Skip to content

Seaside Stories

The Big Storm

December 15, 2010 | by Shanda Bonn

The Oregon Climate Service calls it the Great Coastal Gale of 2007, but here in Seaside we just call it The Big Storm. As wind and rain pounded my house last night, my husband and I recalled the storm that touched down 3 years ago this month. I remember standing on the rocky shores of Cove Beach holding up our cell phones trying to get a signal. We looked like characters in a sci-fi movie hailing the aliens. There were dramatic scenes raging all over the Pacific Northwest, but few outside our area knew what was happening in our town because of the loss of phone service. Today, I asked others around town what they remembered from the storm and our subsequent week without power.

Seaside residents, Wendy and Kim, remembered the Cove scene as well. Kim loaned out her phone several times to folks who couldn’t get a signal even out at the beach. Wendy said, “People made cardboard signs saying ‘Cellphones work here.’” She went on to say, “We had gas at my house, so a group of people would come over for showers. Then we’d all migrate over to someone else’s house to cook dinner over their camp stoves.” Kim talked about the half-pig and half-cow she had just bought prior to the storm. She ended up feeding a lot of people that week. “My husband asked if we should buy a half-cow this year and I said NO! Definitely not.” We haven’t seen a storm like that since, but she doesn’t want to push it!

Visiting with Sandy and Laura at the Seaside Chamber of Commerce, they recalled how they kept their offices open, ready to assist residents and visitors, all huddled around a little kerosene stove and a makeshift phone system. Sandy remembers KMUN radio as being the one source of information on the coast. “At one point the DJ said, ‘Would someone just come down and answer the phones?’” So she and two others trundled over to the station to field numerous calls. “It felt good to be doing something to help people,” she said. Laura laughingly added the one lesson she came away with: If you hear a big storm is coming – get your laundry done! “I was surrounded by piles of dirty laundry. That and no shower made for a great experience 3 days into the power outage when news crews came to interview me!”

Joey Daniels, Training Officer for Seaside Fire and Rescue, recalls how well the community came together in spite of being somewhat unprepared for such a large-scale crisis. He said the Fire Department, as one of the few places in town with a generator, became an instant command center and provided back up for the Police Department and Public Works. The station also became a safe haven for firefighters and their families. It was a strain, though, to serve as a makeshift evacuation center. People were sleeping in the firefighters’ beds and on chairs and floors as well! People even came to hook up their oxygen machines and other medical devices. He said the storm served to motivate the City to be more prepared in the future. A lot of places around town now have generators including the Seaside Convention Center, a much better evacuation site, he says. And the City has instituted an Instant Management System for emergencies with a Public Information Officer and administrative personnel.

Leave a Reply

and so much more!

Broadway Boon

A glimpse at the history and evolution of Broadway.

Learn More
Ben Holladay’s Seaside House

Ben Holladay's Seaside House was a beautiful Italian villa style resort that was the namesake for the city.

Learn More
Grant’s Getaways: Paddling the Neawanna in Seaside

If our summer heat wave is getting the best of you – sapping your energy and leaving you feeling generally uncomfortable, perhap...

Learn More
SOLV Beach Clean Up

When I look at our beaches I don’t see garbage. I see a breathtaking coastline, and I think how lucky we are to have such pristine beauty right in our own backyard. I believe most beachgoers, both locals and tourists, are conscientious about disposing their refuse properly after a day playing on the beach. So why do we have the SOLV beach cleanup twice a year?

Learn More
How to Have Fun in the Sand in Seaside

Seaside’s soft, wide and sometimes sun-kissed beaches make for the perfect family-friendly vacation. With miles of sand and welc...

Learn More
Where to Find Your Seaside Centennial Keepsakes

While you’re walking around in Seaside looking to beat the heat, you might start with a super-tall, non-alcoholic frozen refresh...

Learn More
Convention Center Adds Outdoor Mural

Seaside Oregon Civic & Convention Center adds outdoor mural

Learn More
Seaside’s Holiday Events Shine Bright in 2022

If you’ve missed the thrill of Seaside holidays the last couple of years, you’re in for a treat. Yuletide in Seaside events ar...

Learn More
Episode Three: the Seaside Aquarium

Take the audio walking tour of Seaside

Learn More
Chowder for Dooger’s Next Generation: Carnegie Wiese

Doug Wiese and his son Carnegie know a great bowl of clam chowder. It’s the signature dish at their family-run restaurant, Dooge...

Learn More
Seaside Library

A look at the humble beginnings of the Seaside Public Library

Learn More
The Art of the Stroll: Celebrate Seaside’s Prom Centennial

When’s the last time you strolled the Prom? It’s a tradition synonymous with Seaside, thanks to the 1.5- mile paved, accessibl...

Learn More
Gayway Park in the early 1960s

Gayway Park in the 1960s was a major family attraction in Seaside, Oregon

Learn More
Grab a Great Cup of Coffee or Roast Your Own Beans

Want your favorite coffee drink for free? Easy! Help us keep the beach clean and your coffee is on us. Foggy days on the beach, ev...

Learn More
Seaside Summer Event Guide

We know that Seaside’s stellar location is reason enough to visit. But summers here are jam-packed with events that you won’t ...

Learn More
A volunteer assists those watching whales at an unknown location along the Oregon Coast.
Where to Watch for Whales

It’s possible to see gray whales off the Oregon Coast year-round, but one of two peak periods occurs in late March, when some 20...

Learn More
Seaside Inside for Kids

Seaside is known for a variety of outdoor activities to enjoy during most of the year and it’s not uncommon to have a 60-plu...

Learn More
Building a Seaside Mountain Biking Culture

The Oregon Coast is widely recognized as the setting for many incredible outside activities. Located at the end of Lewis and Clark...

Learn More