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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Friday, May 5, 2017
James Yates, Emergency Management Coordinator, Thurston County Emergency Management, (360)867-2828, or email at yatesj@co.thurston.wa.us 
Meghan Porter, Public Information Officer, (360)867-2097, or email at porterm@co.thurston.wa.us 

Emergency Management Activates Emergency Coordination Center (ECC)
ECC activated to coordinate response to May 4 severe thunderstorm damage

OLYMPIA – Thurston County Emergency Management activated the Emergency Coordination Center (ECC) at 6:00 a.m. today to coordinate response to the damage caused by the severe thunderstorms that impacted Thurston County on Thursday, May 4.

A severe thunderstorm moved through Thurston County on May 4, from approximately 4:30 p.m. to 5:15 p.m. It moved in a northerly direction from SW Thurston County around Grand Mound through Tumwater, Lacey, and Olympia. The storm brought lightning, hail, heavy rain, and straight line winds gusting to 50 mph. The fast moving storm brought down trees, power lines, damaged homes, blocked roads, and caused power outages.

According to Puget Sound Energy (PSE), the total power outages in Thurston County as of 12:30 p.m. was 9,060. 

Thurston County Public Works Road crews are out today doing cleanup and damage assessment. Currently, the biggest challenge is that due to downed power lines, road crews can only go as fast as PSE and Potelco can clear the roads. No known permanent road damage at this time. For information about road closures, visit the Public Works road closures website

If you encounter downed powerlines do not touch, walk or drive across them. Immediately report the location of the fallen wires to Puget Sound Energy at 888-225-5773. If the powerline is arcing or sparking, call 9-1-1 first.

If your power is out, do not run gas or charcoal grills indoors as they could cause a buildup of carbon monoxide gas which could be fatal. If using a portable home generator, read and follow the manufacturer’s safety instructions. 

Also, do not drive through flooded parking lots or roadways. Vehicles can be quickly swept away and drivers cannot see hazards under the water, such as washed out roadways. Remember: Turn around, don’t drown! 

For updated information about Thurston County’s emergency response and preparedness, visit the Thurston County Emergency Management website.  

Stay connected with TCEM through social media. Get Thurston County Emergency Management updates on Facebook and Twitter.


County Commissioners:

Carolina Mejia
District 1

Gary Edwards
District 2

Tye Menser
District 3