Official News Release regarding popular Beach Drive seawall project

Hot off the press from the Seattle Division of US Army Corp of Engineers:

SEATTLE – The U.S Army Corps of Engineers, Seattle District, has partnered with the Seattle Parks and Recreation to design and implement a coastal storm damage reduction project under Section 103 of the Rivers and Harbors Act of 1962, as amended. The public comment period for this project runs through Dec. 31.

Emma Schmitz Overlook is located at 4503 Beach Drive SW, south of Alki Point in Seattle. The site includes a seawall built around 1927 that has deteriorated over time. Currently coastal storms and erosion threaten public infrastructure located in and around the seawall, including a 54-inch King County sewer main, a major public arterial, city park property and other underground utilities. The recommended plan includes construction of a soldier pile seawall parallel to the shoreline throughout the study area. The new seawall would be a few feet higher and seaward of the existing seawall. This would provide protection against damages caused by coastal storm events that occur in Puget Sound.

In 1998, the City of Seattle was prompted to take emergency action to stabilize the shoreline to the north of the proposed federal project when storm waves resulted in the failure of a similar section of existing seawall and subsequent erosion of shoreline protection that threatened utilities, roadways, and public lands. The city completed permanent emergency repairs on this adjacent site, which is not included in the scope of the proposed Federal project.

The recommended plan was chosen because it has the least environmental impacts, cost the least cost and meets all project purposes. Coordination with resource agencies and federal tribes is ongoing and preliminary indications expect a concurrence with the project.

The implementation cost of the recommended plan is estimated to be $2.29 million and will be cost-shared 65 percent federal ($1,488,000) and 35 percent non-federal ($801,000). The non-federal sponsor, Seattle Parks and Recreation, is responsible for all lands, easements, right-of-ways, relocations, and/or disposal areas which are controlled by the sponsor. Economic analysis suggests the project could prevent millions of dollars of physical and non-physical damages, resulting in a favorable benefit-cost ratio.

Submit comments to this office, Attn: Environmental and Cultural Resources Branch, no later than December 31, 2014 to ensure consideration. In addition to sending comments via mail, comments may be e-mailed to Melissa.L.Leslie@usace.army.mil. The Notice of Availability and Draft DPR/EA can be found at the following website: http://www.nws.usace.army.mil/Missions/Environmental/EnvironmentalDocuments/2014EnvironmentalDocuments.aspx. Requests for additional information should be directed to Ms. Melissa Leslie at 206-764-6587, or the above e-mail address.
###

Tanya M. King
Public Affairs Specialist
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Seattle District
206-764-6958 (office)
206-422-2679 (cell)
206-764-3769 (fax)

http://www.nws.usace.army.mil

I would like to think that this project could grease the skids of King County in favor of Beach Drive residents considering to raise their own seawalls from events caused by global warming.

Historic1968 Emma Schmitz Park seawall circa 1968. Photo credit to City of Seattle archives

Scupper, reporting for Beach Drive Blog

Christmas Ships cruising off the shores of Beach Drive

It was a perfect evening for the Christmas ships. The weather cooperated and we counted about 10 boats in total taking part in the cruise. What a treat to watch! We may catch another glimpse on Monday when the Argosy Christmas ships cruise to Manchester.

2014-12-13_1714 2014-12-13_1712_001 2014-12-13_1712 2014-12-13_1711 2014-12-13_1710
PS: Scupper says you may see BDB represented in the Christmas ship cruise next year. Ho ho ho!

Comment period open for Emma Schmitz Memorial seawall project

With an official press release due out as soon as this Monday, Beach Drive Blog has been notified by Seattle Parks and the Seattle District of the US Army Corp of Engineers that public comment is now open in regard to the pending seawall replacement for the southern section of Emma Schmitz Memorial Overlook Park. Public Comment closes December 31st 2014. Click here for the Public Notice. Comments may be e-mailed to Melissa.L.Leslie@usace.army.mil.

Tanya M King, Public Affairs Specialist with the Corp is very interested in being the single point of contact for any unofficial comments or concerns residents may have regarding the project. There are several different public entities within the immediate scope of the project (Seattle Parks, King County sewer and road, City of Seattle utilities & sidewalk, etc) and Tanya is committed to work with all jurisdictions to get your answers “it may take a day or two or even longer in some cases, but I will do my best to make life easier for residents looking for answers or expressing concerns”. Please see Tanya’s contact info at the bottom of post.

