Nearly one year ago an explosion rocked the Greenwood neighborhood early on the morning of March 9. The Puget Sound Energy (PSE) gas line explosion traumatized the neighborhood and decimated local businesses.
Recently I had the opportunity to stand with five area business owners who shared their stories about the devastating effects on the neighborhood, the crippling effects on their small businesses, and the burdensome bureaucracy that has stalled efforts around reimbursement to stabilize their financial outlook.
It’s staggering that no one paid with their lives in an explosion of this magnitude. But the true cost is the profit lost by the community. Together we walked through their shuttered or broken businesses which served as a painful reminder of the true cost of recovery and repair.
It’s clear that many local businesses are still suffering from a blast that was the result of negligence. Meanwhile, PSE has not offered any compensation to these individuals, and hasn’t changed their internal policies that would otherwise create safer conditions for all PSE customers and the surrounding community.
If our local businesses continue to struggle or shutter all together under a non-response by PSE, then how can we be sure the company won’t be negligent again? We need to know the that places we live and work are secure and being monitored; like bridges or oil trains, we defer to the experts to check all the natural gas lines, and determined that they are safe, and will not cause a devastating explosion like the one experienced in Greenwood.
Demand that PSE make the local businesses financially whole, and to take full responsibility for their actions.