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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

Archived Blog Posts

Washington State Insurance Fraud - Most Wanted

4/3/2018 (Permalink)

Community Washington State Insurance Fraud - Most Wanted Washington State Office of the Insurance Commissioner

The total cost of (non-health) insurance fraud is estimated at more than $40 billion per year, meaning the average U.S. family pays between $400 and $700 per year in the form of increased premiums. The Criminal Investigations Unit (CIU) identifies and investigates insurance fraud by organizations and individuals, including medical fraud, staged auto collisions, property, inflated bodily injury claims and other types of fraud.

These Individuals are wanted for arrest because they failed to appear to answer to charges of criminal insurance fraud and theft. Do not attempt to apprehend any of these fugitives. If you have information that may lead to their arrest, please contact your local law enforcement agency or contact CIU.

Insurance fraud costs the average family $400 to $700 per year in increased premiums. Please report suspected insurance fraud on the Insurance Commissioner’s website: https://www.insurance.wa.gov/insurance-fraud

Providence Sacred Heart Medical Center in Spokane Named Among Best in Washington State

4/3/2018 (Permalink)

Community Providence Sacred Heart Medical Center in Spokane Named Among Best in Washington State Congratulations to our local friends at Providence Sacred Heart Medical Center & Children's Hospital!

Providence Sacred Heart Medical Center & Children's Hospital has been recognized as one of the Best Hospitals in Washington State and recognized in eight types of care by U.S. News & World Report.

The medical center is listed as the #2 hospital in the state and recognized as high performing in the following specialties and procedures: 

Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm Repair 
Aortic Valve Surgery 
Heart Bypass Surgery 
Heart Failure 
Hip Replacement 
Lung Cancer Surgery 

For the 2017-18 rankings, U.S. News evaluated more than 4,500 medical centers nationwide in 25 specialties, procedures and conditions. In the 16 specialty areas, 152 hospitals were ranked in at least one specialty. In rankings by state and metro area, U.S. News recognized hospitals as high performing across multiple areas of care. 

The U.S. News methodologies include risk-adjusted survival and readmission rates, volume, patient experience, patient safety, quality of nursing care and other care-related indicators.

Providence Sacred Heart Medical Center in Spokane Named Among Best in Washington State

4/3/2018 (Permalink)

Community Providence Sacred Heart Medical Center in Spokane Named Among Best in Washington State Congratulations to our local friends at Providence Sacred Heart Medical Center & Children's Hospital!

Providence Sacred Heart Medical Center & Children's Hospital has been recognized as one of the Best Hospitals in Washington State and recognized in eight types of care by U.S. News & World Report.

The medical center is listed as the #2 hospital in the state and recognized as high performing in the following specialties and procedures: 

Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm Repair 
Aortic Valve Surgery 
Heart Bypass Surgery 
Heart Failure 
Hip Replacement 
Lung Cancer Surgery 

For the 2017-18 rankings, U.S. News evaluated more than 4,500 medical centers nationwide in 25 specialties, procedures and conditions. In the 16 specialty areas, 152 hospitals were ranked in at least one specialty. In rankings by state and metro area, U.S. News recognized hospitals as high performing across multiple areas of care. 

The U.S. News methodologies include risk-adjusted survival and readmission rates, volume, patient experience, patient safety, quality of nursing care and other care-related indicators.

Free Admission to Spokane City Pools for 2018!

4/3/2018 (Permalink)

Community Free Admission to Spokane City Pools for 2018! Free Admission to Spokane City Pools for 2018!

With a goal of giving everyone a chance to swim, the Park Board approved a proposal to make open swimming free for adults and children at all six City aquatic centers beginning this year (2018).

City of Spokane Parks & Recreation would like to reduce barriers for the community to access open swim times across all neighborhoods and to increase attendance for open swim, especially at underutilized pools like Liberty and A.M. Cannon. The City also has a goal of helping more kids learn to swim, so they have this important life skill and benefit from the health aspects of swimming.

“Swimming is such a great way for kids to be kids during the warm summer months and an important life-long skill,” Spokane Mayor David Condon said. “We are thrilled to be able to offer a way for kids to enjoy themselves with friends and make memories that will last a lifetime.”

“Offering free open swim at city pools provides a great opportunity for many kids and families in our area,” said Nick Sumner, Park Board President. “Increasing access to our aquatic centers gives everyone the opportunity to enjoy a family-friendly activity that is fun, promotes safety, and leads to a healthier community.”

The approved proposal includes free open, parent-tot (a calm and exclusive swim time in the zero-entry area) and lap swimming, plus family nights. Swim lessons, novice swim team, aquatics fitness programs, and pool rentals will continue to have affordable, family-friendly rates.

The number of lifeguards is not anticipated to change, because Parks and Recreation staffs lifeguards for maximum capacity.  There will be a small reduction in staffing as the City eliminates the cashier position at pools, and a reduction in cash-handling expenses such as armored car services. Visitors will be able to bring in outside food, and vending machine options will be explored.

The aquatics season runs June 18 – August 25, with an extended season at Witter pool for lap swim from May 7 – September 14.

About City of Spokane Parks and Recreation

The City of Spokane Parks and Recreation Department is the place to go for events, activities, classes and more. Enjoy all your city has to offer by visiting our website at spokaneparks.org. For more information, follow us @SpokaneParks on Facebook and Twitter.

After a Sprinkler Snafu, Commercial Water Removal is Quickest Route to Restoring any Spokane Shop

8/18/2017 (Permalink)

Commercial After a Sprinkler Snafu, Commercial Water Removal is Quickest Route to Restoring any Spokane Shop SERVPRO Removes Water Keeping Shops Open in Spokane

Rapid Drying Mitigates Water Damage to Commercial Businesses

Sometimes, the best intentions in protecting our investments go awry. One of these instances might involve sprinkler systems that malfunction. Instead of protecting our assets in the event of a fire, they damage those same items when a sprinkler head comes loose. It does not even have to come off entirely for this to happen.

