For most of the last 25 years I have worked at the Mighty P. It is a personal lines insurance (meaning we have car, house and boat insurance for people) company that writes policies in Washington and Oregon.
I am also a science geek, I think anything mother nature can do is simply amazing. So, when you combine science geek and insurance nerd, the news that a potentially historic storm was bearing down on us peaks my interest!
In the Seattle, there are two kinds of forecasts that gain our attention. In the winter it is the possibility of snow. The sight of snowflake can slow our freeways to a crawl. if anything accumulates, all hell breaks loose and people cower at home
The other, and more frequent, is the big wind storm. We have had some ugly ones over the years. In the 60s there was a the Columbus day storm (The grandaddy of them all here) , the 90s the Inaugural Day storm, and early this century, there was Hanukah Eve storm. When the winds blow, we get trees down, a lot of rain and power can be out for weeks!
At work, we hit battle mode! I had 2 hours to develop a class to teach volunteers who would cover the phones for the extra claims coming in. Then teach two sessions. We were all on call to come in Sunday.
At home, Michelle and I are old hats at this. We have plenty of fire wood, and a gas stove. We will be warm and can cook. We went out early and stocked up on D cell batteries (by Friday there were none to be had anywhere) and replaced them in all the flashlights. I also got ice before the first storm was to hit, and had it in the cooler. Combine this with easy to cook foods, we were ready!
The first storm was to hit Thursday night. Maybe gusts to 50…. It did get a bit blustery, but it wasn’t as bad as feared…
All reports were still that Saturday night was a the big one, up to 70 mph winds! I was scheduled to work at Dusted Valley
that afternoon, but I would be home long before it got windy! An hour before I was to go, though, Billy the manager called and told me they weren’t expecting to be busy so I was off the hook.
There was a downside though, one can’t face the storm of the decade without wine.
I was going to pick up our wine club fall release when I was there working. So Michelle and I decided to head out together, braving the elements for the last storm prep!
We went wine tasting! As you can see, we started at Chandler Reach first, and chatted with Megan and Kristen, who were making sure they were ready for power outages.
They had candles, flashlights, lanterns, and Megan was making Kristen a disaster kit. Those two had us in tears telling us about their adventures. Including showing up a pack of Eagle scouts, and starting a camp fire when they couldn’t. (The the boy scouts roasted starburst candies over the fire, EW)
We then moved across the street to Dusted Valley to pick up our allotment, had lunch at The Commons and picked up Michelle’s wine club from Otis Kenyon. When we got home, I took inventory, and decided “LET THE WINDS FLY!”
As the even went on, the rains came hard, the winds started to strengthen and then…
It fizzled. Nuthin, Nada, not a thing. It rained like hell, but damage and power failures minimal. There was no effect on us at all. (Portland had flash floods, waves crashed on the coast and Manzanita on the Oregon Coast got hit with a tornado, but up here it was a non event here)
Meteorologists will tell you that the geography, winds and uniqueness of the Puget sound in general can give them fits when it comes to big storms. However, they are ALL scratching their heads trying to figure out what the hell happened here.
At 9 AM, Michelle and I got the “ALL CLEAR” no need to work!
Now, in our area, heavy rains mean high waters, high waters mean big waterfall flows, and we love waterfalls! We decided that since we were up, it was time for a quick road trip to Snoqualmie falls.
There is a Hotel, the Salish Lodge that overlooks the falls. I’ve never stayed there but it would be pretty.
In addition to the falls, the leaves were out (Michelle took the first picture below)
The falls are nothing less than spectacular
And listen to the roar!
There is a part of me that is bummed the storm didn’t hit. As I said, I LOVE mother nature when she flexes her muscles. But I am glad we aren’t dealing with the aftermath, and that Michelle and I got to have two days together with neither of us having to work. We WILL be having the day after storm Mushroom Risotto though, just cuz we can!
Even without a storm I will remember hanging out and having adventures with my beautiful wife!