Thursday, November 19, 2015

After The Storm

Before I get into today's topic, I would like to thank all of you that follow my blog. In the last two days while I was focused on other things, my page views hit 400,256 in the ten years I have been posting here.

For those of you that do not reside in the Spokane/Coeur d'Alene area, we were hit with a record breaking wind storm Tuesday night that produced winds in excess of 70 mph, knocking down trees, destroying roofs and creating micro bursts that turned trees into helicopters, twisting trees off several feet off the ground. this phenomenon  is like a miniature tornado with vertical circular winds picking randomly sited trees.  

After a 20 hour wait for power to be restored, I was fortunate that it was only one tree that blackened all of Bayview. Kootenai Electric fixed the downed wire on Perimeter Road and by 2:00 pm, the lights came back on.

As I mentioned yesterday on Huckleberries on line, I was driving north on hwy 95 when stopped at a traffic light. In front of me was an SUV with two messages on the back window. One was religious, the other a picture of a lineman on a power poll. The caption was, "Firemen have heroes, too." How timely was that?

It isn't over for those living in Spokane, though. Avista is predicting 3 to 5 days before power is restored in all areas of the city. To compound this is a polar front arriving which will drop nighttime temperatures into the low 20's and down to the teens Friday and Saturday nights. Not only do we need power crews, but plumbing companies will be needed for frozen pipes.

This problem is close to home as my youngest son, daughter-in-law and five granddaughters aging from 17 down to a 2 year old toddler and a two month old baby live in North Spokane and are without power. No heat, No cooking, no refrigeration, nothing. In one stroke from nature, hundreds, maybe thousands are reduced to survival mode, with public services overwhelmed.

Traffic has to be snarled with stop light inoperative at the many busy intersections. This most likely is producing massive traffic jams as people attempt to relocate where power is available. Those people that have generators are very fortunate, but if you do, be sure to isolate the power source at the meter, so that you don't feed power into that the repair people think is a dead line. Electrocution is very possible.

One of the biggest problems is that people are not getting news or weather reports. For those of you that are reading this, be aware of very cold temperatures forecasted for the next several days at or around 20 degrees at night. Dribble your faucets so that your plumbing won't freeze and try to relocate to friends or relatives homes until power is back on. 

PS: Now they are predicting 4-8 inches of snow Monday pm and Tuesday followed by very cold temps Wednesday. Thanksgiving travel will be interesting this year.


Jeanie Buchanan said...

Hi Herb, Spokane Valley is just as bad as the South Hill, with power slowly snaking its way on for some - not for others. I'm lucky - only two nights in the dark. We had nothing. No generator. One candle. No hot food. The hardest thing, well two hardest things - getting something to eat and living in complete darkness from 5:00 on. Not even my standby hobbies like reading, crocheting, playing cards.

We solved the cold by dressing in layers, thermal underwear, sweats, sweatshirts and hoodies. I kept most of the layers on when I went to bed. We went to bed early (for us) - 6:30.

And not everyone without power has fancy phones that access the internet - so that too was dark for me, and I'm sure for thousands of others. I had to chuckle while at the laundromat, where the morning news was telling everyone to find shelter elsewhere if they didn't have heat. Those people don't have television either.

But neighbors have really come out. This reminded me of when Mt St Helen blew - I met neighbors I never would have otherwise. This proved the same - everyone helping everyone - in a five-house stretch, four were affected by falling trees. You would not know it because all the neighbors got out and helped each other, even taking the cut trees off the properties.

Anyway - thank you for your blog and your reports. Stay warm!

iamdons said...

Been thinking of you Herb. Sound like you are one of he fortunate being down 20 hrs. Best of wishes to your family who's in the dark and cold.
Don Sausser