When your business floods because of a loose sprinkler head in your Spokane shop, the fastest commercial water removal is exactly what you need. At SERVPRO, We're Fastest To Any Size Disaster. We arrive as quickly as we can so no time is wasted, and your emergency is brought under control as soon as possible. Removing the standing water and excess moisture is paramount to ensuring that any potential damage is stifled before it can become a reality.
Removing the water from a broken sprinkler head often means drying out not only your building but anything and everything between the sprinkler system and the floor. Merchandise, displays, carpeting, furniture and much more all face damage if allowed to remain saturated. Preventing subsequent damage is impossible unless water removal begins immediately.
Depending on the type of materials involved, and any cross-contamination that might exist, we tailor our efforts to your specific needs to provide you with the best results possible. This is true no matter how small or large the catastrophe might be at your location. Some materials might need to be removed to a drier location, such as our facility for better processing, while other items can remain safely where they already exist. Either way, we are dedicated to providing you with the best in services during the entire process.
Removing excess moisture from your building can be accomplished with the use of heaters, air movers, and dehumidifiers. Using these together increases each type of machine's efficiency, cutting the overall drying out period drastically. Water vapor removal is crucial to preserving inventory and keeping a shop open.
Some materials that are highly sensitive to contact with water might need specialized care to preserve it. Other items may be so fragile that no amount of attention can salvage them. Each item is always assessed on a case-by-case basis. SERVPRO makes it a point to explain all details of such matters with you, before disposing of anything. We understand that inventory may need to be photographed in such situations when damaged beyond repair or restoration.
For the fastest response from start to finish, contact us, SERVPRO of South & West Spokane County. We are local and always ready, day or night. Our number is (509) 534-0566, and we are always available to answer your call.

Click here for the Spokane City Directory

Window Boxes Are Beautiful But Can Cause Mold To Your Spokane Home

7/22/2017 (Permalink)

Mold Remediation Window Boxes Are Beautiful But Can Cause Mold To Your Spokane Home Mold spores are always present and generally result in little harm to humans or their homes and possessions.

Window Boxes Cause Mold

Anything attached to the outside of your home poses the possibility of providing a pathway for water to invade your dwelling. Whatever material covers your home’s structure must be in good repair and reinforced in areas where moisture regularly collects. Even a small breach gives microbial growth a chance, and SERVPRO is waiting to help you find and eliminate this serious problem.

You recently added a bank of window boxes beneath your living room window. In addition to making your entryway more welcoming, the new gardening area, unknown to you, contributes to mold damage to your Spokane home. We investigate a musty smell reported behind a couch and work on remediating the mold causing it.

The technicians SERVPRO sends to abate mold receive advanced training in EPA techniques to manage mold. You never hear our promise to eliminate mold entirely because that is not possible. Mold spores are always present and generally result in little harm to humans or their homes and possessions. Only when activated by water do the spores multiply, attaching and receiving nourishment from carbon-based surfaces and residues. Wood, wallpaper, gypsum board, and insulation all provide mold with the perfect environment for proliferation if moisture is present.

Our workers find mold under the window overlooking those new garden boxes, hiding between the exterior cladding and the plaster wall facing the living room. The odor wafts through wall outlets, and the colony revealed when our crew cuts out a section of lathe and plaster. Containment, achieved with plastic draping, is followed by removal of the mold and the wooden lathe upon which it fed. After we bag the moldy material, proper disposal follows local regulations.

Disinfection of the area completes all but the most important part of the remediation process. SERVPRO workers discover small cracks through the stucco occurred during the installation of the window boxes. Every time the spray of the watering hose hit the stucco some moisture leaked into your dwelling. This small amount of water activated mold spores and the infestation was inevitable. Sealing of the cracks and replacement of the plaster removed to expose the mold finalizes the remediation and restoration process.

Waste no time when you smell a musty odor. Contact SERVPRO of South & West Spokane County at (509) 534-0566 and a mold remediation team responds within hours.

Click here for more information about Spokane.

Why You Should Call The Pros After “Just A Little Fire” In Your Spokane Home

7/20/2017 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Why You Should Call The Pros After “Just A Little Fire” In Your Spokane Home A quickly extinguished fire may seem like the end of your troubles, but the reality is the fire’s aftermath causes far more destruction.

Contact The Pros Immediately After A Fire

A quickly extinguished fire may seem like the end of your troubles, but the reality is the fire’s aftermath causes far more destruction than the typical homeowner expects. An assessment by a reliable restoration company is a good investment, making certain the cleanup plan does not exacerbate the situation. SERVPRO specializes in restoration of the damage done by fires large or small.

Smoldering for several hours, an old, poorly functioning surge protector covered by an old rug shorted out, causing fire damage to your Spokane home. Little actual charring is present, and you discovered the problem, shut off the circuit, and removed and disposed of the cord without calling the fire department. Calling a restoration firm helps you determine the extent of damage caused by smoke and soot and devise a plan to return all areas of your house to preloss condition. We are eager to help.

SERVPRO technicians inspect all areas of your home for soot, including your HVAC system. The cord smoldered for an extended period, causing a significant amount of potentially toxic materials to spread throughout the dwelling. The heat and incomplete burning of plastics and fabric release fine and sometimes sticky substances that coat surfaces and lodge in clothing, furniture, and linens. If it is pulled into the heating and cooling system, it recirculates until the ducts are cleaned and sealed.

Our crew deep cleans the soot away, using a variety of methods depending on the texture of the contaminated surfaces and the characteristics of the debris. We match professional cleaning products to the tasks; expect different techniques for the varying soot presentations. We also evaluate foods, documents, and personal belongings, identifying items that can be restored, and recommending disposal of those that cannot. It is likely professional sorting saves you money as an overwhelmed homeowner may throw everything away. SERVPRO team members are also proficient at eliminating odors, a significant lingering effect after a smoldering fire.

SERVPRO works with your home insurance company, making certain you receive compensation for destroyed items and at least part of the cost of our services. Our familiarity with proper fire damage restoration decreases the time your home is filled with soot and smells, quickly returning your living areas to a fresh and comfortable condition, “Like it never even happened.”

SERVPRO of South & West Spokane County offers the workforce, professional products, and equipment to restore your home after fire damage. Call (509) 534-0566 to schedule an assessment.

Visit https://my.spokanecity.org/ to learn more about Spokane, Washington.

