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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on November 20, 2010 9:45 AM. The previous post in this blog was Warnings and Precautions. The next post in this blog is Look after the bottom line. Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

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Saturday, November 20, 2010

Special Report: It still might snow

The possibly big potential snowstorm tentatively forecast for tomorrow night has local governments posturing around in the media and on the intertubes, assuring the public that yes, they are reaching their very highest stages of readiness.

At Portland City Hall, the city's army of 27 bloggers and Tweeters are standing by with up-to-the-minute reports. Sample Tweet: "Fireman Randy says to let your faucet run a little." The water commissioner has also requested that Portlanders make regular use of his patented street toilets to keep the seats in those facilities from getting too cold. "Being frozen to the bowl in a public loo robs people of their dignity," he declared at a Friday afternoon press conference. "Let's thaw the sticky circle of homelessness."

Mayor Creepy advises turning down the thermostat and cuddling up with an inexperienced sustainability staffer. The mayor also notes that the two guys who drive the city's snow plow have now located the keys to the truck and are standing by for further instructions. "Your street probably won't be plowed," the mayor said, "but if it is and you get a bill for the service, you may sign an affidavit that you would have shoveled it yourself but didn't have time to prepare. If your application is approved after our review, the fee will be waived -- for this storm only."

Commissioner Nick Fish announced this morning that once freezing temperatures set in, the city will partially refill the bottom of the dredged-out Laurelhurst Park duck pond with water diverted from nearby bioswales, and the parks bureau will open the city's long-delayed public skating rink there. Former Portland Business Alliance head Kim Kimbrough will be on hand from 2 to 5 p.m. on Sunday to autograph exclusion notices. Parks bureau employees are also hoping that enough precipitation will accumulate to allow construction of a festive snowman, PCB Pedro, to complement nearby Cesar Chavez Boulevard.

Tri-Met is gearing up to put chains on the area's buses as a safety measure at the first sign of a snowflake. All buses will be on special "snow routes," which means Fifth and Sixth Avenues between NW Glisan and SW Jefferson Streets. And in keeping with seasonal tradition, dozens of buses will be idling 16 hours a day in front of the U.S. Bank Tower beginning Monday morning at 4:46 a.m. (time approximate).

The transit agency also asks that residents on the west side phone a special tip line (503-238-BUST) if they see anyone riding the WES train. Of course, the MAX lines will shut down entirely if the temperature drops to 31 degrees or below.

Winter weather makes travel to Mount Hood more challenging. Residents of Welches are particularly hard hit by snowstorms and usually need $40 for cab fare home from Sandy.

Perhaps the biggest threat posed by the weather is to the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday. Because of the impending snowstorm, grocers are reportedly running out of turkeys. If you don't already have yours, you're advised to get it right away, at all costs. Portland's streetcars are free this month to anyone carrying a fresh, free-range turkey, dead or alive, in a reusable bag.

In sum, the city is in a state of extreme preparedness. Stay tuned to bojack.org Storm Center 9000.2 for all the latest on the Blizzard of '10. We look out the window -- so that you don't have to.

Comments (16)

Pray for us all in this time of great hardship.

The city put up a banner over Beaverton-Hillsdale Hwy just West of Hillsdale. Holy mackerel. The city encourages weather hysteria

It's a tough call, but that may be my favorite post of 2010.

This is too good to post -- you need to sell some of these -- I hear Conan is buying.

Doesn't the city encourage weather hysteria in order to cover up their inability to handle the most mundane tasks? I was born in Klamath Falls where they used to get a considerable snow fall each winter. The snow plows downtown kept two lanes open through the winter, the center of the streets were seldom if ever plowed and in tough winters used to sometimes reach heights of 6-8 feet. None of this stopped us, my Mother still drove to the market, my Grandmother would drive the 100 plus miles from Silver Lake just to visit and we still went to school each day. Now 40 years later the threat of a dusting of snow sends everyone into a city wide panic.

Could be worse. Here's a warning for SE Oregon:

Statement as of 1:41 PM PST on November 20, 2010

... Strong winter storm system to affect the area Tuesday...

