THE ‘BIG BLOW’ HIT 60 YEARS AGO TODAY

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On the morning of Friday, October 12, 1962—Columbus Day—a
massive storm hit the coast of northern California. The storm had originated several days earlier in the Pacific Ocean, about five
hundred miles north of Wake Island. 

Re-energized by a combination of unusual meteorological
conditions, the storm moved north with the gathering force
of a Category 3 hurricane. Originally named Typhoon Freda by meteorologists and called the Big Blow by many, it may have
been the most powerful extratropical cyclone ever to hit the
western United States.

Oregon experienced the full brunt of the typhoon and suffered
more damage than any other state. In addition to substantial
damage to thousands of buildings— residential, commercial,
and civic—and to miles of power lines, the severe winds
toppled countless trees in western Oregon’s forests.

The storm outranks all other natural disasters in the state in
terms of destruction and cost, including the 1903
Heppner
Flood
. 

The intense winds left over a million people in Oregon without
electrical power, some of them for weeks.

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Damage in Junction City.

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Jim Johnston of Portland stands next to storm damage of his home.

posted by Bob Karm in ANNIVERSARY,DEATH,Disaster,Historical Society,HISTORY,NEWSPAPER,PORTLAND'S PAST,Storm and have No Comments

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