Water Damage Restoration Services Available Throughout The Spokane Area

7/9/2017 (Permalink)

Water Damage Water Damage Restoration Services Available Throughout The Spokane Area Drips Lead to Money Loss and Water Damage to Your Spokane Property--Call SERVPRO for Service

Rely on the SERVPRO Experts for Water Removal and Cleanup

It is curious to find that wood homes deteriorate at about the same rate as brick homes, due to water damage. Water is extremely relentless and rather fanatical when it penetrates areas where it was never meant to be, spreading without remorse if given the opportunity.

When you have water damage issues developing in and around your Spokane area home, a qualified restoration company on your side can make a huge difference. We can locate water problems before they cause significant damage, help prevent loss, and even be there for you when emergency situations occur.
You may think that your property is safe and secure. However, it only takes a small hole on your roof to allow cold, dry air to enter. When this cold air mixes with the warm, humid air in your attic, cellar, basement, and other crawlspaces, condensation forms that can lead to dangerous situations.  
Your windows, even if installed correctly by your contractor, were only designed to last 25-years or so, about as long as your roof lasts after initial installation. Moisture finds its way through even seemingly solid objects like brick or stone. Gaps or cracks between brick walls that connect to wood structure left unattended can allow moisture to enter your home.
At this point moisture damaging your paint or wallpaper is the least of your worries. You end up with major structural damages that need to be taken care of by a professional. Since your home already exists, your best support for these situations comes in the form of water damage restoration companies, like SERVPRO.  
SERVPRO gives you IICRC certified professional technicians, with many years of experience, access to advanced equipment and resources that help protect your home. We do far more than repair water problems found on your property. Our technicians make every effort to return your home to a quality condition so that you and your family remain safe. "Like it never even happened."
Contact SERVPRO of South & West Spokane County for additional information about our services or to schedule your home inspection, today. (509) 534-0566

Learn more about Spokane by clicking here.

IICRC Storm Damage Restoration Recommendations

4/6/2017 (Permalink)

IICRC Storm Damage Restoration Recommendations
The following information is submitted by IICRC as a public service to those who have suffered water-related losses due to storm damage (e.g., hurricane, tornado). Since there are many variables involved in deciding about appropriate restoration steps, users of this information assume any and all liability for implementing the procedures covered herein.

The following recommendations assume water-related storm damage to residential or light commercial structures. For recommendations regarding restoration of major commercial properties and building assemblies, it is important to consult with professionals who have specific training and experience in this area.

Whether insured or not, it is important for property owners to document damage with photographs or video, and immediately begin loss mitigation procedures themselves; or hire a qualified contractor to do this on their behalf. It is totally inappropriate to put off mitigation while waiting for an insurance claims representative to arrive on the scene to evaluate the loss. By that time, in all probability sufficient time will have passed to grow and amplify microorganisms, which may not be covered by insurance. Loss mitigation is defined by insurance policies as “reasonable and prudent measures designed to preserve, protect and secure property from further damage,” including microbial growth and amplification.

According to IICRC Standard and Reference Guide for Professional Water Damage Restoration (IICRC S500), there are three categories of water that cause damage in buildings. They are summarized as follows:

Category 1 Water – That which is clean at the releasing source and does not pose a hazard if consumed by humans. Category 1 water may become progressively contaminated as it mixes with soils on or within floor coverings or building assemblies (walls, decking, subflooring). Time and temperature, which promote the growth and amplification of microorganisms in water can cause Category 1 water to degrade. Examples: burst water pipes, failed supply lines on appliances, vertically falling rainwater.

Category 2 Water – That which begins with some degree of contamination and could cause sickness or discomfort if consumed by humans. As with Category 1 water, time and temperature can cause Category 2 water to become progressively more contaminated.

Category 3 Water – That which is highly contaminated and could cause death or serious illness if consumed by humans. Examples: sewage, rising flood water from rivers and streams, ground surface water flowing horizontally into homes. There are two ways in which water enters a building as a result of wind storm damage:

The first involves falling or windblown rainwater that enters as a result of damage to roof components or wall assemblies. The second involves horizontally traveling ground surface water (Category 3) containing silt and soil contaminants that infiltrate into structures, generally through doors or around foundation walls. This ground surface water (storm surge) may accumulate to a depth of several inches or several feet. When structures are partially submerged or remain substantially flooded for weeks, far more elaborate procedures usually are required.

Most household microorganisms (fungi, bacteria) typically require five conditions for germination, growth, amplification and dissemination. Generally, they include:

• organic food source, especially cellulose (e.g., paper, wood), which are found in abundance in construction materials
• moisture, even high humidity (67% RH plus)
• moderate temperature – 68-86°F/20-30°C
• stagnant air
• time – several hours to several days

Anything that can be done to control or minimize these optimum conditions will prolong the time required for microbial growth.

With the above background information in mind, loss mitigation procedures may include but are not necessarily limited to:

A. Foremost, consider safety:
1. Structural Integrity – Before entering a storm or flood-damaged structure, consider structural integrity, which may be impacted by the force of the wind on, or the force of the water entering the structure. When in doubt, obtain an evaluation by a licensed and qualified builder or structural engineer before entering.
2. Ventilation – Fresh moving air discourages the growth and amplification of microorganisms. Open windows and doors and air the structure out thoroughly. It is highly recommended that ventilation be maintained during and following the restoration effort, or until damp areas can be contained and subjected to mechanical dehumidification (HVAC or specialized equipment). This reduces, but does not eliminate, inhalation of microorganisms.
3. Shock Hazards – Ensure that electrical shock hazards have been eliminated by turning off the supply of electricity (circuit breakers) to damaged areas. Anticipate that electricity may be restored suddenly without notice.
4. Personal Protective Equipment – Wear protective clothing, boots with steel or fiberglass shanks, and a hard hat. Protect yourself from injury or exposure to microorganisms. Wear protective gloves before handling contaminated materials. Splash goggles are highly recommended to protect and prevent microorganism entry through the eyes. An organic vapor respirator (paint respirator) is highly recommended to prevent inhalation of most microorganisms or spores.

