September 17, 2001
Tuesday, Sept. 11 A day remembered
Tuesday, Sept. 11, 2001, was a day that changed America forever. News traveled quickly that terrorists had hijacked four airplanes. Two had flown into New York City's World Trade Center's twin towers; another had hit the Pentagon and the last went down mysteriously, south of Pittsburgh, Pa. People were in shock and disbelief.
The government quickly responded by closing both borders, all airports and many public facilities nation-wide. The military was put on full alert and throughout the country increased security was present, especially at transportation centers. Many large private facilities closed and most public events were cancelled.
As people spent Tuesday at home and work trying to get more details about this unprecedented tragedy, all levels of government instituted their emergency operations. Flags were flown at half-mast.
In Washington state, the Emergency Operations Center at Camp Murray was activated. Representatives from the military, transportation, ecology, Washington State Patrol, American Red Cross, Federal Emergency Management Agency, Department of Defense and the Federal Bureau of Investigation monitored activities within the state. The Washington State Ferry system was closed to car traffic for hours. Navy ships from Everett and Bremerton patrolled coastal waters.
King County Emergency Operations Center helped coordinate the mobilization of the region's Urban Search and Rescue Teams. Woodinville Fire and Life Safety sent four of their team members to Camp Murray, two of whom will be deployed to New York if needed.
Governor Gary Locke held a phone conference with the cities in the state. The cities of Woodinville and Bothell activated their Emergency Operation Centers.
Officials from the cities of Duvall and Carnation met and participated in the phone conference with Gov. Locke. In Carnation, city officials were assured that local dams and reservoirs had been checked to eliminate any potential threats to the safety of nearby communities. As a precaution, critical facilities for the city were also checked for security purposes, but it was not anticipated that there were any active terrorist targets in the Snoqualmie Valley.
In Duvall, city officials discussed emergency monitoring with the fire department and made sure emergency procedures were in place.
Duvall City Hall Administrator Doreen Wise said the city did not go into emergency mode, but was prepared to do so. She added that the 30 American flags recently donated to the city by the American Legion were put up almost immediately on Main Street by city crews.
The Puget Sound Blood Center and those around the nation were swamped with residents who wished to donate blood. The country's blood supply was soon filled to capacity and people who wished to donate were asked to call 1-800-398-7888 to make an appointment for October or November.
The number of people missing in the World Trade Center collapse was listed at over 4,700. The four hijacked airplanes had carried 266 people and estimates were that about 200 had died at the Pentagon.
Donations can be made to the American Red Cross, designating "Disaster Relief Fund" on the check, at the American Red Cross, P.O. Box 37243, Washington, D.C. 20013.