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King County Executive
Dow Constantine


Honoring a neighborhood group that helped Greenwood recover and thrive following a major gas explosion

Summary

Executive Constantine honored a neighborhood group that helped Greenwood recover from a 2016 gas explosion, raising more than $330,000 in relief funds and organizing volunteer work parties to refurbish the impacted area.

Story

King County Executive Dow Constantine today honored a community organization for helping the Greenwood neighborhood in Seattle recover and thrive in the aftermath of a 2016 gas explosion that leveled three businesses and damaged 50 others.

The Phinney Neighborhood Association crowd-sourced more than $330,000 in relief funds to help local small businesses and organized volunteer work parties that helped refurbish the impacted area. Local businesses also played a central role in the initial response, providing meeting spaces and food to firefighters.

Executive Constantine selected the nonprofit organization for the 2017 Executive’s Award for Community Resilience.

“When emergency responders arrived after the explosion in Greenwood, they found a well-connected community eager to pitch in and ready to help out,” said Executive Constantine. “The Award for Community Resilience honors people and organizations that work together to rebuild after a disaster, and demonstrate the character that makes King County such a special place to live.”

The association developed a distribution plan to ensure that donations were distributed equitably and to those who needed help the most. It worked with another local nonprofit, Urban Hands, to bring 150 volunteers out to clean up debris, paint, landscape, and decorate the impacted area.

Shortly after the explosion, Emerald City Karate opened its doors so that emergency officials – some covered in dust – could provide hourly updates. Coyle’ Bakeshop, which suffered damage from the explosion, helped feed emergency responders. The day after the explosion, neighbors began helping business owners clean up debris.

The goal of the award is to identify effective models so that other communities can replicate their success, and emerge even stronger after a disaster or tragedy.


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Quotes

When emergency responders arrived after the explosion in Greenwood, they found a well-connected community eager to pitch in and ready to help out. The Award for Community Resilience honors people and organizations that work together to rebuild after a disaster, and demonstrate the character that makes King County such a special place to live.

Dow Constantine, King County Executive

I am privileged to represent residents of the Greenwood and Phinney Ridge neighborhoods on the King County Council and am very pleased Executive Constantine chose to honor the Phinney Neighborhood Association with his Award for Community Resilience. Many thanks, and much appreciation, to the Phinney Neighborhood Association for its role in helping the community respond and recover from the impacts of the horrific Greenwood gas explosion.

Jeanne Kohl-Welles, King County Council

For more information, contact:

Chad Lewis, Executive Office, 206-263-1250


King County Executive
Dow Constantine
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