B. Remove quantities of debris (silt, vegetation, floating objects brought in by storm surge), if present, with shovels, rakes, etc. Carefully clean all tools with appropriate detergents after use.

C. Identify the source of water and extent of wetting:
1. When wind-blown rain water enters a building, it is important to identify the route of entry and to trace its path, as possible, to identify all wet components (ceilings, walls, insulation, framing). Professional water restoration contractors, when available, have specialized water-detection equipment and may be available to assist in this determination.
2. In rising water situations, typically there will be a visible water line on drywall or paneling. However, water may migrate or wick upward within the wall material itself or within insulation behind the wall.

D. Remove unsalvable or wet materials:
1. When wetting is caused by storm damage and comes from overhead or around openings in the building envelope, and especially when power has been interrupted in hot climates, it is important to remove wet components, as possible, to expose pockets of saturation to air circulation before microbial growth can occur.

a) Begin at the point of water entry and trace the path of wetting, removing ceiling and wall components and insulation as you go.
b) Although it may be possible for professionals with specialized equipment to dry carpet, pad and subflooring materials, when damage is wholesale in an area, seldom will qualified contractors be available to respond for this work. Therefore, it is normally prudent to remove saturated carpet and pad.
c) It is highly recommended that solid or laminated wood flooring, or sheet vinyl be removed to expose pockets of saturation.

2. In rising water situations (storm surge with contaminated ground water):

a) Remove and dispose of drywall (Sheetrock®), paneling or other wall materials up to a point 15-24″ inches above the water line visible on the wall. If possible, stay within four feet of the floor to salvage as much wall material as possible, since drywall is usually installed horizontally in 4’x8’ or 4’x12’ panels.
b) Remove and dispose of wet insulation materials exposed during wall removal. Look for evidence of moisture wicking up insulation materials. Leave only wall framing components that are durable and minimally porous, and which can be cleaned and decontaminated with relative ease.
c) Remove and dispose of floor coverings; carpet, cushion, pad, felt and sheet vinyl, laminate, or tile flooring materials. Porous materials may absorb considerable quantities of water and contaminant, and non-porous materials may trap moisture to prolong drying. The inevitable result will be rapid microorganism growth, along with associated odor and health hazards. Hardwood flooring should be removed since contaminants and moisture will collect underneath in the flutes or hollow areas between the hardwood and the subfloor.
E. With Category 1 (clean source) water (e.g., rainwater), drying is the next course of action required to prevent on-going damage due to microbial development.

The following procedures may require the assistance of a professional water damage restoration company, if available, which has trained technicians, specialized cleaners, biocides, extraction, drying and dehumidifying equipment, and moisture measuring and monitoring instruments. A certified professional can be located by calling the nonprofit IICRC toll free at 800-835-4624 or by accessing www.IICRC.org.

F. With ground surface water (Category 3), steps for cleaning soil residues brought in by heavy rainfall or storm surge may include, but are not limited to the following:
1. Since many biocides are inactivated by quantities of organic contaminants, cleaning always should precede biocide application.
2. When fresh water is restored within the structure, mix an appropriate general-purpose household cleaner according to label directions and liberally spray it onto salvable components.
3. Brush agitation may be required to evenly distribute cleaning solutions, followed by at least ten minutes of “dwell time” for soil suspension.
4. Where appropriate, flush contaminants from salvageable surfaces with a water hose or pressure washer. Work from top-to-bottom and from walls-to-flooring.
5. Wet vacuum or mop up excess rinse water from flooring materials immediately. Be sure to thoroughly flush all contamination from wall frame (sill plate) areas. Pressure washing, if available, is specifically recommended to flush contaminants from hard-to-access areas, followed by removal of contaminated water with industrial wet vacuuming equipment.
6. Repeat steps 6-9 as necessary, until all surfaces are clean and contamination is physically removed.

G. Disinfecting:
1. Applying disinfectants or biocides usually is unnecessary with Category 1 (clean source) water, since this may only serve to introduce additional moisture into the building, which may prolong drying.
2. With Category 2 or 3 water contamination, while maintaining ventilation and skin and respiratory protection, liberally spray cleaned salvageable materials (studs, decking, joists, etc.) with an appropriate biocide. A 6% solution of household chlorine bleach (e.g., Clorox®) mixed 1 part bleach to 11 parts water (½%) may be used on durable, colorfast surfaces. Never mix chlorine bleach with ammonia or strong acids! An appropriate alternative to chlorine bleach may be a 3% solution of hydrogen peroxide.
3. In rising water situations, following application of properly diluted biocides, brush agitate all areas to encourage biocide distribution and penetration into cracks and crevices.

H. Dry structural components with plenty of air circulation, while maintaining constant ventilation (weather conditions permitting). If possible, take advantage of low outside humidity (check local weather reports). Use oscillating or box fans, repositioning them within the structure every few hours. Avoid temperature extremes that might slow drying, or promote microorganism growth (around 72-75oF/22-24oC is ideal). Rent high-volume professional drying equipment (airmovers and dehumidifiers) if available, especially in areas where ventilation is not possible (sealed buildings, security problems). It is highly recommended that electrical components that were wet be checked for operational safety by a qualified contractor.

I. Leave cleaned structural surfaces exposed to fresh air movement for several days or even weeks, or until you are sure that they have returned to within four percentage points of normal moisture content (MC) levels (generally the normal MC of structural wood is around 10%). Otherwise, subsequent structural damage and/or health effects may result after wall and flooring materials have been replaced or painted. Professional water restoration contractors with specialized, high-capacity drying equipment can shorten drying times considerably.

J. Reconstruct or replace components as required.

Where financial resources permit, it is highly recommended that comprehensive restoration be accomplished by trained, IICRC Damage Restoration Technicians. They may be located by calling IICRC referral line at 800-835-4624 or by accessing www.IICRC.org. Consider hiring a professional restorer to evaluate moisture levels in structural materials before reconstruction.

Greater Spokane Emergency Manaagement

4/4/2017 (Permalink)

Spokane News

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – Homeowner, Renter, and Business, Flood/Water Damage Assessment

Greater Spokane Emergency Management is conducting a preliminary damage a...ssessment from Spokane County residents and businesses. If you suffered damage or loss due to the winter weather snow melt, flooding, and/or other water damage to your Spokane primary residence, property, personal property, or business.

