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Swamped by record rains, Nickelsville needs our help

Crystal Claflin wades past tents and through water in Nickelsville, a homeless encampment, where a day earlier a heavy rain and windstorm had partially flooded the camp, Tuesday, Nov. 20, 2012, in Seattle.

The Seattle homeless encampment known as “Nickelsville” was devastated by flooding after record rainfall this week. A large 30-foot wide, knee-deep puddle flooded at least 30 tents.

Photo Gallery: Flooding at Nickelsville

A donated pump had drained much of the water by mid-morning Tuesday. Residents moved tents on top of pallets and created a make-shift path of more pallets and wood scraps to try to keep dry.

KING 5’s Meg Coyle reported on Nickelsville residents’ plight on KIRO’s Ron and Don Show Tuesday.

“The land they currently occupy is just next door to the Waste Management transfer station. It is land that is bowl shaped, surrounded by a berm. The water has no place to go but right down to the bottom of that bowl,” said Coyle.

Nickelsville residents have lost nearly everything. They need new items to replace things they lost – like tents – and supplies to keep them warm as they weather the rest of this storm.

“It reminds me of when I went to Haiti,” said Ron. “These are the type of folks you really want to help out – and believe it or not, a pair of dry socks could be the difference.”

If you would like to help, recommended donations include:

-Dry clothing

-Tents (Any size)






Nickelsville is located at 7116 West Marginal Way SW.

After hearing about the Nickelsville flood, callers to the Ron & Don Show soon began pledging to drop off tents, warm clothes and firewood.

Audrey from West Seattle told the guys, “I drive by Nickelsville every morning on my way to work, so tomorrow morning I am stopping to drop off some batteries and some clean, dry socks.”

Rich in Seattle offered his expertise in the kitchen. “We are going to make a ton of breakfast burritos and take them down to Nickelsville on Thursday to hand out.”

Even Solomon Metalwala, father of missing baby Sky Metalwala, called to offer to donate a Thanksgiving dinner to the people of Nickelsville.

Don asked that you reserve judgement of the people of Nickelsville. “There are many reasons for homelessness. All I know is they are our brothers, they are our sisters, and some of them are standing on pallets tonight and they lost everything they have. For some of them, that’s not a lot.”

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