SEATTLE -- State and City of Seattle officials tried to clean up a sprawling homeless camp near I-90 and Rainier Avenue Wednesday morning, but when crews moved in, the campers pushed back.
WSDOT crews were ready to start cleaning up debris, tents, tarps, and trash from a hillside, which has been crowded with tents for several months.
The state posted a notice on a nearby tree last week letting people know they needed to gather their belongings and leave by Thursday. Campers like Lisa Hooper had other plans.
“We’re not going anywhere. What else do we have to lose?” Hooper said.
Campers said they never saw the notice and want more time to prepare to leave.
A Washington State Patrol officer tried to reason with them, but the campers stood their ground.
More officials and outreach workers arrived and discussed what to do next. By lunchtime, having removed a single truckload of debris, the crews rolled their equipment back onto trailers and left.
A spokesperson for the Seattle Dept. of Finance and Administrative Services says the cleanup is postponed due to safety concerns. Workers felt they were not able to operate the heavy equipment with so many people on site, the city said. The cleanup will be rescheduled.