Some residents may be covered by homeowners’ or renters’ insurance. Businesses affected may also be insured against these losses. We encourage you to contact your insurance company or agent regarding your damage.

Damage assessment forms can be found on our website at: www.gsem.us

Damage assessment information does not guarantee funding or assistance and only will be used to determine if Spokane County qualifies for disaster aid by meeting local, state, and federal guidelines.

For more information please reference the Frequently Asked Questions on our homepage: www.gsem.us

Flooding info from Spokesman Review

4/4/2017 (Permalink)

Spokane mayor declares flooding emergency, closes river

Posted: Mar 21, 2017 3:54 PM PDT Updated: Mar 22, 2017 6:16 AM PDT


Courtesy @SpoRiverfrontPk

SPOKANE, Wash. -

Spokane Mayor David Condon has declared an emergency, closing the Spokane River through the city of Spokane and authorized additional city resources to address localized flooding caused by rising river levels fueled by the wettest winter on record.

Spokane County also closed Spokane River due to dangerous conditions.

Current National Weather Service models shows the river will most likely crest Tuesday night, at nearly 43,000 cubic feet per second. Water levels are expected to remain above flood stage up into next week.

“Rising river levels are posing a real threat to public safety so we are imploring people to stay out of the river and to view it only from safe vantage points,” Condon said. “We are also coordinating with emergency management to mobilize additional resources to monitor and address localized flooding.”

Upriver Drive is still closed from Mission Avenue to Greene Street. South Riverton under the Greene Street Bridge and Water Avenue at Ash Street also are still closed.

The Spokane Parks Department has closed the suspension bridges over the river in the park because of safety concerns, and the Centennial Trail under Division Street and the Washington Street because of flooding.

City crews in Spokane have dropped off sandbags in neighborhoods impacted by flooding and are evaluating whether or not more will be needed.

Crew are also monitoring in the Peaceful Valley, Riverview and Iron Bridge areas, and along Upriver Drive for additional flooding impacts. The last time the city experienced major flooding was back in 1997.

While the Weather Service models currently forecasts that levels will begin to stabilize if the weather remains mild, city officials warn that additional localized flooding is possible because Spokane is experiencing record soil saturation.

The city is also monitoring low-lying sewer pump stations near flooded areas to ensure ongoing operations. Bridge teams have inspected city bridges for potential impacts caused by rising water levels.

FEMA-identified historic flooding areas are available at maps.spokanecity.org by turning on the FEMA flood zone layer and zooming into your area

If you are in these flood vulnerable areas you can take these actions:

  • Move valuable off the floor or out of the basement
  • If you believe your power utilities may have contacted water, call 9-1-1

Zags come so close, still our heroes

4/4/2017 (Permalink)

ESPN.com: Men's College Basketball[Print without images]
Monday, April 3, 2017
Updated: April 4, 3:43 AM ET
Gonzaga has to live with coming so close
By Eamonn Brennan

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- One day before he won the third national title of his career, Roy Williams was talking about the third title that wasn't -- trying to explain what it's like to be on the other end of a loss like the one North Carolina took against Villanova when Kris Jenkins' buzzer-beater sailed through the net almost exactly one year ago.

"In the locker room was the most -- it was the most difficult time I've ever had as a coach," Williams said. "Because I felt so inadequate. What was I going to say to my guys?"

Williams didn't have this problem Monday night. Mark Few did. Few's task was almost equally impossible: The 37-2 Zags had just lost their last game of the season a possession or two from the goal they were sure, right up to the final few moments of Monday's 71-65 loss, they would achieve.

What do you say to Przemek Karnowski, the winningest player in college basketball history, about the 1-of-8 he shot in his final game? How do you console Nigel Williams-Goss, who sprained his ankle and refused to leave the floor for the second time in two games, who burst into devastated tears the moment a win was out of reach?

How do you buck up a team that just played its worst offensive game of an otherwise brilliant season when a few more buckets would have made all the difference? How do you assuage a group of 18- to 24-year-old kids -- a group that carried Gonzaga basketball further than it had ever gone, a group that had so reveled in proving that everything everyone had said about the Zags and the NCAA tournament was silly and wrong -- worried they let you and thousands of others down?

Seriously: What do you even say?

"To be so close for us is a temporarily crushing blow right now," Few said. "But I'm hoping and knowing perspective will come with time."

   Przemek Karnowski walks off the court as North Carolina players start to celebrate.

"He even used that word too," Gonzaga guard Josh Perkins said, whispering and red-eyed at his locker. "Not right now. I don't even know what that means."

Whether Perkins and his teammates wanted to acknowledge it, there was good news embedded in their anguish Monday night: It is impossible to be this disappointed if you didn't fully expect to win.

Twenty years ago, when Gonzaga first streaked into the NCAA tournament as a lovable unknown insurgent, this dynamic would have been unthinkable. Those Zags were flying by the seat of their pants, enjoying the ride, undoing one tournament favorite after another, free of expectations. This weekend, Few described those early years as "foot loose and fancy free," because no one at Gonzaga, from the administration to the players, knew any better.

Then, almost miraculously, Gonzaga refused to recede into the college basketball wilderness. Instead, Few and his program grew and grew and grew -- first to a perennial tournament team, then to one with a player of the year-level star like Adam Morrison, then to a powerhouse with frequent, and legitimate, national-title aspirations.

Along the way, this former startup from the 5,000-enrollment Jesuit school in Spokane, Washington, somehow morphed into a lightning rod -- a modern blue blood from a mid-major conference, a locus for ridiculous annual takes about strength of schedule and NCAA tournament seeding and NCAA tournament "disappointments," as if Gonzaga hadn't proven how crazy the NCAA tournament is in the first place. Somehow, Few became the poster child for concern-trolling about having never been to the Final Four.

The 2016-17 Gonzaga Bulldogs exploded all of that nonsense into myth. If nothing else, the intelligent college basketball fan should thank them for that.

"They absolutely ignited a lot of stale people that were kind of bored with the Zags and saying that we haven't been capable of achieving something like this," Few said.

