Kate Fleming was a voice actress and audiobook narrator who drowned in her basement recording studio after stormwater overwhelmed drainage and sewage systems during the Hanukkah Eve windstorm of 2006. Fleming’s partner Charlene Strong was initially denied permission to see Fleming at Harborview Medical Center because the couple was not married.
This tragedy led to two tangible outcomes. First, Strong became a vocal advocate for recognition of domestic partnerships for same-sex couples in Washington State, which was signed in to law the following April. Second, Seattle Public Utilities built and enlarged the Madison Valley Stormwater Storage Facility on 30th Ave E & E John St. The facility can hold nearly 2 million gallons of water in the event the stormwater system backs up again like it did in 2006. Another storage system was added in Washington Park later, where there is a memorial sculpture for Fleming.
EPACC will convene Friday 3rd July 2015 at 8am at the Madison Valley Stormwater Storage Facility. Here’s a map.