Neighbors inspect a tree that fell over Howe Street at Nob Hill Avenue North during the Columbus Day Storm that hit the Pacific Northwest on October 12, 1962. The storm originated in the central Pacific Ocean as Typhoon Freda and became an extratropical cyclone as it moved over cooler waters and into the jet stream, producing sustained high winds and gusts of up to 80-180 mph that pummeled the coastline and western interior from Northern California to British Columbia. The storm caused 46 deaths and injured hundreds more. Damage was estimated at $250 million across the region, over $2 billion in today’s dollars. Oregon suffered the most damage, accounting for $200 million of the estimated total. The storm quickly weakened as it moved north past British Columbia. Although the region has been threatened by extratropical cyclones in the intervening 58 years, none have surpassed or even come close to matching the violent and destructive force of the 1962 Columbus Day Storm.
Image credit: Seattle Times