb 08, 2016, 6:26 am
From all the monumentally boring hoopla to the shameful rousting of the homeless Super Bowl 50 exceeds all expectations for greed and excess.
Fri, Feb 05, 2016, 12:45 pm
4 comments; last on Feb 12, 2016
Harriet Spanel was many years our representative in the state legislature and served Whatcom County and Bellingham very well.
Wed, Feb 03, 2016, 5:49 pm
4 comments; last on Feb 04, 2016
Lisa Anderson will fill the remaining term of real estate broker, Cerise Noah. who left the Bellingham Planning Commission several months ago.
Wed, Feb 03, 2016, 2:53 pm
Talib Kweli played the Wild Buffalo a couple evenings ago and Ralph Schwartz was there. He writes a very personal take on the evening.
Mon, Feb 01, 2016, 4:00 am
2 comments; last on Feb 04, 2016
Uber has started a new type of public taxi service in many cities, including Bellingham. It is controversial.
Sun, Jan 31, 2016, 12:04 pm
3 comments; last on Feb 04, 2016
Raising the minimum wage to $13.50/hr by 2020 cements workers into permanent slave wages that cannot pay the bills.
Mon, Jan 18, 2016, 6:35 am
1 comments; last on Jan 20, 2016
They are less famous than the eagles on the Skagit but closer to Bellingham, fewer people and still lots of eagles. A great January afternoon outing.
Tue, Jan 12, 2016, 12:18 am
1 comments; last on Jan 13, 2016
Earthquake near San Juan Island felt in Bellingham late Tuesday night
Wed, Dec 30, 2015, 1:15 am
What the campaign styles of local politicians Pete Kremen and Carl Weimer tell us about presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders
Tue, Dec 29, 2015, 12:06 pm
4 comments; last on Dec 31, 2015
Shell Polar Pioneer floating oil drill rig left the Pacific Northwest for Norway today. Nice holiday gift for all of us.
Fri, Dec 25, 2015, 11:31 am
2 comments; last on Dec 25, 2015
We Thank Our SponsorsClick to See All Sponsors
About NWCitizenDonations maintain site
Thru the years
Election LinksJeff Strung / WA Auditor
Mike LaPointe / US Congress
League of Women VotersCalendar of Events
Videos of Districting Committee
Local Online NewsBellingham Herald
Bham Business Journal
Bham Politics & Econ
KPLU fm radio
Western Front - WWU
Local CausesChuckanut C. Forest
City Club of Bellingham
Community Wise Bham
Futurewise - Whatcom
Lummi Island Quarry
N. Cascades Audubon
NW Holocaust Center
Powder River Basin R. C.
Salish Sea Org.
Save the Granary
WA Conservation Voters
Whatcom Peace & Justice
Our Governments- Whatcom County
Port of Bellingham
US Supreme Court
US The White House
NWCitizen 1995-2007Early Northwest Citizen
Weather & ClimateCliff Mass Weather Blog
EPIC World Photos
Nat Hurricane Center
Two day forecast
Watts Up With That?
Local LeisureAdventures NW
Good Web SitesAl-Jazeera online
Change The Mascot
Edge of Sports
Foreign Policy in Focus
Julia Ioffe/New Republic
Middle East Times
New American Century
Personal bio info
Portland Indy Media
Project Vote Smart
Stand for the Troops
Talking Points Memo
The Crisis Papers
War and Piece
Quiet, Offline or DeadBellingham Register
Bhm Herald Politics Blog
Citizens of Bellingham
Cordata & Meridian
Facebook Port Reform
Friends of Whatcom
Get Whatcom Planning
Intrnational Herald Tribune
N. Sound Conservancy
No Leaky Buckets
Protect Bellingham Parks
The American Telegraph