After a leaking natural gas line explosion on March 9 destroyed or damaged over three dozen businesses in the heart of Greenwood, you might think this neighborhood suffers from some seriously bad karma.
But adversity often brings out the best in people, bringing them together. The Greenwood community (and beyond in Seattle) is jumping to help. I call that pretty good karma.
People as far away as Kenmore, over 20 miles north, were awakened by the 1:40 a.m. blast, although some (like me) less than a mile or even a few blocks away, slept through it. Many thought it was an earthquake.
|Gas explosion fire 3/9/16. Photo credit to www.pbs.media|
Thanks to social media, I learned what was going on quickly. #Greenwoodexplosion was all over Twitter, then I hopped to reddit, Nextdoor, and finally old-fashioned radio and television.
Within hours, several fundraising campaigns to support the many small businesses and employees affected were set up. A gofundme site has already raised over $44,500 (as of 3/13) through small private donations.
This morning I wandered over to check out the damage and support a few of the small cafes open, despite boarded up windows.
|This stretch of Greenwood Ave and these popular businesses now look like...|
|This block, where the explosion occurred on the left, now looks like this...|
|Okay, so it's winter now. But still, sad.|
For about a 2-block radius, shattered windows are boarded over, but most businesses are open.
I strolled down Greenwood across the street from the blast and stopped to chat with a man holding a very cool bicycle. It was (Davey Oil) of G&O Family Cyclery, whose business next to Neptune Coffee was heavily damaged. For seeing his business shattered, he seemed surprisingly calm and upbeat.
"People say bad things about the low-income and homeless people in the neighborhood, but they were the ones who discovered the gas leak and called it in," said David. He wants to stay in Greenwood. "It's my neighborhood."
|David Guiglano of G&O Family Cyclery on Greenwood Avenue|
Glass shards were still visible scattered on the sidewalk, and I almost tripped over a bucket of debris.
So this morning I'm headed back over to Greenwood Avenue to get morning tea, and I'll probably refill at a few businesses, just to help in a small way. A good account of the City's response and resources to help are described in this Seattle Times article.
How about you? Did you hear the explosion or know anyone affected by it? Think about joining the conversation with a comment below, and then checking out the link below for ways to support the Greenwood community and businesses. Thanks!