Friday, December 15, 2006

A mighty wind

I was delighted to wake up this morning to see my alarm clock blinking. Although I wasn't exactly sure what time it was, at least it meant the power was back on.

High winds and heavy rains knocked out the power where I live in northeast Salem about 7:30 p.m. Thursday night. As near as I can tell, power was restored sometime after 3 a.m. this morning.

There's not much to do when the power is out. No TV. My laptop computer was charged, but there was no Internet service because no juice was flowing to the wireless router. As far as I could tell, I never lost cell phone service. I called Portland General Electric to report the outage, called my daughter's mother to see if they were experiencing storm problems in Portland and exchanged a few text messages with a friend out of state. But I didn't want to use the phone too much and run the battery down. I listened to a battery-operated radio for a while last night, but eventually opted to go to bed early.

According to the reports I'm seeing this morning, some area reported more than an inch of rain and wind gusts were reported on the Oregon Coast in excess of 100 mph.

Trees are down. Roads are closed. Tens of thousands of people are still without power. I can't help but wonder what other damage will be revealed once daylight comes.

I guess I should have a better disaster kit prepared. I had a couple of battery-powered lights, one candle and a battery powered radio. I think rural residents are more used to being self-sufficient for situations like this. Farmers and ranchers have things like generators, flashlights, firewood, food.

If you are in the Pacific Northwest, how have you weathered the storm?

Well, I guess I better get ready for work. Hopefully we'll be able to get an assessment of how this storm has affected farmers and ranchers around the region and post some news updates today on the Capital Press website.

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