EUGENE, Ore. — No one would find it odd for a bank or post office to be shut down for Columbus Day, but fifty years ago, on October 12,1962, it was more than just the mailman who ended up with the day off.
One of the worst storms ever recorded in western Oregon shut down the entire city. This storm was felt by folks from San Francisco to Seattle. Its force, only matched by a category 3 hurricane. Winds as high as 127 miles per hour in the valley, and nearly 180 miles per hour near the coast left these lasting impressions. An experience that no one since or before has endured in this area.
Never again have we seen this perfect combination of a dying typhoon and a strong jet stream to move winds like that, right here through western Oregon.
According to the National Weather Service, nearly 50 people lost their lives in this storm. The wind destroyed 50,000 homes, caused $200 million in damage and left thousands of people without power for close to three weeks
For those who lived through that fateful day, it’s a storm they’ll never forget. If you remember where you were when the storm hit, comment with your story below.