Monday, January 09, 2006

The Big Blow of '77

One of the latest entries on Bill Kowinski's Dreaming Up Daily blog prompted me to recall a big windstorm we had back around 1977. It might of been '76, I'm not really sure. Caught everyone by surprise. No rain, just a real strong wind.

I'm not sure even what time of the year it was, but I'm pretty sure it wasn't winter as it wasn't too cold at the time. I was a caretaker on a ranch up in Maple Creek back then. My only link to the outside world was a transistor radio and I'd listen to that for my news and entertainment. Nothing unusual to start with that day and no word of any weird weather on the radio. I remember it being an unusually pleasant day and, when the sun went down, the whole sky was reddish orange which, while pretty, was unusual.

Then, after the sun went down, the wind picked up. It kept getting stronger until, by 9pm, you could hear trees up and down the mountain snapping. I was scared to death the trees next to my cabin would come down on me. I sat there listening to my mainstay at the time, KRED radio, and the lady DJ finally mentioned that bad things were happening and to stay inside. Then, when they would normally go off the air for the night, she announced they were on generator power and they'd stay on the air until things settled down. I can't remember her name but she was a godsend to me at the time. Years later that lady worked for one of the local TV News shows and I called her up and thanked her for her efforts that night.

Anyway, that was a bad one. I wanted to get away from the cabin and head to the bosses place as he had a place in a clearing about a mile away but there was so much debris flying through the air I might well have been injured or killed trying to get away from my cabin, so, I sat it out. Wind finally started slowing down about one or two in the morning. Got word later that winds of up to 90 miles an hour were recorded on Kneeland.

That was a biggie. I'm surprised I haven't heard others mention it after this last big storm. Power was out for three days at my bosses house on Pine Hill in Eureka. Power outages didn't really affect me as my cabin never had power or running water in the first place.

That was just around 30 years ago. Anyone remember that one?


At 9:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I sure do remember that storm. I lived in Hydesville. across the street from the moble home park. Field and Stream I think.Two of the homes rolled over and others off there blocks. We helped a family out of the home and they stay with us for a week or so.

At 1:28 PM, Blogger Fred Mangels said...

Hmm...I hadn't heard of that incident. Of course, I didn't have access to newspapers back then, just whatever was reported over radio.

I remembered after I wrote my post that the roof of the bleachers at the Ferndale Fairgrounds blew off during that windstorm, as well. I also think there was some mention on the radio that night of a barn that actually blew off its foundation and across some road somewhere.

One thing I can't get right is the year. I'm wondering if it was '78 as opposed to '77?

Probably make a good story for the NCJ or one of the other papers to run. You know; a trip down memory lane, so to speak? Relevent, to some extent, after the last one we had.


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