This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on January 16, 2007 6:49 PM. The previous post in this blog was Fixing Hawthorne. The next post in this blog is Storm Center 9000 - Night Watch Edition. Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

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Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Storm Center 9000 never sleeps

Our continuing, live, team coverage of the Portland Snowstorm of the Century* will continue all night, with up-to-the-minute updates updating you on all the treacherous conditions threatening lives and property throughout our region. Health care providers urge everyone not to overdo the physical exercise, particularly snow shoveling, and to drink plenty of liquids. Thousands are without energy this evening after an afternoon of outdoor activities and hot toddies.

The question on everyone's minds at this hour, of course, is how long the snow on the ground will remain with us. Our meteorologists tell us that it's not clear, but that their best guess is that the snow will likely stay until temperatures rise past the freezing mark of 32 degrees. Right now it's 28 degrees at the airport, and so if you want to be near melting snow, you are advised to stay away from the airport.

Team coverage here at bojack.org Storm Center 9000 will go 'round-the-clock, with tireless correspondents stationed in the field:

Keep your browser tuned to this page, where we will continue to bring you the news that you'll see only by reading this blog, or by looking out the window.

* - The century beginning Jan. 1, 2005.

Comments (21)

What a bunch of wimps! I've got teenage boys cheering in the living room because Portland Public Schools has already announced they'll be closed tomorrow!

I walked to work in the snow this morning. Walked the two miles home as well. We City of Portland employees are made of sterner stuff...

(Maybe that's why people keep telling me I'm full of it?)

Portland's inability to cope with a couple of inches of snow -- or with 40 mile an hour winds, for that matter -- is truly comical. But given that few people here know how to drive on snow, I wouldn't drive in it. I'm not worried about me, but rather about them.

It's a great walking town, especially in the snow. I think we should keep schools and business open, and urge people in the strongest possible terms to walk.

But my company *is* open tomorrow. Was open today as well. We just didn't have to brave the elements to show up in the physical office, is all (since I work with a global client, I just need a computer and an internet connection.)

The upside? I can work from home in my bedroom slippers.

The downside? I can't ever get away with a 'no work on account of snow' day...

"Just to make sure that the cutesy little timing ploy doesn't get them anywhere, remind me to post again about this first thing Tuesday morning".

Not to get off topic, but you reminded us last Fri to remind you today.

Now back to more live Storm Center 9000 coverage...of kids sledding in New Seasons Washington Park, plus new footage coming in from Verizon Wireless Council Crest Park.

Your banner made me laugh harder than... well, almost as hard as that endlessly replayed video of the SUV sliding down the hill into Goose Hollow.

"Stay tuned to bojack.org Storm Center 9000 for further updates all day long. We look out the window -- so you don't have to."

That's great comedy, Jack. I recommend you bag the tax trip and join the biz.

While you just referred to this, it is mind boggling that this city shuts down at the first sign of snow. Which is why your "round the clock" tongue-in-cheek coverage is so funny. Although I do understand that Portland is a very hilly city and it snows so little that it doesn't make sense to have snow plows or salt on hand, it is amusing/frustrating to this transplant from the great lakes who grew up with lake effect snow.*

*if you folks think the weather forecasters dropped the ball last night, ask folks in the great lakes about how badly they can miss with lake effect. The difference between 2 inches of snow and two feet can come down to a random shift in the wind and the poor weatherman constantly has egg on his face.

I dunno Jack, your correspondent looks like the strong silent type - not great for the audio portion but one heck of profile for the camera.

My neighbor and I just spent a couple hours sledding down the hill out front on my flexible flyer. It was a kick.

"if you folks think the weather forecasters dropped the ball last night..."

Maybe it's only because I don't watch the local news, but my little weather app in my menubar, which pulls data from the National Weather Service, told me about this pretty accurately yesterday evening.


(KGW.com) Officials said there were 35 sledding related injuries at local hospitals as of Tuesday night.

Good thing those kids weren't stuck inside a dangerous classroom all day long.

Heaven knows that walking or riding home from school is more hazardous than sledding down a hill.

I'm glad I don't have to make the call first thing in the morning on whether or not to have school -- that honor belongs to Superintendent Phillips. But I do get to spend all day talking to our town's reporters about the situation.

Sure, many of our students could walk to their neighborhood schools (I'd love to shove mine out the door tomorrow morning), but a lot of students count on their parents or bus drivers (Tri-Met and ours) to get them to school. And although our buses have chains, you all are right that the vast majority of Portland drivers are poorly equipped (in both experience and traction devices) to ensure a safe trip to school. You only have to watch the TV news to see evidence of that.

Also, while our students may be able to walk to school, our teachers live all over the place -- even (gasp) in the suburbs. Wouldn't do us a lot of good to get most of the kids to class if the teachers couldn't show.

There are tons of factors to consider in closing schools, and each decision is made with the best information available at the time. It's easy to second-guess later, but as Steve Duin noted on his blog, it can be "harrowing" and I doubt there's a superintendent out there who really enjoys that part of the job. Just goes with the territory.

Ironically enough, this afternoon PPS had scheduled a debrief about how to make the process better. Guess we'll get to reschedule.

Have a fun (and safe) snow day, all.

Sarah Carlin Ames
PPS Communications

I've got teenage boys cheering in the living room because Portland Public Schools has already announced they'll be closed tomorrow!

No wonder you walked to work. I'm surprised you didn't run.

Between 35 people going to the hospital for sledding accidents (35?? I can understand a couple, but 35???), and the description of deciding to call a snow day as "harrowing," I'd say we're lucky it only snows every couple of years. We're just not up to all that responsibility and stress.

I walked to work in the snow this morning. Walked the two miles home as well. We City of Portland employees are made of sterner stuff...

When I was a kid we walked two miles to school everyday in three feet of snow. We carried a baked potato
in our pocket in the morning to keep our hands warm. We then ate it for lunch and then put the skin on our feet for the walk home. this is how it was according to my dad

It takes a real scrooge to hate an occassional snow day in Portland. We all know it's a great excuse to take a day off and enjoy a day of white purity amongst a vast seemingly endless string of cold wet gray rain. Watching the cars crash on impossibly steep hills only a sane person would attempt with a SnowCat is a smug unspoken guilty pleasure. Snow days here and there are part of what keeps Portland weird.

What I don't understand is why these kids (teens?) who are out of school aren't shoveling all the snow off the sidewalks and making $10 bucks a pop. Where are all the young entrepreneurs? The only folks shoveling the walks on my block last night are the old geezers like me and my neighbors! Back in the day when I played team sports, this was an easy fundraiser for us.

If they shoveled 10 houses, they could make $100 bucks. A whole team could make $1000 bucks easy.

This "coverage" is such fun.

It is absurd how much people freak out about driving in the snow. I learned to drive in it when I was about 14 (we lived in the country) and my dad actually made me learn how to put on chains before I ever got behind the wheel. After having spent a few years in central Oregon, I've become comfortable with wintery conditions. I must say though, I'm glad Portland shuts down. Because Bend - with all of its (ahem) influx of residents from a certain state to the south - is a nightmare with all of its yuppie SUV drivers who think that because they have AWD or 4WD and studs that they can drive anywhere normally.

Good observation. When we got a snow day off that was our big opportunity to make some money. Spent all day shoveling.

Oh, where are our youngins? TV/video watching.

Too late! Snow gone! They'll have to wait for leaf raking season!

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