VOLUNTEER DAY RESULTS: The local Incident Management team geared-up for a volunteer clean-up day last Saturday, February 21, 2015. Organizational support for this event included staff from the Grays Harbor County Sheriff’s Department, Aberdeen Fire Department, Hoquiam Fire Department, Aberdeen Police Department, Grays Harbor Fire District #2, Aberdeen Parks Department, Hoquiam Police Department, Grays Harbor County Health Department, Hoquiam Crime Watch, City of Aberdeen, Grays Harbor Transit and Region 3 Incident Management Team.
The Pearsall Building served as the Command Post for the effort. In total, 174 adult volunteers accompanied by approximately 60 minors were assigned with 30 disaster mitigation specialists from the Department of Ecology’s Washington Conservation Corps to help mitigate the lingering damage and affects from the January storm and flood. Some of the youth assisting were local high school students working on their student project service hours.
Households in need of assistance were identified based on calls to the FLOOD LINE at the Coastal Community Action Program. CCAP continues to be the designated call center for flood relief efforts.
Volunteers included local members of the Church of Latter Day Saints, United Methodist Volunteers in Mission, Immanuel Baptist Church, North River Community Church, First Presbyterian Church of Aberdeen, Grays Harbor Four Square Church and Harbor Calvary Chapel as well as other local churches and citizens. Volunteers heeded the call from as far away as Seattle, Eastern Washington and Oregon.
Several businesses donated food, equipment and support, including House Brother’s, Domino’s, Home Depot, Hometown Sanitation and LeMay’s.
After a training session and registration as state emergency workers, volunteers were deployed by 9:00 AM with crews working until 5:00 PM. In total, 36 households were assisted to completion; 34 had work started by volunteers to be continued by the Conservation Corps; 19 locations were referred to additional resources; 23 homes are pending visits by the Conservation Corps and 4 new requests for assistance came in since Saturday.
Volunteers and crews from the Washington Conservation Corps crawled under homes to remove wet insulation, hauled and disposed of damaged property, shoveled mud out of yards and cleaned mold off walls and floors. At one point, over 35 volunteers armed with shovels worked on the mud and debris covering the entire backyard of a home on Queets Avenue in Hoquiam.
By the end of Saturday, LeMay’s reported they had collected over 38,000 pounds of debris and flood damaged property at the transfer station.
City public works crews from Aberdeen and Hoquiam have been working this week to collect the mud moved out of homes, garages and yards by the volunteers.