The Duwamish River topped its banks on Dec. 27, flooding several homes and businesses in the South Park neighborhood and displacing some households, according to Seattle Public Utilities (SPU). The city is offering emergency housing to impacted households.
The Duwamish River Community Coalition (DRCC) responded by creating a donation page for families whose homes were flooded. Some lost everything, the DRCC wrote. The organization had placed roughly 10 families in hotels and is supporting others with getting water out of their homes, according to its website.
The river exceeded its banks due to a “king tide,” which the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration describes as a “non-scientific term people often use to describe exceptionally high tides.” In its notice, SPU wrote that the agency expects more events like this because of sea-level rise and heavy rains, both of which are likely to increase as a result of climate change.
Sea Grant Washington, a project by the University of Washington’s College of the Environment, uses king tides to model the future of sea-level rise because “the king tides of today will be our everyday high tides in the near future.”
When the river goes over its banks, it means the neighborhood’s drainage system will not function normally. It can also cause problems with the sewer system, including backups.
Off the shelves
Seattleites, you read a ton of books.
The Seattle Public Library (SPL) released a series of year-end statistics looking at what you’ve been reading, watching and listening to in 2022. People who use the SPL system checked out more than 11.1 million items in the past year, including 48 percent of the system’s entire adult book collection.
“Escapist” genres dominated the chart, with detective and mystery books coming in first, followed by graphic novels, thrillers and historical fiction. Cookbooks rounded out the list at fifth.
According to the library, the most-borrowed physical book at the library was “The Sentence” by Louise Erdrich, a New York Times bestseller that spans a year in the life of Tookie, a formerly incarcerated person who got hired at a bookstore that turns out to be haunted. The book is set in Minneapolis between November 2019 and November 2020, encompassing the beginning of the pandemic and the murder of George Floyd.
Audiobooks and e-books received even more attention. SPL users downloaded the audiobook of “Braiding Sweetgrass” by Robin Wall Kimmerer — a 2013 nonfiction book that lifts up Indigenous knowledge and practices — and the ebook of Luis Alberto Urrea’s “The House of Broken Angels,” which follows the fictional De La Cruz family during a weekend marked by tragedy and loss, more than any others.
So congratulations on stacking your Goodreads shelves, Seattle. Here’s to whatever 2023 brings!
Read more of the Jan. 4-10, 2023 issue.