 Bulldogs guard Jordan Mathews offered his take. 

"How many teams would take 37-2, league champs, national runner-up?" said Mathews, whose Cal team lost in the first round last spring before his graduate transfer to Gonzaga. "We broke that glass ceiling that everybody said we couldn't get over. Everybody was saying the Zags couldn't get to the Final Four. We did that."

Even better, Gonzaga didn't just get to the Final Four -- the way that, say, the 1999 Bulldogs got to the Elite Eight. They didn't ride in on some wacky series of upsets; they weren't some mind-blowing March story that just happened to stick around for an extra weekend.

They were the best team in the country pretty much all season. They lost two games. They finished first in ESPN's Basketball Power Index and first in KenPom.com's adjusted efficiency ratings. They starred several elite recruits. They brought a potential first-round draft pick, Zach Collins, off the bench. Despite an incredible blue-blood opponent led by coaching legend, a tough, late non-call out of bounds on a Kennedy Meeks rebound/jump ball and Williams-Goss' horribly timed sprained ankle, they finished (basically) a possession short of the national title.

And there's no reason to expect Gonzaga won't be back in this exact same position, sooner rather than later.

"Talking to [Syracuse coach Jim] Boeheim earlier in the week, he told me it will crush you if you don't win it," Few said. "And I guess I didn't understand it. But the cagey old veteran is right. Man, it crushes you."

Few described that conversation shortly after he described the 10 minutes he had spent trying to console Williams-Goss. The guard couldn't "process losing," Few said, "because it doesn't happen very often to him."

Therein lies the upside of Gonzaga's hurt, the thing Few tried to get across even when there was nothing he could really say.

Gonzaga wasn't happy with a mere place on the stage, nor should they have been, which is exactly why they were so inconsolable Monday night.

The Bulldogs were great, and so their pain was too.

IICRC Standard for Trauma & Crime Scene Cleanup

4/4/2017 (Permalink)



New Standard Published: ANSI/IICRC S540 Standard for Trauma and Crime Scene Cleanup

Las Vegas – April 3, 2017 – The Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) announces the publication of a new ANSI-approved ANSI/IICRC S540 Standard for Trauma and Crime Scene Cleanup (1st edition, 2017).

ANSI/IICRC S540 Standard defines criteria and methodology used by the technician for inspecting and investigating blood and other potentially infectious material (OPIM) contamination and for establishing work plans and procedures.

The S540, which assumes that all scenes have been released by law enforcement or regulatory agencies, describes the procedures to be followed and the precautions to be taken when performing trauma and crime scene cleanup regardless of surface, item, or location.

Trauma and crime scene cleanup consists of the following components for which procedures are described in the ANSI/IICRC S540 Standard:

? Principles of Trauma and Crime Scene Cleanup

? Safety and Health

? Biocide and Antimicrobial Technology

? Administrative Procedures, Documentation, and Risk Management

? Inspection and Preliminary Determination

? Equipment and Tools

? Limitations, Complexities, Complications, and Conflicts

? Structural Remediation

? Vehicle and Machinery Construction

? Contents Remediation

? Containment and Disposal of Waste or Sharps

? Confirmation of Cleanliness

"This Standard has been a labor of love for all of us who have wanted this niche industry to reach the level of professionalism enjoyed by other markets who have had standards established by the IICRC," said Kent Bert, S540 Standard Committee Chairman. "We have worked tirelessly

to ensure the information conveyed is concise, easy to understand and most importantly, truly represents a consensus across our industry. I am honored to say that our team worked seamlessly and harmoniously throughout the entire process and represented some of the brightest minds, not only in Trauma and Crime Scene Cleanup, but the restoration industry as a whole. Every company doing this type of remediation, or thinking about entering the field should consider obtaining a copy of the S540 Standard as a comprehensive resource for their company and their crews."

According to IICRC Standards Chairman Howard Wolf, "This standard is a true collaboration of the best minds and talent in the fields of cleaning, restoration and infection control. We are proud to add this standard to our family of restoration and remediation standards."

To purchase a copy of the new ANSI/IICRC S540: 2017 and other standards, visit http://webstore.IICRC.org. IICRC Standards are also available via the IICRC Standards Subscription website at http://publications.IICRC.org. For more information on other certification programs and standards offered by IICRC, visit www.IICRC.org.

About IICRC The IICRC is a global, ANSI-accredited Standards Developing Organization (SDO) that credentials individuals in 20+ categories within the inspection, cleaning and restoration industries. Representing more than 54,000 certified technicians and 6,000 Certified Firms in 22 countries, the IICRC, in partnership with regional and international trade associations, represents the entire industry. The IICRC does not own schools, employ instructors, produce training materials or promote specific product brands, cleaning methods or systems. For more information, visit www.IICRC.org.

Spokane group seeks supplies for medical mission trip to Uganda

4/4/2017 (Permalink)

Mon., April 3, 2017, midnight

A new Spokane mission group is sending its first medical team on April 18 to support orphans in Uganda.

The nonprofit Medical Assistance & Missional Outreach, or MAMO, is seeking supplies for medical kits through an Amazon wish list. Members on next month’s trip will deliver 18 medical kits to schools, offer medical clinics at seven sites, and provide training for pastors and teachers.

Six people on the team, including four from Spokane, will be in Uganda for nearly two weeks. They include one licensed EMT and a registered nurse along with volunteers. This trip’s main goal is to deliver kits and train people to use them, said team member Marchauna Rodgers.

MAMO formed after several people from Washington state went on a mission trip to Uganda last summer. Rodgers and others witnessed children who suffered from medical issues such as malaria and lacked access to basic medicines.

Several organizations have donated medical supplies toward the next trip, helping reduce the medical kits’ overall cost. Spokane’s Indaba Coffee has a specialty roast of Ugandan coffee, and the owner is donating money from each bag of that blend toward MAMO’s medical support.

Under long-term goals, the nonprofit plans to support Ugandan schools with nutrition and public health education, as well as help many pastors to open medical clinics at their schools. MAMO is working with 18 schools, each with 300 to 500 children.

