December 17, 2006
Best Info During The Storm?
In the thirty or so hours that the power was
out here, I looked hard for information about the storm. I listened to the radio and used my
laptop with a dial-up connection to check sites on the internet.
On the whole, I can not say that I was very successful in learning what I wanted to know.
KOMO seemed to do a better job than its competitor,
KIRO, at least while I was listening, but neither gave me a very
clear picture. The Puget Sound Energy
web site was not very informative until at
least a day had passed — perhaps because they didn't know what was going on themselves.
None of the stations I listened to, or web sites I looked at, gave a list of the places that still
had power. A map showing the affected areas would have been a great help to those who were
wondering whether they needed to help friends and relatives, but I could not find one anywhere.
I'm not sure how easy it would have been to create even a rough map, but the two Seattle newspapers or
one of the local television stations might have been able to do it.
But perhaps your experience was different from mine. Were you able to get the information you
needed about storm damage? If so, what were your best sources?
Posted by Jim Miller at December 17, 2006
05:50 PM | Email This
1. I stayed up and listened mostly to KOMO during the actual storm itself (a long night, to be sure), and it was very helpful to gain a sense of how conditions were. After hearing from those who'd driven through it at 2:30 and 3:00, I was able to ascertain very early on that roads early in the morning just were too strewn with trees and branches and downed lines all over to drive, and that pretty much nobody on the east side had power.
My hubby was able to use what I'd told him to make a decision at 5:00 in the morning to close both of his offices (not an easy decision to make). Being wrong can be very expensive. But in this case he was able to call his office managers and tell them before 5:30 am to cancel the day. When daylight broke, and more report came in on the radio, we were able to discern that it was the right choice. Would've been much tougher (not having TV) to know what to do without that.
Our best sources were outselves.
We went out and drove the area, and saw absolutely nothing happening until this morning. I am not laying blame, or critisizing; I know this was a huge mess to untangle.
I was just disheartened to hear on KIRO that we should "call PSE and let them know your neighborhood still had no power" last night.
I figure the electric companies already knew who didnt have power. But without a phone, that's tough to do.
Don't count on PSE for much more than you're getting. Since they outsourced their maintenance crews a few years back, they do little but splice and re-tension the wires. Knowledgeable sources tell me their whole infrastructure is crumbling, much like our bridges and highways. I hope PSE executives and shareholders are pleased...they're the ones benefitting.
KOMO was better than KIRO. To have David Goldstein on and bloviating information about the storm and commisserating with the liberal ideologues is just short of pathetic ! KOMO wins that award. Too bad a few other stations couldn't get into the act.
Yes, PSE outsourced to Potelco and they have a tough task - tougher than the Inauguration Day storm to commemorate when blowhard Clinton was sworn in or at to office. The service is no worse around here (Renton) than say 8 years ago or maybe it was luck of draw this time. Outsourcing seems to be bringing this country down in the name of the almighty dollar. If anything will do in a society, it is greed, self-centeredness and over indulgence. It happened in Rome, it can happened to any culture no matter if it is 2006...
KOMO had better coverage than KIRO. To have David Goldstein on and bloviating information on KIRO this evening about the storm and commisserating with the liberal ideologues is very close to pathetic ! Too bad a few other stations couldn't get into the act.
Yes, PSE outsourced to Potelco and they have a tough task - tougher than the Inauguration Day storm to commemorate when blowhard Clinton was sworn in or at to office. The service is no worse around here (Renton) than say 8 years ago or maybe it was luck of draw this time. Outsourcing seems to be bringing this country down in the name of the almighty dollar. If anything will do in a society, it is greed, self-centeredness and over indulgence. It happened in Rome, it can happen to any culture no matter if it is 2006...
Any station that runs Goldstein is not to be taken seriously.
I found very little info on the storms anywhere and I only lost power for a few minutes. It made me think twice about how bad our local officials would suck were a real disaster like a large Earthquake to strike the Sound. I'm going to be stocking up my emergency preparedness kit. One things for sure, if you wait for the government to come and save you, your dead.
7. You don't need power to use a regular telephone. However, you do need power to use your wireless or multi-function phone. Make sure your emergency kit includes a plain ordinary no-power-needed phone.
BTW KS, if you don't like outsourcing, speak up loudly regarding unions.
It's the high cost of employee benefits and over-inflated union salaries that are the largest factor in outsourcing. Businesses outsource because they would not be competitive if they did not. I'd rather see, for example, Boeing survive with outsourcing than watch unions destroy a great American company.
9. KOMO radio coverage during the storm was good. I was up most of the night listening [with fresh batteries in my CCRadio].
10. I think KOMO did a nice job on their coverage. KIRO had some idiot named Ron, or Don, who actually gave out wrong information. We lost power in Kenmore on Thursday night and it came back on Sunday. Our radio was tuned to KOMO most of the time.
Steve Poole 6 45 then Weather Underground, with a final check of Weather Underground at 10 30 -- both were correct in their predictions.
(I find it strange that Steve Poole does not have his own show outside of the news hour. He is the only literate one in the pack...)