We wrote an article back in April when Becky Rufin, Parks Engineering Manager with Seattle Parks & Rec was kind enough to share the 64 page proposed plan for the new seawall. Per Becky’s email today…

If approved by the federal government, the Seattle Parks Department will be entering into a cost-sharing agreement for replacement of this aging structure. Project design and construction would actually be executed by USACE.
Please note there is currently a public review period open for the proposal, and comments must be received by December 31, 2014.

Beach Drive Blog asked Tanya to confirm a few specifics regarding the project. She responded before I could even finish the post!

How much taller will the new wall stand above the existing? 2 to 3 feet

Is any type of railing going to be installed? Too early to tell. Not to that level of design stage yet but it would be built low if built at all.

What if any new landscaping will there be? Would work with parks dept. but low native shrub/vegetation is what we’d expect in respecting neighbor’s views.

One new aspect to the plan is in respect of losing a few feet of public beach when the proposed wall is built in front of the old wall…

Due to the close proximity of the sewer main to the existing seawall structure, moving the alignment of the new seawall landward was assumed to increase the risks of potential failures during construction and significantly increase overall costs of the project. Therefore, the decision was made to move the alignment slightly waterward and mitigate for any nearshore (beach) area lost as a result of the project. A small amount (0.02 acres) of beach would be lost due to the footprint of the new seawall. To offset the loss of habitat, the project would reclaim adjacent beach habitat by removing a portion of riprap placed in the 1998 City of Seattle emergency repair. This entails lengthening the amount of seawall installed in order to stabilize the shoreline back to or near its pre- 1998 alignment and removing the waterward riprap and fill materials. The proposed ratio would be a 1:1 replacement as this habitat reclaims the lost habitat imposed by the new seawall and could begin to function immediately post-construction.

I think Emma herself would be pleased to know her overlook park could grow a little wider…

OmiSchmitz

This 1940’s photo shows Emma (on right) with her daughter-in-law Frankie posing beside the old family mansion that once stood where Mee-Kwa-Mooks Park is now. Courtesy of Bob Thomas who found the photo in an attic of a property he now owns.

Again, please contact Tanya for any unofficial (non-public) questions or concerns regarding this long overdue project,

Tanya M. King
Public Affairs Specialist
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Seattle District
206-764-6958 (office)
206-422-2679 (cell)
206-764-3769 (fax)
http://www.nws.usace.army.mil 

 

 

Scupper, reporting for Beach Drive Blog

Wind Storm: AFTERMATH!

Well, it appears we may have gotten away with one as long as a hill doesn’t slide away in the next day or so. The timing of the tides vs wind spared many a basements on the west side of the street.

Don’t tell this to Rudolph and Santa though. They were pretty blown away at the 50 knot gusts!

IMG_3668

IMG_3670

Asked Mr. Menashe about how the Christmas village faired last night, blessed at just a few knock-downs and the toppling of the ornamental arch over the walk way. Not bad at all!

IMG_3671

 

Scupper, reporting for Beach Drive Blog

License Plates Stolen last week

This is from the West Seattle Blog:

I live down on Beach Drive around Mee Kwa Mooks Park and I had my plates stolen and replaced last week. Through strange twists and turns, my plates were recovered by the Tukwila Police Department and the plates that were nicely put on my car were also stolen from a silver 2002 Honda from West Seattle. The really nice SPD officer who (responded) said they have seen more and more of these types of theft. He said when the thieves switch plates it buys them time since most people don’t check their plates very often (sometimes only once a year to change their tabs).

So just a heads up to your readers to check their plates! The Seattle PD has been investigating more and more of these and say if you discover your plates are incorrect to stop driving and immediately call the non-emergency line for help.

Barking Dog Report: HIGH WIND WATCH AND COASTAL FLOODING WATCH

Barking-Dog-ReportI’m crossing my fingers that the current forecasts I’m reading are exaggerating the predictions for Thursday. The coastal flooding is predicted to impact local high tides, causing a 14 ft on Wednesday morning around 8 am and a 14.5 ft on Thursday morning around 9 – 10 am.  Combine this with the high wind watch with possible gusts up to 65 mph and I smell trouble!