More information is available at www.mamouganda.org or by emailing MAMO.uganda@gmail.com.

Spokane entrepreneurs Ron and Debbie Reed sell PacifiCAD after 28 years in business

4/4/2017 (Permalink)


The Spokesman Review

UPDATED: Mon., April 3, 2017, 6:09 p.m

By Becky Kramer beckyk@spokesman.com(509) 459-5466

Ron Reed launched PacifiCAD in his Chattaroy home in 1989 with a computer and a plotter.

Computer-aided design was transforming how architects, engineers and manufacturing companies did their drafting, modeling and design work. Reed recognized the new technology’s potential.

During a 28-year run, the business owned by Reed and his wife became a dominant force in Eastern Washington. PacifiCAD sold Autodesk software and provided consulting services.

In mid-March, the Reeds sold the company to IMAGINiT Technologies, a division of Rand Worldwide.

Reed said he and his wife, Debbie – PacifiCAD’s chief financial officer – were ready to retire, but the couple wanted to leave their customers and 30 employees in good hands.

“I think it’s a good move for Spokane and for our design community,” he said of the sale. “I always wanted to grow and provide a higher level of service.”

IMAGINiT has about 350 employees, with more than 100 technical support staff and 40 offices in the U.S. and Canada.

The company will keep PacifiCAD’s Spokane office in the Steam Plant building and retain the staff in Spokane, Seattle and Boise. Reed will continue working through the end of April to help with the transition.

As a young adult, Reed played in rock bands and did a variety of odd jobs. In his early 30s, he enrolled at ITT Technical Institute earned an associate degree in applied science.

He went to work for Telect, where he persuaded the founders, Bill and Judi Williams, to buy Telect’s first CAD system. While Reed worked there, he spent several years teaching CAD part-time at Gonzaga University.

“That’s where all the architects and engineers in town were going to learn CAD,” Reed said. “I got to meet almost all my future customers while I was teaching at Gonzaga. It was a huge opportunity.”

When Reed left Telect, former students heard he was available and started hiring him for projects.

“I was in the right place at the right time,” he said.

Rain, rain go away

11/1/2016 (Permalink)

As Halloween brought October to a close, meteorologists say Spokane has never received so much rain in any single month.

Through early afternoon Monday, 6.22 inches of rain fell on Spokane, shattering the previous record for any month – 5.85 inches set in November 1897, said Jon Fox, a forecaster for the National Weather Service in Spokane. The third-highest amount is 5.71 inches in May 1948. Records have been kept since 1881.

The city saw 0.91 inches of rain on Sunday alone, which set a daily record. The previous record for Oct. 30 – 0.70 inches – was set in 1990.

But the rain kept falling after midnight on Sunday, bringing another 0.36 inches for a two-day total of 1.27 inches at Spokane International Airport, the city’s official weather reporting site.

“It rained and it rained and it never stopped,” Fox said.

The October total is more than a third of what the city normally gets in a full year, which is 16.53 inches of annual precipitation.

This October’s rain total is more than 5 inches above normal.

And only five days this month were rain-free.

The heaviest rainfall on Sunday night and Monday morning was confined to the Spokane region and areas to the northeast and into North Idaho.

One location at Mount Spokane reported 1.5 inches of rain from the overnight storm.

The heavy rain was triggered by a combination of two low-pressure systems along the Pacific Coast – one offshore of Washington and another off California.

Together, they created conditions for upward motion, or convection, in the atmosphere, which allowed for the heavier rain accumulations, forecasters said.

Rain clouds extending from nearby mountains may also have enhanced the storm, forecasters said.

Spokane is one of 21 locations across the Inland Northwest to set October rainfall records.

Topping the list was Priest River with 9.26 inches through Monday morning, followed by St. Maries at 9.19 inches and Boundary Dam at 8.76 inches.

Boundary Dam has more than doubled its previous monthly record of 3.97 inches set in 1968. However, the dam’s weather records date only to 1965.

Elsewhere, Kellogg had more than 8.8 inches; Colville, 5.82 inches; and Rosalia, 5.9 inches.

Pullman, Moscow and Davenport all had record amounts of around 5 inches for the month.

Of the ten highest monthly precipitation amounts, there are only four months not on the list: March, April, July and August.

A little more rain Monday afternoon wouldn’t come as a surprise, Fox said.

“I wouldn’t rule out some showers tonight during trick-or-treating, but it won’t be like last night or early this morning,” he said. “It’ll be pretty hit or miss.”

In addition to showery weather, the departing shot of the Sunday night storm should bring windy conditions with gusts to 36 mph this afternoon. Steady southwest winds will range from 14 to 20 mph through this evening.

The weather service posted a hazardous weather outlook for Monday because of the winds, which might gust to 40 mph in some locations of the region, including the West Plains in Spokane County and the Palouse.


By Mike Prager mikep@spokesman.com(509) 459-5454

South Hill residents, be on alert

11/1/2016 (Permalink)

SPOKANE, Wash. -

“He looked me in the face. He knew I was afraid.”

That’s how a Spokane woman named Caroline began to describe what happened to her on the South Hill Friday. She asked that KHQ not show her face or share her last name because she said she is still terrified. Caroline said she and her dog Dexter were running through the trails on the High Drive bluff near Hatch Friday around 10:30 am when a man popped out from behind a tree and blindsided her.

“The trail goes into a very deep ravine, and it’s very dark in there. And that’s where he came out of the woods at me,” said Caroline. “I was absolutely panicked. I’m not going to lie I was panicked.”

Caroline said she started to run faster, but the man came after her.

“He started trying to engage me in conversation, asking me where I was parked, could I help him, where did I come from. He was looking for a woman with a backpack,” said Caroline.

She said she knew something wasn’t right.

“I started running very fast, and I turned around and he turned and starting running after me,” said Caroline.

She called her husband and didn’t stop running until she made it back up the bluff.

“I was up there gasping trying to catch my breath,” said Caroline.

Seconds later, Caroline realized the man was still coming after her.

“I stood there and straight up from the bushes the guy came. Literally he had been right behind me,” said Caroline. “He chased me for a mile.”

