While the site was down: Three updates – Power outage, Evergreen Pool, Hicks Lake

Sorry for the “outage” here – not related to the City Light power outage – our server-management company detected a problem that required emergency maintenance, taking White Center Now (and many other sites) down for a while. Looks like it’s done now. We posted some news on partner site West Seattle Blog in the meantime – we use separate server managers for the two sites to dramatically reduce the chances both will be down at the same time, so if ever you notice this site down, please check there or check our Twitter page at http://twitter.com/whitecenternow.

Here are the updates, linking to the full stories on WSB:

-Power outage: All but a few hundred homes/businesses are back on. More here.

-Evergreen Pool: It WILL close September 1st, according to King County Council Chair Dow Constantine, who hopes that will be temporary while the agreement for WhiteWater Aquatics to take over the pool is negotiated. More here.

-Hicks Lake: Warning signs are posted because of an algae bloom. More here. Also, here’s the entirety of the note we received from King County’s Doug Williams:

We just got results back from the state Department of Ecology that confirms a blue-green algae bloom at Hicks has surpassed the safety threshold. While there aren’t likely too many people swimming there right now, it’s possible that people could let their dogs swim and/or drink from the lake. Not a good idea!

We’ve posted signs that ask people to stay out of the water, and don’t let their pets swim in or drink from the lake.

Toxic algae can have some nasty effects on people and pets. In minor cases, it can cause a rash, eye and throat irritation, etc. It’s a neurotoxin that, in serious cases, can cripple your liver, mess with your nervous system, etc. Those are pretty rare situations; you’d have to ingest a lot of the stuff to get that sick. But it’s still important for everyone to heed the warnings and keep out of the water – pets, too.

When will the algae bloom go away? That’s a good question. We’ve seen blooms last for weeks; sometimes they don’t go away until the weather cools down and the sunlight becomes elusive.

We will collect water samples weekly for analysis by DOE. Once we have two weeks where the samples come back below the established acceptable threshold for human contact, we’ll take down the signs.

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