If you live on the water along Beach Drive, you might want to make sure you have pumps ready to go and take any actions needed to prepare for potential flooding. Be sure to continue to check the forecast as they do change…hopefully for the better!

Please share this information with your Beach Drive neighbors – they may not be aware of the pending storm.

National Weather Service

...COASTAL FLOOD ADVISORY IN EFFECT FROM 4 AM TO NOON PST
WEDNESDAY...
...COASTAL FLOOD WATCH IN EFFECT FROM LATE WEDNESDAY NIGHT
THROUGH THURSDAY AFTERNOON...

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN SEATTLE HAS ISSUED A COASTAL
FLOOD ADVISORY...WHICH IS IN EFFECT FROM 4 AM TO NOON PST
WEDNESDAY. A COASTAL FLOOD WATCH HAS ALSO BEEN ISSUED. THIS
COASTAL FLOOD WATCH IS IN EFFECT FROM LATE WEDNESDAY NIGHT
THROUGH THURSDAY AFTERNOON.

* IMPACTS...MINOR TIDAL OVERFLOW IS EXPECTED TO PRODUCE MINOR
  FLOODING IN LOW LYING AREAS AROUND THE INLAND WATERS AROUND HIGH
  TIDE ON WEDNESDAY. MORE SERIOUS AND EXTENSIVE COASTAL FLOODING
  IS POSSIBLE ON THURSDAY IF A DEEP LOW THAT IS SHOWN BY MANY
  FORECAST MODELS COMES IN AROUND HIGH TIDE. THIS DEEP LOW WOULD
  PRODUCE A 1 TO 2 FOOT STORM SURGE ON TOP OF PREDICTED TIDE
  VALUES AND WOULD BE COMBINED WITH WAVES DEVELOPED BY STRONG
  WINDS.

* TIME OF HIGH TIDE...ABOUT 8 AM PST WEDNESDAY AND 9-10 AM PST
  THURSDAY.

* PREDICTED TIDE...AT SEATTLE ABOUT 14 FEET ON WEDNESDAY AND
  POSSIBLY AROUND 14.5 FEET ON THURSDAY. MINOR TIDAL OVERFLOW AT
  SEATTLE NORMALLY BEGINS AROUND 13.5 FEET AND SERIOUS COASTAL
  FLOODING TYPICALLY BEGINS AT 14.5 FEET. TIDAL ANOMALIES ARE
  EXPECTED TO BE SIMILAR AT OTHER LOCATIONS BETWEEN OLYMPIA AND
  POINT ROBERTS ALONG THE SHORES OF THE INLAND WATERS.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS...

A COASTAL FLOOD ADVISORY INDICATES THAT ONSHORE WINDS AND TIDES
WILL COMBINE TO GENERATE FLOODING OF LOW AREAS ALONG THE SHORE.

A COASTAL FLOOD WATCH MEANS FLOODING OR BEACH EROSION WILL OCCUR
IF WEATHER CONDITIONS DEVELOP AS PREDICTED. RESIDENTS AND LOCAL
OFFICIALS SHOULD MONITOR THE SITUATION CLOSELY AND BE PREPARED TO
TAKE APPROPRIATE ACTION IF A WARNING IS ISSUED.

Seattle City Forecast:

…HIGH WIND WATCH IN EFFECT FROM LATE WEDNESDAY NIGHT THROUGH THURSDAY EVENING…

TONIGHT…RAIN IN THE EVENING…THEN SHOWERS AFTER MIDNIGHT. RAINFALL AMOUNTS A HALF INCH TO ONE INCH POSSIBLE. LOWS IN THE LOWER TO MID 50S. SOUTH WIND 10 TO 20 MPH. GUSTS TO 35 MPH AFTER MIDNIGHT.

WEDNESDAY…BREEZY…RAIN. RAINFALL AMOUNTS A HALF INCH TO ONE INCH POSSIBLE. HIGHS NEAR 60. SOUTH WIND 15 TO 25 MPH WITH GUSTS TO 40 MPH.

WEDNESDAY NIGHT…RAIN AT TIMES. RAINFALL AMOUNTS A TENTH TO A QUARTER OF AN INCH POSSIBLE. LOWS NEAR 50. SOUTH WIND 10 TO 15 MPH BECOMING EAST WITH GUSTS TO 25 MPH AFTER MIDNIGHT.

