25 years ago, September 24, 1997, a U.S. Army training unit released tear gas in the middle of the night during dense fog. A large area west of Pacific Avenue needed to be evacuated. Residents were taken to a couple of gymnasiums at Camas Prairie and Spanaway Elementary schools a few were taken to local hospitals. Those two schools ended up closing for the day as the tear gas permeated the air from the presence of individuals covered in it. It was a frightening experience to wake up, coughing, wheezing, sore throats, nausea and headaches, having no idea what was going on around 1:00 a.m. Then, being rousted by the police evacuation.
If you have memories of that day, feel free to post them in the comments or share online on our Facebook page. It was a rough night, but we all survived. And, they have not made that mistake again. Thank you.