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5 things to know Thursday

Flash flood risk preparation; University of Idaho killings; Virus at Tacoma Humane Society; Shelters prep for winter; Organization helps sex trafficking victims

King County urges people to prepare for landslide, flash flood risk from Bolt Creek Fire

Communities in the Cascade foothills where the Bolt Creek Fire broke out this summer need to start preparing for the possibility of landslides and flash floods, King County Executive Dow Constantine urged Wednesday.

Constantine said King County is working with emergency management officials and the National Weather Service to make sure people are ready, including by going door-to-door.

The risk is highest in the burn scar from the fire, where the fire-damaged ground is weaker and more susceptible to landslides and flash flooding with even a small amount of rain.

With rain and snow returning to the region for the winter, King County emergency officials are urging residents along US 2 to be prepared in case they become isolated and to make emergency kits of essential supplies.

"With the landslides and these other hazards that could happen with almost no or very little warning, residents of the area and all people within King County should have an emergency plan," said Brendan McCluskey, King County Emergency Management Director 

King County emergency officials also urged residents to sign up for ALERT King County, a public information and notification service. Read more

University of Idaho killings: Here's what we know

On Sunday, Nov. 13, just before noon, Moscow police discovered four University of Idaho students dead in a home near campus. 

Police are still searching for a suspect, but said they believe the killings were targeted. The Moscow Police Department and the University of Idaho identified the four victims as Madison Mogen, Xana Kernodle, Ethan Chapin and Kaylee Goncalves. 

Around noon, the Moscow Police Department received a call of an unconscious person at the house on King Road where the victims were found. When police arrived on the scene, they found the four victims had been stabbed, but they have not yet recovered a murder weapon. 

There was no damage to the front door of the home and it was unlocked when police arrived, leading them to believe there was no forced entry, Moscow Police Chief James Fry said Wednesday.

Police originally said they did not believe there was a continued threat to the community, but Fry backtracked on Wednesday.

"We cannot say that there is no threat to the community, and as we have stated, please stay vigilant, report any suspicious activity and be aware of your surroundings at all times," Fry said. Read more

Virus forces Tacoma Humane Society to limit dog intake

The Humane Society in Tacoma is limiting accepting any more dogs to try and stop the spread of a virus at the shelter.

The animal shelter says that it’s trying to stop the spread of the pneumovirus, an upper respiratory disease with symptoms that include fever, rapid breathing, and nasal discharge.

“This could be fatal to your pet if unchecked,” said Joseph Monjes, Veterinary Services Manager. “If it goes unchecked and it’s not treated, the longer you go, the sicker you get. And the sicker you get, the harder it becomes to treat.”

The shelter’s last count showed that 26 dogs both at the shelter and in foster care are being monitored. Eighteen of them are currently on active pneumonia treatment at various stages and eight are being monitored because of similar symptoms.  

Monjes said the shelter can’t take in any more dogs unless it’s absolutely necessary. Read more

Snohomish County shelters brace for a cold, wet winter

Six winter shelters are opening in Snohomish County this week, a total of 157 additional beds. But with so many people in need, it's being called a "stopgap" measure.

"We need more year-round shelter beds," said Tyler Verda of Snohomish County Human Services.

Fifty-five beds are being set up at the Everett Gospel Mission.

Geoffrey Mulvaney will be sleeping there. He usually sleeps in a downtown doorway.

"It means everything," Mulvaney said. "It's life and death out here."

There are about 1,200 known homeless people in Snohomish County right now. That's more than anytime in the past decade.

The total capacity in the county is currently 840. That's still at least 300 beds short of what's needed. County officials conceded more needs to be done. Read more

Seattle-based organization helping survivors of sex trafficking is opening a new location

A Seattle-based nonprofit is holding a unique open house dedicated to the survivors of sex trafficking.  

Real Escape from the Sex Trade (REST) was launched in 2009 by a small team of women who recognized that very few services existed to meet the needs of sexually exploited individuals.

The sex trade may seem like a problem that exists across the world, but in reality, every day thousands of people in our community are exploited in the sex trade. According to REST, approximately 80% experience homelessness. 

REST is preparing to expand its impact with an open house for its second transitional housing location. 

REST House South opened in 2012 and is now joined by a new home in north Seattle, which totals 11 beds for adults of all genders to stay rent-free for up to a year. REST offers assistance to help individuals work on their personal goals and provides access to supportive services through various community partners. Read more

RELATED: Western Washington Forecast

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