Anniversary of the Columbus Day Storm of 1962 is tomorrow

Aftermath of the Columbus Day Storm of 1962
Aftermath of the Columbus Day Storm of 1962. Photo: National Weather Service, Portland, OR.

This Saturday, October 12 is the 51st anniversary of the 1962 Columbus Day Storm, the strongest non-tropical wind storm ever to hit the lower 48 states in recorded U.S. history. Considered the ‘granddaddy of all windstorms,’ in these parts, the storm claimed 46 lives (7 in Washington State) and injured hundreds more. In the Willapa Hills of southwestern Washington, a wind gust of 160 m.p.h. was recorded.

What can you do to prepare for the ferocious wind storms that strike the westside of our state almost every winter? Check out the Washington State Emergency Management Division’s “Windstorms in Washington State” publication to get useful preparation and survival tips. 

Not around in 1962? Maybe you recall the Hanukkah Eve Wind Storm of 2006, a powerful storm that slammed into the Pacific Northwest region between December 14, 2006, and December 15, 2006, causing 18 deaths and widespread damage and power outages.

Where were you during these storms? Are you ready for the next big weather event?

Share your memories of the Columbus Day storm (or what your parents told you about it) on DNR’s Facebook page.

DNR encourages you to join with hundreds of thousands of other Washington residents, schools, businesses, and government agencies, including DNR, that are taking part in The Great Shake Out earthquake drill on October 17th @ 10:17  a.m. You can even participate at home.

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