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After The Great Seattle Windstorm

by Christopher Chantrill
December 15, 2006 at 8:16 pm

THE GREAT SEATTLE Windstorm is now just a memory. But this morning it was kind of a mess after a night in which winds were reported to exceed 70 miles per hour, according to the Seattle Times.

I know. 70 miles per hour? One to two inches of rain? What kind of wimps are we in Western Washington? Nevertheless, downed powerlines are downed powerlines. And closed bridges are closed bridges.

But that sort of stuff doesn’t bother me! I decided to try to get to work, traveling across Lake Washington from Seattle to my office in Redmond near the Microsoft campus.

Not a good idea. First of all the Evergreen Point bridge was closed. The State Department of Transportation had closed it during the high winds of the previous night. Reported WSDOT:

When crews opened the drawspan of the SR 520 Bridge on Thursday, three of the hooks that connect the spans were sheared off by wave action. This is not unusual and is easily repaired. When winds decreased crews started repair work and scanning the bridge for damage. Crews found no significant damage and replaced the hooks.

No problem. I diverted and crossed Lake Washington using the I-90 bridge. But as I drove north on I-405 I observed very heavy southbound traffic. So when I gave up trying to get to my office, what with no power east of Lake Washington and downed trees everywhere, I had to drive north around Lake Washington to avoid the slow southbound traffic on I-405.

Lessons Learned: Always fill your car up with gasoline on the day before a reported storm. You’d think that half a tank would be plenty. But when you are out and about, subject to delays and traffic congestion, and you don’t know where there is a gas station that is open for business, you need to start out with a full tank. My car was only half full this morning and that is not enough.

Now the only question is: Will the office annual holiday party be on this evening?

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Christopher Chantrill blogs at www.roadtothemiddleclass.com.  His Road to the Middle Class is forthcoming.


Comments:


Posted by: playertwo on 12/19/06 2:23am

was stationed at ft lewis back in 83. jumped out of a c130 and when my chute opened I was going about 50 in the wind and I watched a 140lb corporal get blown into a gigantic pine tree like the green giants trees. he stayed up there for hours while we waited for the winds to abate and get a huey to drop down a rescuer. he sat up there swaying in suddenly strong winds that remind me why i never really liked all that rain up there.


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©2007 Christopher Chantrill