Understanding where landslide and earthquake hazards exist is the first step in protecting property from damage.
The City of Kirkland has now released updated, technically enhanced maps that show more precisely where these risks could occur. Residents and businesses are invited to a presentation from 7-9 p.m. on Monday at City Hall in the Council Chambers to hear from the map creator and city planning experts and to examine the updated maps.
“Information is a vital tool for emergency preparedness,” council member Penny Sweet, chair of the Public Safety Committee, said in a city press release. “The council invested in this geo-hazard mapping project to help residents, developers, engineers, architects and first responders understand where the risks are in our city so we can plan and prepare for any scenario.”
The main topics for the presentation include:
- How the maps are informing the Code Amendment process for Kirkland Zoning Code Chapter 85 (Geologically Hazardous Areas) and how the public can participate.
- What resources the City’s Office of Emergency Management can make available to the community to mitigate risk associated with geologically hazardous areas.
- What the City will do with the updated maps to help inform first responders if an emergency related to a geological hazard occurs.
The main presentation will be delivered by Kathy Troost from the University of Washington’s Department of Earth and Space Sciences. Troost led the group of researchers from the university’s GeoMapNW Center who collected field data in the summer and fall of 2016. Along with field mapping, the researchers used light detection and ranging, referred to as LiDAR, which is like RADAR except it uses lasers instead of radio waves. According to the release, LiDAR uses bursts of light in quick succession to collect precise distance measurements in order to produce a three-dimensional map. LiDAR has been used in Kirkland since 2001 but GeoMapNW’s technology enhancements bring eight-times the resolution to the mapping system, the release states.
The technology used in the project puts Kirkland at the forefront of geo-hazard mapping and will expand previous information for public and private development projects throughout the city, according to the release.