Northwest NEWS

August 16, 1999

Local News

City of Bothell reports local and regional Y2K readiness

by Marshall Haley, staff reporter

   BOTHELL--The City of Bothell's Embedded Systems Team is on schedule with upgrade and replacement of computer hardware and software, phone and telemetry systems that will make all City systems Y2K-ready by the end of October, according to City Risk Mgr. Terry Briscoe.

   Reports from the State of Washington (July 1999) and the Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission (June 1999) anticipate no Y2K problems.

   Those reports include Puget Sound Energy's declaration of Y2K readiness as of June 30, and US West and GTE statements that they have completed 87 percent of remediation, with estimated completion date of Sept. 30.

   The State D.O.T. estimated completion of needed remediation by June 30, including ferries, railroads, traffic signals, communications, and D.O.T. equipment. They reminded citizens to always treat darkened intersections as a four-way stop during any power failure.

   As of July 9, 86 percent of Washington hospitals had told the Dept. of Health that they will be Y2K ready. Harborview and the UW Medical Center were already 95 percent compliant.

   All federally insured banks are Y2K compliant, so people should follow Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan's advice that banks are the safest place for their money next Jan. 1, said Jim Pishue, executive director of the Washington State Bankers Association. Direct deposit and direct bill payment systems are reliable for Y2K, said Harold Piotrowski, chairman of the National Automated Clearinghouse Association.

   King County Metro said its wastewater treatment plants will be Y2K compliant by Sept. 30, except the West Point station, which will be by December. The Seattle Water system, which supplies Bothell and Kenmore, is primarily low-tech and gravity driven. Where electric pumps are used, backup generators or diesel pumps will be used as backups.

   A Food Marketing Institute report from March said stores will operate normally and groceries and other essentials will be widely available, "as long as people act, and plan, responsibly." They advised people to store 72 hours to seven days of food and water, similar to preparing for a severe winter storm.

   The Cities of Bothell and Woodinville will host a "Community Emergency Preparedness" forum for local citizens from 4-8 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 21 at Skyview Junior High, 21404 35th Ave. SE in Bothell. Workshop topics will include Northwest Hazards, Disaster Preparedness, and Year 2000. Police, Fire, and public utility representatives will answer questions.

   Anyone wanting City representatives to hold a neighborhood meeting should contact Bothell Police Officer Elmer Brown at 425-487-5505.