How Did Skagit Breaking Start?

How Did Skagit Breaking Start?

Push Play

to Listen

How Did Skagit Breaking Start?

Chris Nelson joined us today and told us the story behind SkagitBreaking.com, Skagit Valley's number one place to get news.

In 2013, the I-5 bridge collapsed at the freeway section spanning over the Skagit River, just north of downtown Mount Vernon.  Chris and his family were shopping nearby.  He had been a first responder in Skagit County, so he rushed to the scene to see what he could do.  When he arrived, there were already enough people helping, so Chris documented the entire event on social media.

After this, a friend joked that he should start a news site on Facebook.  Chris did this, using his trained ear for scanner traffic to generate local news.  This started as a profile named Skagit Breaking, which soon reached 5,000 friends.  At that point Facebook made him convert his account to a Page, and that has now ballooned to over 80,000 followers.

Skagit Breaking is a one stop community resource at this point.
— Chris Nelson
 Chris Nelson documentation a structure fire

Chris Nelson documentation a structure fire

Chris has a team of 38 moderators to help find news, events, and all things to post on his website and social media.  Some of his staff is paid, including a few writers and a small advertising department.  All of the others are volunteers, who may get incentives from time to time, like tickets or entry into local events.  The community also plays a big role in helping gather and share information.  People write in on a daily basis, contributing to news and other stories, such as missing pets, stolen property, and small events.

When the Oso Mudslide hit, even amidst the chaos of this national disaster, Skagit Breaking proved its proficiency in connecting communities with information.  Other events, such as the Cascade Mall Shooting and the shooter incident involving Mount Vernon Police Officer Mike "Mick" McClaughry, showed off the agility of Skagit Breaking to distribute correct news in a quick manner.

Skagit Breaking has also helped organize searches for people, including full fledged community searches.  One missing persons search unfortunately resulted in the discovery of a deceased person.  Other searches have helped to find missing children.

Businesses are usually surprised at Skagit Breaking's social media reach.  Live videos from events and giveaways can flood local business social media sites.

One thing Chris will not do is share videos of dramatic events that may get a lot of traffic, but will not benefit the community in the end.  He feels strongly that people's lives should not be taken lightly.  Overall, the content of Skagit Breaking is not only family friendly, but all around community focused.

Did Birdsview Brewery Put Birdsview on the Map?

Did Birdsview Brewery Put Birdsview on the Map?

Trailer Episode- Skagit Valley You Don't Want to Miss This

Trailer Episode- Skagit Valley You Don't Want to Miss This