Carnation residents call for Seattle Public Utilities accountability after false evacuation alarms

CARNATION, Wash. — Carnation locals are calling for Seattle Public Utilities to be held accountable following an accidental evacuation alarm.

Cousins Tiffany Goodman and Candice Hozjan were raised in Carnation. The two tell KIRO 7′s Lauren Donovan growing up in town you practice drills in case the Tolt River Dam breaks. A collapse of the dam could send a catastrophic wave of water into the Snoqualmie Valley.

“You’re under 30 feet of water, you’ve got logs, all the debris coming down the river,” said Hozjan. “It’s going to wipe out the whole city of Carnation.”

It’s a worst-case scenario the two cousins take extremely seriously. They’re both concerned by the uptick of false alarms. Since 2021 there have been at least four.

“The system’s flawed,” said Goodman. “What happens when the procedures and the safety nets are failing.”

Hozjan is worried, people in town are no longer taking the siren and subsequent alerts seriously.

“We sit at home now and we wait to see if it’s real or not and eventually that’s going to catch up,” said Hozjan.

Seattle Public Utilities responded to the recent false alarm in a statement emailed to KIRO 7:

“SPU sincerely apologizes for any confusion or concern this might have caused the residents of Carnation who heard the alarm sound. Please know that Seattle Public Utilities takes incidents like this seriously, and we are reviewing our protocols with the goal of meeting community expectations. It is our top priority to decommission the old system and commission Carnation’s new state-of-the-art Tolt Dam Warning system as soon as possible.”

The city of Carnation plans to hold a special meeting on Aug 30. to pass a state of emergency proclamation.

“Council will also discuss invite for Seattle Mayor and City Council to join Carnation, FERC, Congressional, senate and state reps for a community forum,” said Carnation City Manager, Ana Cortez.