Saturday, December 16, 2006

Hard Winds A Blowin'

Two nights ago (Dec. 14-15, 2006), the Pacific Northwest was rocked by very high winds. It was pretty amazing out there. I've been in a micro-burst tornado but this wind seemed to be right up there in strength (50-100mph) and it lasted for hours and hours. The sounds of large trees being torn down in the distance crackled, that’s when the wind was low enough to hear above its rumble.

A few times I quickly ran outside to check the roof as it sounded like it was peeling off, no problems found. Each time, it was awesome to see the Oak grove taking a full pounding and the little conifers being hammered. The boys sat quietly and listened; it was obvious that they knew things were bad outside. Every time I went out, they followed me to the door and then eagerly greeted me home, with a soft meow saying “that was stupid,… stay inside.” We had to lock down their cat door because the wind was so strong, it was holding the door full open, the boys wanted nothing to do with it.

The power flickered a few times, then it went out for only about 1.5-2hrs, those power-line crews are amazing!! Luckily, we have all of our lights wired so that we can flip a breaker and run them off a solar charged battery back-up. The family huddled down, read and stretched. First thing Friday morning I got up and took an inventory of the damage to the property, then went for a short run to see how our neighbors fared. There were many large trees down, lots of debris on the roads, our neighbor's yard was full of his asphalt roof shingles, I saw at least one outbuilding crushed by a fallen oak, and the Mary's river was right up to the bottom of the Bellfountain bridge deck. At work we had several panes of glass out in the 6th floor greenhouse and there were many trees down on campus.

We came away with very little damage. Our driveway gate had been blown down, but the pole was rotted off above the concrete anyway, some of our conifers were leaning, the bird feeders were ripped from their poles, and there was garbage blown around. Other than that, we came out in pretty good shape.

The winds were ripping outside,

the boys got in the window
for a few minutes but seemed very unsettled.
They soon snuggled down in a more secure/comfy place.

Friday morning, the winds were down and

Usch surveys the area.

Tanji sees that the "bird feeder gazebo" is down,...
and runs to check the status of his cat-nip patch.

Master-U joins the inspection,

this seems different,... but the nip is alright.

In the woods the boys find

several large branches down.

Uschi poses, then

enjoys the moss between his toes.

Usch finds some more items out of place,

then some garbage in the field, while

Tanj decides to check the status of some trees.

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