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Thu January 20, 2011
Thursday morning's headlines
Making headlines this morning:
- Puget Sound Murky From Stormwater Runoff
- More Heavy Rains Coming, with Potential Flooding
- Tacoma Considers Closing a High School
People who keep a close eye on Puget Sound are sharing images of the impacts from recent flooding. They show a murky mess that includes sediments and human contaminants highlighting the ecosystem's top polluter: stormwater runoff.
KPLU's Liam Moriarty shares video taken by divers who got up close to underwater runoff, showing a gushing dark plume of gunk.
The Seattle Times also features the muddy waters of Elliott Bay. Sandi Doughton reports water releases from Howard Hanson Dam on the Green River contributed to the thick sediment helping make the bay turn brown:
Rain-driven erosion and landslides swept sediment into the river several days in a row. While precipitation in the urban areas wasn't extreme, some upstream areas got more than 7 inches in 72 hours.
More Rain, More Mud
After a short reprieve, more heavy rains are forecast for western Washington over the the next few days. Seattlepi.com's Scott Sunde reports:
The rain has prompted a flood watch for Grays Harbor, Clallam and Jefferson counties through late Thursday night. A flood warning continues for the Cedar River at Landsburg and Renton and for the Green River at Auburn as upstream reservoirs release water.
The National Weather Service is warning the added heavy rains increase the likelihood of landslides.
Tacoma Schools Consider Foss High Closure
Facing a budget deficit, Tacoma Superintendent Art Jarvis is looking at the possibility of mothballing Foss High School to weather the crisis. The News Tribune's Debbie Cafazzo reports the action could save $2 million, but brings up hurdles:
- How would Foss students be divided among Tacoma’s remaining four high schools?
- Can Foss’ prestigious International Baccalaureate (IB) program be transplanted wholesale to another school, or must it undergo a recertification process first?
- How would the move affect teachers and other staff members at Foss? Would they simply follow the Foss students to other schools?
- What happens to special education students?
Parents and students, energized by the PTA, are scheduled to meet next Tuesday at Foss' Little Theater to talk about how to fight the idea, according to the Trib.