12. Port of Seattle is my nominee for worst info during the storm. At 11:00 PM on Friday night, I was at my office, since my power at home was out, checking the internet for flight arrivals. The Sea-Tac airport website said the flight was on time and would arrive at 11:33 PM. I left my office in Lacey and headed to Sea-Tac. At 2:00 AM, after circling around the airport loop for 2 hours, I got a call from my sister saying her flight never left Las Vegas. I returned to my 35 degree home west of Olympia a little after 3:00 AM. The folks at Sea-Tac/Pork of Seattle have the time to put up, take, down, and then put back up the Christmas trees but don't have the time or decency to update their website (or at least provide accurate information) in a time of many delays and canceled flights.
13. I Listened to both KOMO and KIRO at night while playing cards by candle light. KOMO won hands down between the two!
14. Steve Poole DID do a fine job forcasting the storm. He and the National Weather Service only missed on one point, and that was to over estimate the winds along the Strait and east Jefferson County. Our strongest gusts were about the same as the rest of Puget Sound, rather than our normal Seattle +30-50%. We actually had fiercer gusts during last Monday's storm than on Thursday/Friday.
Understand your frustration with unions and totally agree that greedy unions have been a major factor (see UAW) in driving the American worker from the world market.
PSE's line workers were well compensated for their labors prior to the Company's decision to outsource their jobs. Wages, benefits and working conditions certainly played a role in the decision. Puget's line crews, however, were vastly superior to Potelco in terms of workmanship, on-the-job safety and facility maintenance. The contractor world's "hit and run" tactics do not match up well with long-term support of infrastructure. And Potelco's corporate profits are just another slice out of the utility bill pie...a slice I'd rather do without, given the fact my utility bills still seem to rise at the same rate.
worst weather guy, and i'm regressing..
Andy Wappler; during snowstorm of Thanksgiving this guy predicted 6 inches...ok, while NWS website said at most 1, and likely not even that. Even the other rah rah weather people retreated on their snow forecast.
If they are going to spew blather and nonsense, at least get someone funny or pretty; he's none of the above
We did have a landline phone to use when the cordless phones went out. But then by Saturday morning, those were dead as well.
Klahani neighborhoods up here have buried power lines - the entire state should move that way. It's not like they dont know that we have these issues every single winter in Puget Sound.
Granted, with the liberals in charge for so long, that probably wont happen in our lifetime. Common sense just isnt their forte.
17- i doubt a fiscal conservative wants underground line...
We don't live in Switz or France w/ dense populations adjacent to nuclear plants or other sources....
we have 1 acre+ lots out in Woodinville, 200 miles from grand coulee or wherever it is we get power...
As ugly and problematic as they are; i don't see changing that, save for in the neighborhoods (where you do it for aesthetics, and thank you very much, pay for it yourselves)
I found it near impossible to find out information about the South Sound. KGY - Olympia's so-called news station - wasn't even in news mode the morning after the storm
, let alone in the days that followed. Absolutely pathetic display from a station that considers itself a community leader.
Spent the time listening to KOMO. KIRO couldn't seem to be bothered into covering anything outside of the urban growth boundary of King County.
There is a serious vacuum in this region when it comes to finding out disaster information.
righton @ 16,
I don't think Wappler has a clue, either. We had 10 inches of snow, as did much of the western reaches of the Puget Sound region. No offense to you personally (and I haven't a clue where you live), but what I've noticed during the past six weeks is that Seattle and the "east side" (Woodinville, Sammamish Plateau, Bellevue, etc.) think the whole region revolves around them. In actuality, Seattle and vicinity gets a pass on most of the region's worst weather. Try dealing with Fraser Canyon ice storms in Whatcom County, Mason County floods, snowfall in foothill areas or Hood Canal/Juan de Fuca/Whidbey Island windstorms.
To be honest, I wouldn't trade our diverse and exciting weather with any other area in the U.S., and that's one of the reasons I've continued to live here. (55 year Puget Sound lifer)
oh come on... wherever you live, that's what youre interested in. dont blame eastsiders for the pathetic media coverage.
we live in sammamish and we didnt hear one word about our area on KIRO, not once, until sunday night. KIRO was the only station we could get clearly for many hours of the day.
We've lived here for 10 years and we've had week long power outtages, ice storms and heavy snow fall just like your area. the eastside, and seattle, do not "get a pass" on the storms.. what utter nonsense.
My beef isn't geographic bias, but hysteria/ineptitude.
I mean they've all gone Jim Foreman; any storm is major, now even any forecast means the worst.
Tip; i now use the NWS "forecast discussion" site (search for it). You get to read what the weather guys are jib jabbing about and its either very accurate or at the least they admit when they are guessing (i find that honesty refreshing)
Remember; kiro/king/komo are trying to grab your eyebal to get a commercial in front of you; no commercials, no station.
How about worst newsreader, worst weatherman?
newsreader ; jean enersen, just because
worst weatherdude; wappler
I agree on Wapler and certainly Enerson and thanks for the tip on the "forecast discussion" site. I'll look for it.
Touch a nerve? Only in the close-in suburbs did I see reports of weenies ditching their cars in the middle of the street and walking home in one inch of snow.
