October 12 marks the 60th anniversary of the Columbus Day Storm, the most devastating windstorm in recorded western United States history.
The Cowlitz County Historical Museum and the Cowlitz County Emergency Management Department will air a storm-inspired disaster preparedness podcast episode next week. The episode will air on KLOG and is already available on the radio station’s Cowlitz podcast network.
The North Clark Historical Museum in Amboy has a storm exhibit on Saturday and October 22. This last date includes an afternoon program where people who were alive during the storm can come and share their memories. People can also contact the museum anytime to share stories at 360-247-5800 or [email protected]
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Admission to the North Clark Historical Museum, located at 21416 NE 399th St., is free. Visitors can also purchase a $1 raffle ticket to win a quilt, which will be on display at the library on October 22 with proceeds benefiting the library.
The Columbus Day storm hit the West Coast on October 12, 1962, and created gusts of wind that reached around 150 mph in Oregon and 90 mph in Vancouver. More than a billion board feet of trees have been felled in Washington State and Oregon. An Oregon State University scientist said that, adjusted for inflation, the storm caused more than $1 billion in damage.
Cowlitz County avoided the worst of the storm, with no deaths reported among Longview residents and 16 injuries recorded.
Reports and photos show the wind blew the roof off the RA Long High School football stadium, knocked over planes at the Southwest Washington Regional Airport, shattered windows in homes and businesses across the county and cut the electricity for long periods.