RUBBLE FROM falling walls and tumbling roofs damaged many vehicles in Seattle.
MARCH 1–Christ’s reach is big enough to go around the world and yesterday he held Seattle, Wash. in his arms.
Bricks, rather than rain, poured onto Seattle streets at 10:54 a.m. Wednesday, Feb. 28, when a 6.8 earthquake rippled through Western Washington. Windows shattered, water mains broke, power lines collapsed, ceilings caved in and rubble crushed parked vehicles. More than 100 were injured.
Fortunately, The Salvation Army was on the scene quickly. Despite a statewide damage estimate of $2 billion, the atmosphere in Seattle’s hard-hit So Do neighborhood the following afternoon was one of hope and renewal, amidst the hard work of clean-up and repair that permeated the rain-drenched city.
“During the quake, I was frightened and disoriented,” said Lisa Martin, merchandising manager for Floyd and Snider, an environmental consulting office evacuated during the disaster. “Now, I’m relieved that it’s over. I feel lucky.”
Lt. Kenneth Perine, Youth Pastor Amanda Claassen and volunteer Roberta Henson–
all from the Army’s Eastside Division–distributed candy and five gallons of Starbucks coffee to hundreds of people, including office workers, media representatives, repair crews, emergency response personnel, and passersby.
The division’s own facilities were not spared. The main warehouse of the Seattle ARC suffered $750,000 in damage to its structure, clothing, furniture and general inventory. Volunteers are assisting with the repair and rebuilding efforts at the center.
Staff members at the Renton Corps comforted residents of Cedar River Terrace, a nearby senior housing facility. Nerves were calmed and fears relieved when Capt. Michael Beauchamp shared coffee and Scripture with those emotionally shaken by the tremor. Furthermore, the cities of Issaquah and Snohomish suffered a terrible water shortage. AmeriCares donated three truckloads of bottled water to the Army to assist these communities.
“While we are indeed blessed that this unfortunate natural disaster did not result in massive human suffering, it is the desire of The Salvation Army to do all that we can to assist those who have weathered great personal and financial loss,” said Major Ron Strickland, Northwest divisional commander.