And to say Seattle and the "burbs" get the same weather as the places I noted (@ 20) is lunacy. Step out of Starbucks Land and check out some of the really rural areas, where people deal with the weather, rather than whine about it.
24. Best source, hands down, during the storm was my police scanner.
I checked TV broadcasts using a battery operated handhled TV (only used during news broadcasts to conserve batteries), and monitored a battery operated police scanner (goes about 16 hours on one charge; with two packs, that gave 36 hours). Most, if not all, of the police and fire dispatch agencies were operating with generators.
Handheld TV was good for summary info. (I listened to KIRO/KING), but the scanner provided the best detailed info on where the power outages were, and what roads were blocked in my area, where there were power lines down, and also what gas stations were pumping gas. This info comes instantly, as officers report in as they make observations. Also, lets you know if the bad guys are hangin' out in your neighborhood. With the correct type of scanner, and frequency listings, you can listen to PSE, PUD, local public works, etc., and get good information that gives you an idea of how much damage there is, and what areas to avoid.
The down side of a scanner is, you have to listen constantly.
speaking of whining; guess your internet penis is bigger than mine .. you win!
and maybe you should stop bitching about living outside of the suburbs since it sounds absolutely ghastly.
as for 'the one inch of snow' .. hardly. we got 8 inches here in Sammamish and live with a steep incline. sorry, but just cause you live in the trashier areas doesnt mean i want to pay my deductible to prove you wrong.
lauri @ 26:
"speaking of whining; guess your internet penis is bigger than mine .. you win!"
This is off-topic, but I laughed so hard when I read this part of your post it brought tears to my eyes! I think you won this one...(and I'm a guy)...
Who is bitching, I love living apart from whining elitists like you. And as far as "trashier areas" are concerned, I wouldn't trade my acreage and home on the beautiful Olympic Peninsula for anything in an overpriced yupville like Sammamish.
29. Sammamish has that kind of reputation? I just thought of it as a nice, family-oriented city, even if it IS pricey. I didn't know it had a negative reputation. Is this really true??
To many of us long-time rural or small-town folks, Sammamish, Woodinville, Issaquah & Co. embody the major cultural shift this region has endured in the last 25 years or so. Areas that were once inhabited by farmers, loggers, sawmill workers and small-town business owners have become strip malls surrounded by elitist Microsoft yuppies who seem more concerned with who owns the most ostentatious house or the most egregious SUV, rather than true neighborhood or regional quality of life. You can read it in Lauri's responses. I took a few jabs at urban folks complaining about the weather and she responds by saying anything outside the "burbs" is "trashy". I'm quite certain many of the small towns in the NW are not up to Lauri's standards, but to the people who live in those areas, its home. I own a beautiful home, on acreage, in east Jefferson County, on the Olympic Peninsula. I would never in a million years trade my existance for the traffic, crime and wall-to-wall existance of the city or burbs. I do encourage city dwellers, as well as those who live in the "burbs", to take some time to visit Nooksack, Darrington, Hoodsport, Seabeck McCleary, Eatonville, Stanwood or other small towns. You might find those areas beautiful rather than "trashy", and their inhabitants refreshing and friendly, rather than stressed out from the "white knuckle", competitive life in the "burbs". Anyway, Merry Christmas and all the best, Lauri, Michele and all.
31. Saltherring: No question that life in the ruburbs, or even more remote than that, may be wonderful for some among us. But it seems to me that touting the attributes of your choice may not be the smartest way to avoid the growth you obviously like so well!
I would welcome conservative, entrepreneurial people to move to rural Jefferson County and start businesses, as we need jobs for our young folks. Washington has too many people crammed into the I-5/I-405 corridors and I would think some of those folks would consider relocating to escape congestion, crime and stress. I wouldn't trade sitting alongside my stream with my wife and my German Shepherd, watching the salmon come home, for all the coffee in the Starbucks empire.
"I would welcome conservative, entrepreneurial people to move to rural Jefferson County and start businesses, as we need jobs for our young folks. Washington has too many people crammed into the I-5/I-405 corridors and I would think some of those folks would consider relocating to escape congestion, crime and stress."
What...you...said! I'd drop everything and join you right now (save me a spot in Seabeck!), but you nailed the reasons why I can't: NO JOBS.
So my idyllic country life will have to wait until retirement.
Finally got power after 6 days!! WORST info was PSE spokesman Martha.
Monday AM on several media Marta states that all the major transmission lines are back up and crews working on local distribution lines. Ooops, according to actual PSE service people inform me that 53 of the 85 are up...the spouse also saw two on the ground on the way to work.
Martha dear also informed monday listeners that PSE has a automated system that will inform residents neighborhood by neighborhood when to expect the restoration of electricity. Hah! Ours was listed as "Maple Valley, Ravensdale, and Covington - expect electrictity to be restored within 5 days."
The sad part is that listeners were making choices for their safety and the safety of their children & families based on her misinformation. Is she just stupid, or attempting to make it appear that Puget Sound Energy had the situation under control?
PS this is a snark on Martha and the spin machine, not a knock to the linemen and repair crews doing an awesome job.