On Thursday afternoon, while a dozen or more Sammamish residents warmed up and recharged their phones at Sammamish City Hall, city staff prepared for a long night.
The city, one of few in the area that has kept its muncipal building open throughout this past week's stormy days, has been turned into a de facto warming shelter as more than 14,000 residents face power outages and limited water consumption for several days more.
Janie Jackson, and administrative assistant in the Sammamish Parks and Recreation Department, said she's prepared to spend the night at city hall if need be. At this point, the city has said it will keep the building open to those who need it until midnight.
Jackson lives in Redmond, but her daughter, who lives in Sammamish, is without power and is staying at Jackson's condo.
Meanwhile, Sammamish's snow plows are on constant duty, to try to keep major arterials such as 228th Avenue and Inglewood Hill Road passable, Jackson said. On Thursday, about 15 city staff members were on hand, prepared to take shifts and make sure the city has a refuge available.
While some residents hung out at "the hall," others shopped at Pine Lake , which was operating on backup generator power. An employee said the store's been very busy today, selling whatever snacks people could buy that don't require heating--and selling out of firewood and matches. She said the store plans to stay open all night, but since it's on backup power, it can't sell any items that are refrigerated or frozen. She said the Klahanie QFC is open also, and has full power.
Meanwhile, has remained open all day despite losing backup power (it now is operating an alternative emergency power). A store employee said that business has also been hectic and selling convenience items and firewood briskly throughout the day. Safeway will close at 6 p.m. and reopen around 8 a.m. tomorrow.
Similarly, Issaquah stores such as Target also were operating on generator power and planning to stay open normal hours.