Tuesday, December 18, 2018

Good morning, come on in, and welcome to the Daily Deluge for Tuesday, December 18, 2018! Maybe you were awakened by wind and the rain, maybe your power is out, and we’re all in it together: the annual meteorological wrench-toss into our holiday rush. And maybe it won’t be as bad as expected, as the front blows through and shifts south. But travel plans, Christmas package shipments, all of these may pause momentarily as the Northwest interfaces with nature’s raw power, a collision of forces, an atmospheric mirror of the Cascadia Subduction Zone. It’s beautiful in its own way, and it’s a pain in the butt. I’ll bet you have stories of the joys of high water; I sure do, but I’d rather hear yours, especially if it’s happening right now.

Anyway. Here’s a quick summary of outages, watches, and warnings:

–As of 0300, PGE has 2606 customers whose lines have come undone, with over 500 in each county in the Metro area. There are some large outages on the Oregon Coast, including over in Lincoln City and surrounding towns.

–A flood watch is in effect from now until tomorrow afternoon for all of NW Oregon and SW Washington. Inches matter. People with sump pumps know all about this.

–Quote from one of the official warnings: “There may be water entering underground portions of buildings and parking garages as well as multiple feet of water in flood-prone paved areas such as low or dipping freeway ramps.”

–Rivers of particular concern include the Grays River in Wahkiakum County, the Wilson River in Tillamook County, the Siletz River in Lincoln County, the Upper Tualatin River in
Washington County, the Clackamas River in Clackamas County, and Johnson Creek in Multnomah and Clackamas counties, and the Luckiamute River in Benton and Polk counties. But they’re also warning us about urban flooding, too, and the big pond in your neighbor could be just as worrisome.

–Your local fire station or city public works department has sandbags available. That is, they have sand, and they have bags, and you need to bring a shovel to finish the transaction. I filled dozens of those damn things ahead of the ’96 flood and still lost my entire collection of vinyl records that I liberated from radio stations across our great country.

— Heavy rain can touch off landslides in steep terrain, and powerful debris flows that can carry boulders and logs for long distances at speeds faster than you can run. Listen for unusual sounds, and watch the water if you have a stream or a creek. If it suddenly turns muddy, or the water quantity abruptly decreases or increases, that’s a warning that the flow has been affected upstream, and it’s a good idea to get away.

Let’s continue the Daily Drip tradition of sharing information. I’d ask that you be sure to give your location, and the time you’re posting. Thanks!

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Other news:

Shamed and ousted CBS CEO Les Moonves doesn’t get a dime of his $120 million golden parachute.

Former national security adviser Michael “Lock her up” Flynn is sentenced today.

Russian’s attack on the integrity of our 2016 election included a concerted effort to suppress African-American turnout, according to reports commissioned by the Senate Intelligence Committee. And there’s nothing to suggest they’ve stopped.

Oregon is getting Smokey Bear license plates.

Intel says it’s expanding in Hillsboro in 2019. They’re vague about their plans, but hopes are high that it’ll help offset an economic slowdown.

Porch pirates are going strong. Packages sometimes disappear within 5 minutes of delivery by UPS or FedEx.

The Christmas Ships had a scheduled night off last night; they’re still on for tonight, but if the water’s full of logs and debris tonight, no way will they go. Check their website or social media to confirm. After all these years, a new generation is realizing just what a cool sight it is, to watch those brightly illuminated watercraft cruising the dark rivers–especially from the comfort of a cozy restaurant.

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Remember this? Incredible. Last year on this date, the Seattle-to-Portland Amtrak Cascades 501 careened into a tight turn on new track at 78 MPH, 50 over the speed limit. The train skipped the rails and tumbled off an overpass, with the locomotive and several cars careening onto Interstate Five. I am amazed to this day that only three lives were lost, three railroad buffs, although more than 80 people were injured, including some unsuspecting motorists whose cars were crushed on the freeway. The wreck occurred near DuPont, Washington on the inaugural run for the new Point Defiance Bypass, which will shave ten minutes off the Seattle-Portland trip. Amtrak reverted to the old route along Puget Sound after the accident, but they anticipate returning to the bypass this coming spring, but this time with “Positive Train Control” technology, which overrides the crew when the crew’s about to make a terrible mistake.

Let’s remember somebody here. This is the birthday of the late Oregon legislator Nancy Ryles (1937-1990). She was elected to both the House and Senate, was a powerful advocate for education: mandatory kindergarten is one of her legacies. She has an elementary school in Beaverton named after her. She and her friends, when cancer was about to claim her, established the Nancy Ryles Scholarship at PSU, specifically for women wanting to return to college after their education was interrupted. She regretted being unable to finish her degree herself. And she picked up another accolade along the way: in 1955, she was named Rose Festival Queen.

Today’s the day in 1620 the Mayflower docked at modern-day Plymouth, Mass. They missed Thanksgiving by a month!

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On today’s TMSG roster, there seems to be a “found money” theme: a Secret Santa giving out $100 bills, a lottery win for a group of volunteer designated drivers (called “Operation Red Nose”), and a missing wallet that turned up a hundred miles away. Plus there’s a story about how Native American tribes are bringing back the bison that were hunted to near-extinction, and why that is so important to them. And a fascinating read about Charles Dickens, and how “A Christmas Carol” made him a touring rock star. Details by clicking the Coffee Cup below.

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It’s Day 352 of 2018, with 13 to go. Sunrise 7:46 AM, sunset 4:28 PM. We were all in a certain imminent-holiday mode to begin with, and now we have this weather disruption. My hunch is that it’ll be short. There might be another one later in the week. But it’s a strange and wonderful week, in a way. Kids are home from college, we’re having more gatherings of family and friends. It’s the good stuff of life. Stay out of the high tidings, but find the comfort and joy!

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