Caroline said she got a good look at the man before she continued to run away. Once she made it safely to her car, she called 911 and gave a description. She said the man was in his 30s, white, between 5’10” and 6’ tall, 160 to 170 pounds with reddish blond hair. She and her husband put that description on flyers placed throughout the bluffs.

“We just thought that women needed to be aware,” said Caroline.

Caroline added that she is still not sure if she’ll run through the bluffs in the future, but if she does, she’ll be armed.

“In the past, I did not carry a weapon. I will carry one now,” said Caroline.

KHQ asked Spokane Police if there have been other cases like Caroline's recently, and they said no. Police did say to trust your instincts and call 911 if you think you're in danger.

Real Estate with Melissa Murphy

7/29/2016 (Permalink)

The July meeting of the West Plains Chamber of Commerce featured speaker Melissa Murphy with her presentation on The State of Real Estate.  Melissa is a Spokane native who graduated from Gonzaga University with a Bachelor's degree in political science and received her Masters in Business Administration in 2012.  During her tenure as a top agent, Melissa has listed and sold hundreds of properties throughout Spokane and Northern Idaho.  She has been a predominant player in the world of real estate by evolvong as the masket has.  She has maintained a consistent reputation for high customer service and client success.  Most recently, Melissa received a nod from Catalyst magazine for Business Woman of the Year.  Her brokerage, Prime Real Esate Group, has offices in both Spokane and Coeur d'Alene and comprises 30 agents, in0house agent serv ice and full administrative staff.

(Excerpt from The West Plains Chamber of Commerce)

Blast from the past

7/14/2016 (Permalink)

Came across this lovely blast from the past and wanted to share. This is an article from the Spokesman review from April 30th 1992. Amazing how fast time flies!

30 Years

7/14/2016 (Permalink)

This year we celebrate the 30 year anniversary of being in the SERVPRO family.  Mark began his journey as a technician at SERVPRO in Hawaii and before long was the owner there along with wife Sharon.  When the time came to start a family, they decided to come back to Washington and purchased SERVPRO of South & West Spokane in 1992.  They have thrived ever since and Mark's name is known throughout our area as an outstanding restorer and community leader.  Mark has been relied on to help mentor new franchisees in the area and has always made himself available to help and answer questions for all of the local SERVPRO offices in Eastern Washignton and Northern Idaho.  I believe I can speak for all of the wonderful employees here when I say that Mark and Sharon are a great team and a pleasure to work for.  Congratulations to Mark and Sharon Johnson for the recognition of their 30 years of hard work and dedication to the SERVPRO system.

West Plains Breakfast

6/22/2016 (Permalink)

The West Plains Chamber breakfast was excellent. Happy to be part of such a great group of people!

Sam Song shared great information about the Chinese Int'l Lantern Festival and the positive impact/exposure it has brought to Spokane - opening day is September 16th.

Post Construction Cleaning

6/21/2016 (Permalink)

Grand Opening of their new location right now! Great celebration deals!  My 16oz Velvet Hammer with 3 shots was a $1 (tip=phat). Come in, check out their new location and show your support! Their place turned out beautifully ...and their baristas are awesome!

Commercial toaster fire

2/9/2016 (Permalink)

When the wonderful folks at Pearson Weary Chiropractic had a toaster fire in their break room, we were there to get them back in business quickly.  They were kind enough to post the following message to our Facebook page:

A well deserved shoutout to SERVPRO.  Friday Jan 29th was a day in which our devoted toaster decided to give us a clear message about the dangers of Gluten.  To our surprise rather than cooking it decided to ignite a flame sending a clear message.  Sadly in the end it meant a loss of that said toaster and the damage was one very smoke filled clinic.  Thank you Patients for your patients with us as SERVPRO of South & West Spokane County took charge and cleaned out our office.  Project Manager Jason Taylor and assistant Denine made the place look "Like it never even happened".  We thank them for their efforts.  Everything is bright and shiney and we are so grateful for thie kindness, amazing work and outstanding customer service.  Moral of the story: Yet one more reason not to eat gluten!

Looking for a career?

11/12/2015 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of South & West Spokane is looking for positive, energentic people to join our crew.  Check out our open positions in the "About us" section of our website.

West Plains Chamber of Commerce

9/9/2015 (Permalink)

Beautiful morning for a meeting

Vendor Days at Fairchild Air Force Base

6/22/2015 (Permalink)

FAFB hosted their annual Vendor Days, giving the different department heads an opportunity to meet local vendors and learn about the services they offer.  Marketing reps Bruce Groshong and Jessica Zacher represented us well.

Landlord Association Night

5/21/2015 (Permalink)

Marketing rep Jessica Zacher represented us beautifully at the LLA meeting last night!

Red Nose Day 2015

5/7/2015 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of South & West Spokane supports RED NOSE DAY 2015! Red Nose Day is all about having fun, raising money and changing lives. Money raised through Red Nose Day will help transform the lives of children living in poverty in the U.S. and overseas. Find out more about Red Nose Day and how you can get involved by visiting www.rednoseday.org and watch the Red Nose Day special on NBC on May 21st.

Best of the West - West Plains Chamber of Commerce

3/26/2015 (Permalink)

We were so honored to have been voted as the Medium Size business of the year by the members of the West Plains Chamber of Commerce.  The credit all goes to our incredible staff, they are the hardest working bunch of workers and deserve all the kudos.

West Plains Chamber of Commerce

2/26/2015 (Permalink)

We were honored last Spring to be the West Plains Chamber of Commerce "Member of the Month". 

Appreciation Night was a success!

2/23/2015 (Permalink)

Community Appreciation Night was a success! Chiefs night

Although our Chiefs couldn't hold on to the lead, we still had a great time with wonderful people.  Thank you to all of the Maintenance Supervisors who came out to the Spokane Chiefs game with us.  

Hockey Night

2/18/2015 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of South & West Spokane will be hosting an Appreciation Night this Friday for local Maintenance Supervisors.  It's sure to be a blast, stay tuned for pictures.

Hoarding in Spokane

1/15/2015 (Permalink)

Did you know that SERVPRO can help with a hoarder situation?  This customer needed some help cleaning out years of collected contents.  Our crew helped her get back to where she felt was a managable place.


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