The last in a series of weather systems... and perhaps the
strongest one is forecast to move across the forecast area late
Monday night and Tuesday. The latest projections suggest a period
of light fluffy snow will fall over the area Monday night ahead of
an Arctic cold front. Once the front passes early Tuesday
morning... strong sustained winds will push in behind the front
with higher gusts through the Snake Valley.

Widespread blowing snow with reduced visibility is likely from
early Tuesday morning through the mid afternoon period.
Additionally... rapidly falling temperatures are likely with
readings dropping through the 20s and teens. The combination of
strong winds... falling snow... poor visibility and a heavy travel
period ahead of the Holiday... potentially make this a difficult
if not dangerous time. Stay tuned to the latest forecasts via the
National Weather Service or your favorite media outlet for
updates on this developing weather situation. Later forecasts will
pinpoint where winter weather highlights will be needed.

Here's one for us:

Statement as of 2:10 PM PST on November 20, 2010

... Colder weather is expected late this weekend and early next
week in the interior valleys of southwest Washington and northwest
Oregon and in the western Columbia River gorge... with the
potential for snow at the valley floor...

The low pressure system near the coast will continue to move south
tonight... drawing some colder air from eastern Washington into
the interior valleys and the western Columbia River gorge.

A couple of additional systems dropping south out of British
Columbia Sunday night and again late Monday will allow more
significant cold air to filter into southwest Washington and
northwest Oregon. Snow levels will lower to near the valley floor
late Monday afternoon through Monday night... with the potential
for some snow to accumulate as the system drops to the south. The
best threat for significant snowfall will be in The Gorge.

Low temperatures are likely to drop into the mid and upper 20s in
the valleys early in the week... with slow moderation to follow for
the latter half of the week. After Monday it appears drier
conditions are in store as high pressure builds over the region.

While a lot of details are still up in the air... now would be a
good time to make preparations for colder temperatures and possible
snow in The Lowlands.

Heh! Nice! I agree with B that this is one of your best posts of the year.

This stuff is so good it's almost as if you made it up.

Eek Snow in the Metro area!!!

What should I do???!!!

Stock-up on food? Get tire chains? A shovel?

What is a cowering ubanite to do?

Is there anyone out there from Montana who can put my chains on my SUV for me?


I'm heading back east Sunday to hang with the folks that know how to deal with snow, ice, and other winter mayhem!

I'll be checking Storm Center 9000 for the up-to-the-minute reports.

Stay safe and warm everyone.

I for one Welcome our new Overlords.

All Hail, The White Death From Above.

Jack, one of your best posts, however it is based on facts, Thanks Creepy for the news conference.
http://www.nwcn.com/news/oregon/Portland-could-see-snow-in-spots-by-Sunday-night-109525004.html

It's not a winter storm until we see the weatherperson hanging onto the street sign pole in Troutdale.

I wonder if Creepy didn't do this just to get his chains installed for free.

. . Portlanders should be ready for weather, Mayor Sam Adams stated. "Be prepared for snow and ice this weekend and especially on Monday. Put together an emergency kit for your vehicle that will keep you warm and safe if you get stranded, and plan your Monday commute now. Be sure you have an alternate way home." He urges drivers to carry chains. "Essential equipment for everyone is a snow shovel, sand or de-icer, and traction devices. If you live or travel in the hills, get chains. Dry fit them, carry them in your car, and use them," said Adams. . .

I'm sure many will see this as helpful, but after what I have observed about our city and what looks like they are short of money, I couldn't help but think of this:

So, the money-pit they have created down
at city hall, this may be another action
where they are asking the citizens to do
more and more themselves. Meaning that
we are short of funds to take care of all
that we need to do with the winter storms
less money for the trucks, etc. so you
citizens need to shovel and work your way
out of this one. And by the way, we may
put on the next ballot, whether you would
approve of more money for snow removal
trucks and equipment after having
a winter of shoveling yourselves out
the mess, you might be understanding of
the situation and vote Yes! Oh and
another benefit by not taking care of
the roads, we can guarantee a little
extra cash for the Tri-Met Milwaukie
light rail. Go by light rail!

Remember this group can spend like mad for pet projects but not for us.

Most likely the insiders will have the money to get out of Dodge during winter storms and enjoy their sunny vacation spots
while we are busy shoveling.


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