Posted by: Jack | December 15, 2006

Washington Isn’t Built for Storms

Although Western Washington gets enormous amounts of rain, real strong storms are quite rare out here. Lightning is even more uncommon. But tonight there is a pretty crazy storm going on. Every few seconds the entire sky lights up in a strange greenish glow. The wind is blowing so hard that branches, along with the power, are going down all over town. Just moments ago a 15 foot long branch fell, landing a couple feet from our apartment. Smaller branches are falling on the roof constantly. I’m very thankful to have covered parking at the moment so as not to suffer a repeat of the catastrophic hail storm in La Crosse.

It’s very nerve racking not having an attic to separate the ceiling from the roof. Even a small branch sounds as if its on the verge of crashing through.

On the topic of weather, I find it very interesting how long-time-locals respond to unaccommadating conditions out here. On average it snows 3-4 times each year in town and generally less than a half of an inch accumulates. But last time that happened, the city basically shut down. All of the state agencies literally shut down midday. People are terrified of driving even if the streets are clear and snow is just falling. But even more unusual is the common reaction to the rain. Everyone says that it rains from October until April here so you would assume that people adapt and get used to it. But actually it seems that most people just keep indoors for seven months straight. I mean, come on! It’s only water and its not even that cold out. I still bike around town no problem. Just need a rainjacket and you can hardly tell the difference.

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