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Seattle Storm Damage December 18, 2006

Posted by gordonwatts in life, travel.

This is a picture from Carl Brannen, who left a comment about the Seattle wind storm. More on his version of the storm can be found here. Good luck getting the power back.

Carl’s situation sounds a lot like the flight attendant on my flight back to Seattle last night (and thanks for the upgrade, United, after that awful trip over to the US). She told me most gas stations couldn’t pump, and those that could were parking lots at this point. The drive in the taxi back from the airport was eerie — lots of areas around the airport were dark. Even some of the large airport hotels were totally dark. After we landed, we parked short of the gate and the captain announced: “Well, the good news is we have a gate. The bad news is we don’t know how we are going to get you off the plane. They have been having power problems here and the jetway isn’t functional yet…” And about 15 minutes later, “Hey — how about that, the gateway works!”

Downtown, where I live, looked almost untouched. It was about 2am when I got home, and the bars were just closing. It was warm and it looks like things were in full swing: perhaps the storm made going out extra special (and must have provided a few pick up lines).

After spending about 6 hours in my condo, Paula, Julia, and I went back tot he airport. There were still lots of traffic lights out.

The flight attendant told me that some of her friends were on a plane that landed the night of the windstorm. This must have been before the winds hit 60 and 70 miles an hour. Apparently phrases like “worst flight of my career” were common. As she put it “Babies crying, grown men screaming…” I’m very happy I wasn’t on that flight.



1. Carl Brannen - December 18, 2006

My buddy (the one with the vicious white dog), used to work at Boeing. One of his tasks was to design a food cart that didn’t kill people. The problem is that in heavy turbulence, the food carts fly into the air and can land on passengers.

2. gordonwatts - December 18, 2006

It is oddly comforting that Boeing is worried about food carts killing people in turbulence like that and not about the plane falling apart. BTW, I think the technical term for that sort of turbulence is “extreme”. 🙂

3. Carl Brannen - December 19, 2006

I don’t know that food carts have ever killed anyone, but I suspect that they have. Most of the time they just say turbulence did it.

When a Boeing goes down, all the engineers are very interested because they assume that one of them was responsible. They call them “hull losses”, and refer to what happens as “auguring in”, a reference to the drilling of a hole.

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