Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Hammered in Oregon

No - this is not a commentary on a favored pastime of Oregonians (although there are some mighty fine spirits made - and consumed - in the Northwest).

Actually, a fairly significant storm hammered Oregon and Washington yesterday. I-5, the major (and only) interstate between Seattle and Portland is closed. Basically, anyone who wants to travel from Seattle to Portland will have to drive east to the Dalles, head up north past Yakima to Ellensburg, and then cut back west across the mountains on I-90. In the best of conditions, that drive would take an extra three hours to trek. Add snow - and traffic - to the mix, and were talking a seven or eight hour drive to get to Seattle from P-town. Holiday travelers, you'd better start driving.

To make matters worse, this latest storm that pummeled the Oregon coast - which was the strongest storm of three consecutive blasts that hit the area over the weekend and early this week - virtually cut off transportation between the valley and the coast. Only recently was highway 20 between Corvallis and Newport opened, which is the main route to the closest major hospital for area coastal residents.

My 80 year old grandma lives in Seal Rock (located about 10 miles south of Newport), and her power has been out since yesterday. Luckily, I have an aunt and uncle that live nearby there, and they were able to transport her to their house. Thankfully, my aunt and uncle have a wood stove and generator supplied electricity.

I haven't heard from the rest of my family - although I chatted with my dad for a bit yesterday afternoon. He said that in the morning the creek behind their house seemed to be at normal levels, but he wouldn't be surprised if the water was up over the road by the time he got home from work (yeah, did I mention that he is back to work already after having a hip replacement no less than two months ago?). Anyway, high water means flooding at my brother's house. I'm not really worried about my parent's home - even in the big flood of 1996, the water only came within a foot to the back door. But where my brother lives down the road - that house was under two feet of water in 1996.

Hopefully, all of the wind and water damage will not affect my parent's flight next Monday. They are coming to Texas next week! Yay!

This kind of sounds like a news report, eh? I need a byline perhaps? Okay, then. Reporting from Texas, this is J@na.

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