This is Part Three of my series, “Standing with SSG Gunderson.”
Click here to read Part One, “Disabled vet faces homelessness because Thurston County protects illegal businesses.”
Click here to read Part Two, “Thurston diverts $300,000 to save yet another illegal business that floods and pollutes.”
Click here to go to the facebook page, “Standing with SSG Gunderson.”
It has been nearly six months since disabled combat vet SSG Timm Gunderson first contacted Thurston County about health risks to his family, and damage to his home and property.
His home had become surrounded by polluted flooding. His family was faced with homelessness. They were losing their running water, their septic system, and their propane–their sole source of heat and cooking.
Other neighbors were flooded, as well.
Gunderson and I have both had multiple communications with county officials since then about his family’s crisis.
The flooding was apparently caused by his neighbor Sara Perkins diverting water flow off her property, which kept her her two illegal luxury horse businesses dry.
SSG Gunderson states that Perkins told him that she had blocked up the water flow on her property to protect her horse businesses.
SSG Gunderson is on a fixed income, after becoming 100% disabled from a suicide bomber attack on New Years Eve 2003.
His fixed income wasn’t enough to pay the mortgage and rent another place at the same time.
Gunderson still has stagnant water on his property from last winter’s flooding, where his property is normally dry in the summer.
He is afraid for what will happen this coming fall, when the rains return.
After four months of receiving emails and evidence from both SSG Gunderson and me, the county finally shut down the two illegal businesses.
But that didn’t help Timm Gunderson, his family, and his neighbors. They still needed the blockage removed.
County officials “brainstorm” to help the Gunderson family with ridiculous suggestions
The County Commissioners “brainstormed” to come up with ideas for SSG Timm Gunderson and his family.
The result of all their brainstorming was to refer the family to homeless services.
Other county officials offered similarly helpful advice for Gunderson’s family. They suggested putting a port-a-potty on their flooded property to replace their septic.
The county officials advised that the teenage daughter didn’t really need to shower before going to school. They also thought that the family didn’t need clean water for washing clothes and dishes.
And since the propane company couldn’t get through the flood to refill their tank in the dead of winter, the county suggested that Gunderson get a small portable tank and run a propane hose through the flooded water to heat their house.
An interesting idea. Also highly dangerous and probably illegal.
But with all this helpful advice over the last six months, the county officials repeatedly stated that they were powerless to do anything about the apparent blockages on Perkins’ property that were causing the flooding. Continue reading County lied about laws that would have saved disabled vet’s home from flooding