See Skagit: Diablo Lake Boat Tour

This summer, see the many places and meet the many faces of Skagit.

Tre on the new Alice Ross IV boat

Meet Tre Nabstedt. He’s one of three boat captains that takes you aboard Skagit Tour’s Alice Ross IV boat for an unforgettable cruise on Diablo Lake. This summer will mark his second season showcasing the incredible splendor of the area—from the distinctive turquoise color of the glacier-fed lakes to the architectural marvels of City Light’s Diablo and Ross dams. Tre recently sat down with us for a quick chat about Diablo Lake Boat Tours and what he enjoys most about working in the heart of Mother Nature.

Can you tell us a little about the Skagit Tours on Diablo Lake?
“Right from the beginning, people can expect to see a really nice glimpse of the natural beauty that lives here in the North Cascades. You get out on the water, see different wildlife and learn some fun facts about the lake, the surrounding mountains and glaciers, along with the fish and river ecosystems.

The tour also provides a more in-depth look of the natural systems and fascinating history of how the hydroelectric project was built and operated from the start of J.D. Ross’s vision up until today. It’s a pretty rewarding experience.”

A unique view of Ross Dam, one of three power generating developments at City Light’s Skagit Project

What type of wildlife is typically spotted?
“We see a ton of bald eagles, a lot of different species of ducks. You’re likely to see fish jumping out of the lake. You may see a deer, a black bear, or a mountain lion…there is SO much life up here.”

You never know what you’ll see in the North Cascades. This black bear was spotted during a Diablo Lake Boat Tour.

Who usually joins the tour?
“There’s always a great mix on board. Everyone from newlyweds and families to tour groups and retirees. Occasionally, folks will return to the tour and bring someone they want to share the experience with. It’s a great thing to give as a gift. We’ve also had a few multi-generational groups where grandparents bring grandchildren, which is always fun. It’s an easy day trip that pleases everyone.”

What are the common reactions people have when cruising the lake?
“I would say awestruck. People are completely amazed by the beauty. They’re generally very captivated. I never see bored faces.”

What attracted you to this job?
“By nature, I’m a mountain AND an ocean lover. We’re not on the ocean, but we’re still surrounded by this incredible water. I feel pretty lucky to spend my summers in Skagit…on a boat…up in the mountains. I love it.”

A stunning vista of Diablo Lake

Thank you, Tre, for providing a sneak peek of the “Skagit Magic” one can expect aboard! Seattle City Light has been offering the popular Diablo Lake Tour for more than 80 years, educating the community about the utility’s Skagit River Hydroelectric Project which provides clean, low-cost, renewable power to Seattle. To learn more or to book the tour, click here.

Seattle Firefighters respond to six full-response fires in approximately 6 hour period

Thursday July 30th was a busy day for Seattle Firefighters.  Beginning shortly after 1 p.m. fire crews were dispatched to six full-response fires. Each full-response involves:

Deputy Chief
2 Battalion Chiefs
Safety Chief
Staffing Office
4 Fire Engines
2 Ladder Trucks
Aid Car
Medic unit
Air Unit

Phinney Ridge  Fire

Photo Courtesy Mike Heaton

Photo Courtesy Mike Heaton

Photo Courtesy Mike Heaton

 

 

The first fire came in at 1:05 p.m. to a home located in the 100 block of NW 83rd Street.  The occupant was home with his dog when workers laying insulation in the attic noticed smoke and everyone evacuated the home.  When firefighters arrived they found smoke pouring from both sides of the 2-story home.  The firefighters entering the home experienced high heat.  Crews fought the fire from both the interior and exterior while ladder companies cut holes in the roof to vent the charged smoke from the structure. It took 40 minutes to completely extinguish the flames.

The cause was accidental, mechanical damage of electrical wiring system during the installation of insulation.  The damage estimate is $70,000. There were no injuries.

The Red Cross was called to provide assistance to one adult male, one adult female and one child.

Due to temperatures reaching 90 degrees, misting fans were deployed in the firefighter rehabilitation area to cool fire crews off.

Boat Fire

At 1:30 firefighters were called to the 7300 block of 4th Avenue South to a 75 foot tug boat with a fire in the bow. Workers welding below deck ignited insulation in the boat. It took crews about 30 minutes to control the fire.

