The only difference between adventure and disaster is preparedness.

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Storm Update from KLOG

Wind Wham

Posted on 22nd December 2015 at 09:38
Work continues on dozens of power outages and road blockages that were caused by yesterday’s windstorm in the local area, an event that downed trees all over Cowlitz County. PUD line crews and road crews have been on the move since about 1:30 yesterday afternoon, when the winds first hit. Large swaths of the county are still without power, and PUD officials say that it still may be several hours before repairs are complete. The latest numbers show that about 15,000 PUD customers got knocked out yesterday, and that number was cut to about 2,000 by this morning. Some of the damage resembled the 1962 Columbus Day storm, with trees falling onto houses and cars in multiple locations around the region. At this point, there are no reports of injury connected to this damage. The Cowlitz PUD says work is continuing as quickly and as safely as possible, to try and get power restored to everyone. City and county road crews are also working as quickly as possible to clear trees and limbs from the streets. Be aware and be patient as these crews work to restore electricity and road access.

The peak wind gust recorded in this area was 46 miles an hour, recorded at 2:15 pm at the Southwest Washington Regional Airport in Kelso. There was also a 46 mile-an-hour gust in Lexington, 34 miles an hour in Longview, 31 miles an hour in Kalama, 23 miles an hour in Castle Rock, 29 miles an hour at the station next to the Lewis and Clark Bridge, and 64 miles an hour up on Abernathy Mountain.
Longview was particularly hard-hit, with a number of large trees coming down; if a city-owned tree has come down onto your home or vehicle, you’re advised to call 442-5803 to file a report and to get on the list for removal. Trees in the planting strips along city streets are owned by Longview, and city crews will be responsible for their removal. Again, call 442-5803 if a City of Longview-owned tree came down onto your home or your vehicle.

There’s actually a name for yesterday’s weather event, which the Weather Service describes as “straight-line winds.” They say that these straight-line winds are generated by thunderstorms, but they aren’t associated with rotation, like a tornado. They’re associated with the “outflow and downdraft” components of a thunderstorm. NWS officials say that these winds can cause the same kind of damage as a tornado, but all of that damage falls in the same general direction. These winds are also called “Derechos,” and can be much more devastating than yesterday’s event.

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