This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on December 5, 2007 5:54 AM. The previous post in this blog was Packin' 'em in. The next post in this blog is Every 'dog has its day. Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

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Wednesday, December 5, 2007

You can't get there from here

The severe impact of the hellacious storms that just blew through here took a while to sink in. The weather forecasters really messed with our minds last weekend, when they called for snow in Portland. As usual, they were wrong about that, and so a lot of us figured that they were also pulling our legs about the intensity of the storms that were about to barrel in. Even after the worst of the weather passed through on Monday, I was thinking that the news outlets were crying wolf.

But last night, on my way home, I saw a flashing sign over the freeway that finally brought home to me what a big deal this event was. It said something like "I-5 N to Seattle closed at milepost 68 -- take I-84 to US 97 to I-90."

US 97? I-90? Man, that's messed up.

Comments (14)

I know I am on my way out the door now to catch a Horizon flight to Seattle, where I had planned to drive. Puts quite a crimp in my day, to have to sort out what I bring and have all my instruments go through airport security, and hassle instead of just driving up with my trunk full of tools.

The real weather event in no way excuses local broadcasting from the lies and half-truths they tell every day simply to get us to stay tuned. I hope evryone will take a second to either call the broadcasting corporations (ewww) or email and let them know if they don't start telling the truth we are going to un-tune. Long Live The Fourth Estate!

Call for elevated interstate (paid for with further cuts to rail) to be heard in three ... two ...

HA! "cuts" to rail....now THATS dreaming!

It's not over yet - my basement is still covered in running water from the water table. I hope its going to stop today ...

"...we are going to un-tune..."

I did that years ago. Now that I don't listen to them, they still don't listen to me. I guess now it's a fair trade at least. [shrug]

For cars the Yakima detour is industrial strength stupid. I 5 north to SR 12, SR 12 east to SR 7, SR 7 north and west to I 5.

SR 7 is not a route for hundreds of 18 wheekers, but for cars its fine,

That section of I-5 has been as known to be a flood problem as the inadequate levies in NO.
The irresponsible WDOT and WA elected officials who recklessly allowed the interstate to be closed by rain is shameless.
But just as Oregon officials do the same here by funding Milwaukie Light rail ahead of the Sellwood Bridge replacement, along with many other similar misjudgments, folks like you back them up over and over again.
The current glacial process for a new Columbia River Crossing is headed towards more of the same as officials force our light rail to Vancouver. Other Metro area transportation plans for the next 20 years all spell gridlock, pollution and chaos for commuters, commerce and our economy.
Unfortunately you'll be electing Sam Adams as Mayor and re-electing the same regime to seal this bad deal.
We'll spend billions more on light rail, streetcars and SoWa-like developement
while claiming there's no money for roads.
While we're watching more shinny stuff being built congestion will soar, affordable housing will disappear, basic services will starve and Samd and the Oregonian will continue to call it "Smart Growth".

Bob, I think your blanket statement does a disservice to the great number of journalists who try to do a good job for their viewers/listerns/readers. I'm not naive enough to think that news folks don't engage in hype, or make mistakes, or even let biases creep into their work. But overall, I think they do a pretty good job for a public that too often WANTS things to be spectacular and fluffy and easy to consume--and frankly, doesn't listen very well. The fact is, weather forecasting is complicated stuff, and while the quality of the work performed by the people doing it in Northwest broadcasting varies, there are some excellent, dedicated professionals providing amazingly good information. Check out this from Mark Nelsen at Fox12 from last Thursday. Reading this, I hope you can see all the variables at play in trying to give an accurate wintertime forecast; how hard he works to sort through it all; and how perfectly he nailed the forecast. Mabye you heard someone else forecast a broadcast, but what I heard from Mark -- and most of the others -- was that the snow was a close call. Some erred on the wrong side, but even the worst forecasts weren't that far off.

Heard those Alaska Airlines commercials referring to the commute to Seattle as "The Slog"? Brings a whole new meaning.

20 miles of I-5 closed due to water.......time to elevate the freeway, wouldn't want businesses to leave the state because of poor infrastructure. There is only so many times that they will put up with this.

I personally blame the Portland City Council, who spent money on the tram instead of on ... uh, something else, so that, well, this flooding could have stopped. Come on commenters, surely there's someone out there who can launch such an attack!?!

Oh, never mind, looks like George got it done. Whew.

Sleepy Ted was blaming the weather forecasters after observing the devastation from his hybrid powered helicopter ride.

The prevalence of people not knowing, and asking massmind media who don't know, for answers to know, is blind-leading-the-blind bad enough.

Then worse, there are haters leading the blind. People-Hater LIARS Larson broadcasting Monday put a hoax voice on air saying I-5 was washed out south of Salem, and closed both ways, and all I-5 traffic should detour 99-W through McMinnville. LIARS ate it up and went Code Important to get all traffic tuned in to him to get off the freeway. Caused quite a car mess before someone got through to LIARS that his programming is false.

The media dummies who don't know snow, Jack, can be removed for irresponsibile airing, at least. LIARS airs liars and sponsors can't tell the difference.

Just talked to a client this afternoon who had to take this WA DOT "Detour" last time I-5 was flooded. Talk about taking the long way home!
Also, for those needing to go to Seattle on friday - forget about taking the Horizon shuttle - that is if you plan on returning the same day. Most flights from SEATAC to PDX sold out in the PM hours.
Maybe better if you leave saturday. Looks like WA ODOT will re-open I-5 by then according to their website.

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