There were no injuries.

Capitol Hill Fire

At 4:15 p.m. firefighters were called to an apartment complex in the 1800 block of Broadway East. When crews arrive they found everyone had evacuated the 3-story apartment complex. Crews were able to extinguish an exterior deck fire on the second floor. The flames extended to an adjacent wall but did not make their way into the building. The cause of the fire was combustible oil left on the deck which ignited.

There were no injuries.

 

Central District Fire

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

At 4:40 p.m. multiple 911 calls came into Firefighter /Dispatchers at the Fire Alarm Center reporting flames and smoke coming from a 2-story apartment building with basement in the 5090 block of 27th Avenue in the Central District. When firefighters arrived, they found a wall of flames coming from the front of the complex. Several residents had to evacuate the complex and run through flames coming from the front porch. Several animals were trapped inside the burning structure.

The incident commander called for a second alarm bringing in nearly 80 firefighters to the scene. The extra resources were needed to rotate crews in and out of the burning building due to the hot weather.

Firefighters were able to save a Chihuahua and two cats. A third cat was missing.  Fire crews found the dog and one cat in a first floor apartment. The fire investigator found the second cat hiding in the basement laundry room.  Medics evaluated and treated the pets for smoke inhalation. The pets were transported to a nearby pet hospital to be checked out by veterinarians.

It took 20 minutes for fire crews to control the flames.

A fire investigator determined the cause to be accidental, the result of improperly discarded smoking materials placed in a plastic pot on the front porch of the home. The damage estimate is $255,000.

There were no injuries.

University District Fire

Photo courtesy of John Odegard

Photo courtesy of John Odegard

 

At 6:12 p.m. firefighters were dispatched to the 5200 block of 11th Avenue NE for a back porch fire that was extending into a house. When firefighters arrived they found an enclosed back porch full involved with flames extending to their home, to their neighbor’s shed and exposing to a townhome to the south. The fire extended into the attic of the home.

All of the occupants safely evacuated.

It took fire crews 25 minutes to control the flames and 35 minutes to completely extinguish the fire.

The fire investigator determined the cause was accidental, the result of improperly discarded smoking materials in a planter pot on a wooden deck. The damage estimate is $70,000.

There were no injuries.

 Ravenna Fire

Photo courtesy of John Odegard

 

At 7:13 p.m. firefighters were dispatched to the 6500 block of Ravenna Avenue NE for reporting of black smoke coming from the roof of a 2-story building. Firefighters extinguished the flames within two minutes of arriving on scene.

There were no injuries.

The fire was caused by roofers spilling a heated bucket of tar.

Seattle City Light Lowering Diablo Lake for Boat Landing Repairs

Seattle City Light is making repairs to boat landings near the Ross Powerhouse at the utility’s Skagit Hydroelectric Project that will require lowering Diablo Lake.

A 2010 rockslide destroyed a landing for heavy-haul barges that carry heavy equipment to and from the Ross Powerhouse.  Six transformers now in use at the powerhouse are due for replacement, starting in 2016. A light duty landing survived and has been in use since the rockslide, however, it requires a sharp turn that the semi-tractor trailers that will transport the 80-ton replacement transformers cannot make.

A pickup parked near the National Park Service boat landing was hit by the 2010 rockslide.

The $1.5 million project will install a new barge landing and swap locations for two docks used by the National Park Service and a ferry that carries visitors to Ross Lake.

To avoid environmental impacts on the lake, construction needs to be done above the water line. City Light plans to lower the lake level either May 21 or 26. Construction will continue through June 15, when the utility will return the lake to its regular operating level.

A similar draw down will be done, starting Sept. 15 through Nov. 1 to complete the work.  If needed, another draw down may be scheduled in spring 2016.

Draw downs will limit boat movement and recreation. Among the impacts, Colonial Creek Boat Ramp, Colonial Creek canoe launch, boat-in camping at Buster Brown and Thunder Point, the National Park Service dock and the ferry dock will be unusable during some or all of the construction.

Last year, City Light improved the road from the landing and docks to enhance safety.

The access road for the docks in 2013.

The access road after safety improvements.