Snoqualmie Valley has Minor Damage from Area's 'Worst' Quake

Snoqualmie Valley has Minor Damage from Area's 'Worst' Quake

Snoqualmie Valley rocked and swayed during Wednesday's severe earthquake, but property damage here was apparently much less than other sections of the state. Grocery and drug stores reported loss as stocks tumbled to the floor and many glass containers broke. Some chimneys were leveled or higher bricks dislodged, plaster was cracked in a number of homes and breakage of pictures, dishes and fruit jars was reported.

The tremblor, striking just before noon, sent terrified persons running from business houses and homes when its full extent became apparent. At Snoqualmie Falls, Weyerhaeuser Timber company employees left their machines and poured out of the mill. Only two chimneys in that community were reported damaged, indicating that the quake was less severe there than in other portions of the Valley.

Smokestack Cracked

The main smokestack at Mount Si High School was cracked about half way up and the chimney shifted about an inch. Use of the heating plant will await decision by an expert chimney inspector, with reopening of high school and Snoqualmie grade school classes dependent upon a favorable safety report. An old 40-foot chimney used as a ventilator for the Snoqualmie grade school building was shaken down, with bricks and a 500-pound concrete cap falling into a play area which, save for the spring vacation, would have been occupied by from 25 to 30 children at that hour. Neighborhood children who use the play area during vacations had gone home for lunch and no one was in the yard. Bricks collapsed into the ventilator and a few rolled into the third grade and kindergarten rooms, filling them with dust.

A second chimney on the building was so badly damaged that it is being removed, with crews working today. The area is fenced off.

No damage was reported in North Bend, Fall City and Snoqualmie Falls schools, all of which will reopen as usual Monday. Riley Wenzell, operator, and J. W. Greenwood, floorman, on duty in the cavity at Puget Sound Power and Light company generating plant felt the sever quake but were unable to leave their posts because of responsibility to duty. Meter charts in the cavity made large jumps similar to those appearing on seismographs. No high tension lines were disrupted and no transformer poles fell, although these poles, upon which heavy boxes of equipment are mounted, swayed and appeared dangerously near to snapping.

Water mains Broken

In North Bend the old water main on the South Fork bridge was broken and a number of stores reported considerable merchandise loss. Plaster cracked or was dislodged in some buildings. Fire Chief Clarence Alm warns all residents to check their chimneys for cracks or other damage which may lead to future fires.

At Snoqualmie a water main was broken one-fourth mile south of the school and service was interrupted from 2 to 6 p.m. while a bad leak was repaired. Arthur N. King, senior sanitarian with King County Department of Public Health, urged users of city water to boil water for five minutes during the 24-hour period immediately following restoration of service. He said that another shutoff for disinfecting the pipe with sodium hyperchlorate at its intake is likely. The disinfectant would be removed at a point where the line enters town.

A large chimney at the Methodist church was leveled and the Rev. E. C. Newham reported seeing eight chimneys down or damaged between the parsonage and the church.

Fred Lewis Motors had a car on its hoist when the quake struck. The huge cylinder rocked with the building as the owner and workmen fully expected the vehicle to crash down from its swaying perch.

There was no damage to Nelems Memorial hospital building, although a few bottles in the drugs room were broken and others fell to the floor.

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