Way back in the last century, I was due to be born on the first anniversary of the Columbus Day Storm. That didn't actually happen (and I was taken out via Caesarean a week later), but I heard about that storm a LOT while growing up. There were horrific winds that knocked down trees and fences and shattered windows. For years afterward, my parents made us sleep in the middle of the house when a major storm came through. It was a long time before their paranoia dropped off.
I used to think that "the Columbus Day Storm" was my mother's personal label for that memorable event, but I Googled it a few years ago and found an entire Wikipedia article on it. That storm was basically an inland hurricane that caused damage from Northern California to British Columbia, with the bulk of the destruction in Oregon. Collapsed buildings, flattened forests, and power outages that lasted weeks. There was a gust measured at 127mph in the Willamette Valley. Holy cow!
This past weekend's storm didn't even come close, thank goodness-- and the 130mph winds predicted for parts of the coast never happened. But it got me thinking back to that particular specter of my childhood, the storm that became legend.
And for those of you who live in places other than Northern California, Oregon, and I assume Washington, we have other traditional local precautions you may not be familiar with. They start with "Never turn your back on the ocean."
And we mean it. :O