THURSDAY…VERY WINDY. RAIN AT TIMES. RAINFALL AMOUNTS A TENTH TO A QUARTER OF AN INCH POSSIBLE. HIGHS IN THE LOWER TO MID 50S. NORTH WIND 10 TO 20 MPH WITH GUSTS TO 30 MPH INCREASING TO SOUTH 30 TO 40 MPH WITH GUSTS TO 65 MPH IN THE AFTERNOON.

THURSDAY NIGHT…WINDY. SHOWERS LIKELY. RAINFALL AMOUNTS A TENTH TO A QUARTER OF AN INCH POSSIBLE. LOWS IN THE MID 40S. SOUTHWEST WIND 20 TO 30 MPH WITH GUSTS TO 40 MPH DECREASING TO 10 TO 15 MPH AFTER MIDNIGHT.

NWS Forecast for Thursday currently has gusts up to 70 MPH!!!

  • Thursday: Rain. High near 54. Windy, with a north northeast wind 6 to 11 mph becoming south 36 to 46 mph in the afternoon. Winds could gust as high as 70 mph. Chance of precipitation is 90%. New precipitation amounts between a tenth and quarter of an inch possible.
  • Thursday Night: Showers likely. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 45. Windy. Chance of precipitation is 60%. New precipitation amounts between a tenth and quarter of an inch possible.

Here’s a snap shot of the pending tides – please remember this is NOT reflecting the coastal flooding which causes the tides to be higher than originally predicted.

2014-12-09_1644

UPDATE: 4:58 PM to add the Puget Sound Marine Forecast:

SMALL CRAFT ADVISORY IN EFFECT FROM WEDNESDAY MORNING THROUGH  WEDNESDAY AFTERNOON  STORM WATCH IN EFFECT FROM LATE WEDNESDAY NIGHT THROUGH THURSDAY  EVENING  

 WED  S WIND 20 TO 30 KT. WIND WAVES 3 TO 5 FT. RAIN.  
WED NIGHT  S WIND 15 TO 25 KT...EASING TO 5 TO 15 KT. WIND WAVES  2 TO 4 FT...SUBSIDING TO 2 FT OR LESS AFTER MIDNIGHT. RAIN IN THE  EVENING...THEN RAIN LIKELY AFTER MIDNIGHT.  
THU  N WIND 5 TO 15 KT...BECOMING S 35 TO 45 KT. STORM FORCE  WINDS ARE POSSIBLE. WIND WAVES 2 FT OR LESS BUILDING TO 5 TO 8 FT.  
THU NIGHT  SW WIND 35 TO 45 KT EARLY...EASING TO 5 TO 15 KT.  STORM FORCE WINDS ARE POSSIBLE IN THE EVENING. WIND WAVES 6 TO 8  FT...SUBSIDING TO 2 FT OR LESS.

A “barking dog report” means that we are very closely watching the sound and preparing to possibly flood. It may or may not happen (hopefully not!!). Consider us your neighbor’s barking dog who’s barking at potential trouble. Stay safe my friends!

Weather Apps/sites for predicting wind, waves & tides

We’ve used several weather sites and apps over the years in helping us predict when we get to go fishing in our driveway. Yep, we’re well into the season of higher tides and southerly winds. “Yuletides” measuring close to 13 feet will be gracing our shores starting on Christmas while the dreaded King Tides  (my definition is over 13 feet) start up later in January.

BDB compiles several different government weather sources to come up with the Barking Dog warning…

A “barking dog report” means that we are very closely watching the sound and preparing to possibly flood. It may or may not happen (hopefully not!!). Consider us your neighbor’s barking dog who’s barking at potential trouble.

This has me wondering if there are any free sites/apps that can provide all the info you want in an easy to understand format. It’s a safe bet that most weather sites are pulling their stats off of NOAA satellites/beacons so it’s just a matter of which site/app works for you. Here’s a few freebies that stood out to me…

Predict Wind includes a robust amount of weather info (includes predicted wave & tide heights) but totally whiffed in predicting our last big blow in November. They claim that their custom report/models are used by America’s Cup & Volvo Ocean sailors more than any other forecast applications. They’re predicting that we’ll be seeing peak gusts of 50 knots around 9:oo AM tomorrow…

PredictWind

iWindsurf was recommended by a neighbor and is now my go-to app. It accurately predicted our last couple of windy days off of Alki Pt. This snapshot of their Prediction Table is showing steady wind of 21 knots with peak gusts to 48 for tomorrow at 5:00 PM.

