For you, the dress code is casual.

Friday, December 15, 2006

meteorological chaos, anyone?

i've lived in vancouver nearly all my life, save a year spent in the great white north, aka Yukon.

never, ever, ever have i seen a winter like this -- and it's not even winter yet. in six weeks, we've had nearly a dozen storms strong enough to knock out power, and last night was the worst yet.

i have a friend from work who lives in one of the oldest buildings in the city, the Lee Building, at main and broadway, and it's about nine or ten floors high. during the night, the wind sent projectiles of all kind hurtling through the city air, and a number of windows blew out, apparently sounding like something pretty freaky. yeah, i can imagine.

winds reached hurricane force, and people like me who've lived here longer than they can remember don't recall a storm like this. a) we don't get hurricanes and b) we get gusts, not prolonged winds.

Stanley Park, one of pride and joys of this city, and one of the top five largest urban parks in the world, took a beating like none other. an aerial shot was shown on the news tonight, and i
kid you not, i almost cried when i saw the sheer volume of trees taken down in the storm. from overhead, it looked like half. half of 1000 acres. nearly a hundred trees were reported fallen on the causeway, let alone within the forests.

me, i wear hearing aids. i can sleep through nearly anything, but last night myclosed windows blew open and cannisters on my window were blown off the still and onto the floor and counter. i woke.

no one was injured. miracle of miracles.

but one of the greenest, most forested cities in the world has been taking a thrashing this fall. everywhere you go, branches are down, trees are down. homes wrecked. this has been ongoing now for six weeks, and it's been getting more severe as the weeks have passed by. to put this into perspective, NINE storms now in SIX WEEKS have had enough intensity that they've taken out power (today's took out power to more than a quarter million homes -- in a region with 2.5 million population, and some 30,000 or more had been left without power since monday's storm, which took out another 100,000 then).

last year? two storms in the ENTIRE fall/winter/spring seasons. total.

yeah. how's that for your comprehension, huh? fuckin' hell.

when my dad was sick in the hospital, we had more than a third the annual rainfall (in a RAINFOREST, mind you!) in just 10 days. he didn't grasp then how fuct the weather has been but he's sure had a crash course since he emerged! pun full intended, i assure you.

what can you say? it is what it is. i'm sad as hell to see the trees coming down. some, in stanley park, are literally centuries and centuries old. aboreal behemoths, really. many precede the influx of white folk in this region. and they're coming down left, right, and centre. yeah, you're fucking right i'm sad about it.

but what can you do, right? a lot of people lost homes last night, or at least large portions of their homes. i'm sad for them. but no one's died. our ecological history's toppling down all around us though. some say it's the worst storm since a hurricane landed here in 1953. hydro employees on the front line say they've never seen anything like it in two, three decades.

i'd heard the forecast -- "worst storm in a decade to land tonight" but, fuck, man. surprising!

the airport claims about 100 klicks an hour, whereas some parts of Victoria received winds hitting 160 km/h.

makes ya think twice about nice, big, sexy trees in your yard, i tell you. me, i've no such worries. still, what a night. i rode my scooter to work at 11:30 this morning, thinking the worst was over. sure it was, but it was still simmering, if not raging. a 15-20 minute scooter ride was nearly 45 minutes today, and no, i didn't have the balls to attempt crossing a bridge while the winds still blew. i took the long way as i'm not sure i'm ready to test my theories of personal immortality just yet, thanks.

but the stanley park thing, god. how sad is that? an unbelievably beautiful urban park is getting decimated this winter. fortunately it's still surrounded by majestic mountains and ocean. but us lifers in this region know what we're missing, and yeah, it's a sad, sad thing today.

aside from that, i'm good but tired and drained and hotly anticipating my sleep-in. my phone's getting turned off now. sleep, perchance to rest. god knows i need it after this week. (that's two big storms this week alone.)