IMG_0227

There are several good sources for tide heights but I prefer Tide Graph HD from Brainware LLC. Here’s the height for Seattle @ 6PM tomorrow…

TideGraphHD

 

Wave height is pretty much a factor of wind speed around here. The fetch or travel distances approx. the same from North to South.

Wind 10-20 Kt = 3 footers

Wind 15-25 Kt = 4 footers

Wind 25-35 Kt = 6 footers

Wind 35-45 Kt = up to 8 feet! (BTW, predicted by NOAA Marine forecast for Puget Sound/Hood Canal this Thursday evening)

 

IMG_3522 Beach Drive’s own Psycho of the Soup uses the IWindsurf app to map out wind speed forecasts for slaying the surf along the drive.

 

Scupper, reporting for Beach Drive Blog

 

Tires Stolen off Car at 6000 Beach Drive

This just in from one of our neighbors:

tireSometime in the early hours of Friday, December 5, one or more jerks stole three wheels from our car. (They were in the process of taking the fourth, but for whatever reason they didn’t finish the job). The crime occurred in the 6000 block of Beach Drive SW, and a police report has been filed. I know this is highly unlikely, but if you see or hear of 3 wheels for sale, please let me know. The tires are 235/45ZR17 on 17-inch wheels. I have attached a picture of our car after the event, and the one remaining wheel.

We completely understand how our neighbor feels. A few years ago, we had three tires stolen off of our Honda Fit. The creeps, I mean crooks, left our car laying on it’s suspension with just the one tire remaining. I assume somebody drove by causing them to leave the scene.

Please keep your eyes out for these wheels!

 

M/V Puget fetching debris off Beach Drive

The US Army Corp of Engineers are busy hauling off one the largest flotillas of debris I’ve seen off our shores. As a frequent boater out here, I can’t imagine trying to maneuver around these half sunken hazards at night. Rudolph the Radar better be extra bright when he leads the Christmas ships on the 13th!

DSC_1421

Port of Manchester in the background…

2014-12-08_1235

The M/V Puget has been dedicated for this type of debris removal in the Seattle District…

The Corps has continuing authority to study and undertake projects to remove and dispose of derelict objects such as sunken vessels, waterfront debris and derelict structures, and other sources of drift that may damage vessels or threaten public health, recreation, or the environment at publicly maintained commercial boat harbors. The harbor need not be, but usually is a Corps project. Congressional authorization is required for projects with Federal costs of $400,000 or more. (USACE Engineering Regulation 1105-2-100)

 

Scupper, reporting for Beach Drive Blog

 

Beach Burn Ban LIFTED

2014-12-02_1706Yesterday we published the notice from the City of Seattle about the burn ban restricting bonfires…today, they have lifted said burn ban. That didn’t last long!

Rejoice around the bonfires with the Christmas ships, merry neighbors!

For immediate release                                                     

December 2, 2014

Contact:          David Takami 206-684-7241

david.takami@seattle.gov

Burn ban lifted: Beach fires can resume

The Puget Sound Clean Air Agency today lifted the burn ban for King, Kitsap, Pierce and Snohomish counties.

For Seattle Parks and Recreation, this means that beach fires at Alki Beach Park, 1702 Alki Ave. SW, and Golden Gardens Park, 8498 Seaview Ave. NW, can resume. Bonfires scheduled for on-shore Christmas Ship events can also resume.

The rules for beach fires are as follows:

  • Light fires ONLY in designated fire pits, which are available on a first-come, first-serve basis
  • Burn only clean firewood like bare, clean dry cordwood (chemically treated wood like lumber releases a strong-smelling, dirty smoke into the air and burning pallets can leave nails and debris on the beach)
  • Douse your fire completely with water (NOT sand) before leaving
  • Don’t remove anything from the park
  • Dispose of trash and ashes in the containers provided for each
  • Be considerate of others – no amplified music
  • Alcohol is not permitted in Seattle parks

For more information on burn bans please visit the Puget Sound Clean Air Agency at http://www.pscleanair.org/airq/status.asp