Delenda Est Carthago

Why not delve into a twisted mind? Thoughts on the world, history, politics, entertainment, comics, and why all shall call me master!

Location: Mesa, Arizona, United States

I plan on being the supreme dictator of the country, if not the world. Therefore, you might want to stay on my good side. Just a hint: ABBA rules!


Picture Day is back in Portland - Old Testament style!

People say it rains a lot in Portland. As offended Portlanders will tell you, it rains more per annum in Houston than it does in Portland. However, I would guess that in Houston all that rain comes in about a month during hurricane season, while in Portland it is spread out over many months. And in Portland, it will rain one day in the winter and then be overcast for a week, with a little drizzle for a few minutes each day. So it just seems like it rains all the time.

Of course, sometimes it rains a lot, and it's relatively warm, and snow melts, and bad things - like floods - occur. In February 1996 one such flood occurred, and it was a doozy. It wasn't quite as bad as the one in the '60s that the newspapers kept referencing (I can't remember the exact year, sorry!), but it was close. However, we were safe and the weather after the flood was beautiful for February - balmy (low 60s) and sunny, so we did what any reasonable person would do - took pictures!

First we have a pretty typical flood picture - the Willamette is very high, the water is nice and muddy. Just easing you in!

The Willamette rose almost as high as it could go. It's usually a good 20-30 below this level, but as you can see, it almost reached the top. That would have been an even bigger disaster than this was. It didn't crest, though, and downtown was saved!

That's the Hawthorne Bridge, by the way, with the Morrison in the background and the two towers of the Iron Bridge in the distance. Portland's bridges are way cool.

Down by the river is an area with shops and condominia. It got hit pretty hard, as you can see. It's okay, though, because they only people who live down there are snooty rich people. Suckers!

(Okay, that's mean. Sorry, rich snooty people. Nobody should have to deal with everything they own getting waterlogged. That would suck.)

Here's another picture showing the effects of the flood. That's the Hawthorne Bridge again.

This was, unfortunately, an all-too-common sight around town that weekend. The state once commissioned a study that showed cutting trees down caused more erosion. You think? We didn't live in a mudslide area, so we escaped this kind of thing.

I love panoramic views of things (who doesn't?), so we drove up on Terwilliger Boulevard to get a better look. This is one of the pictures from up high.

(By the way, Matt Groening did grow up in Portland, and many of the names on The Simpsons are place names in and around the Rose City. If you ever wondered where Milhouse's last name came from, there's a Van Houten Street near the University of Portland. Sideshow Bob, obviously, gets his last name from this road.)

Here is some more devastation, but with added freakiness! This is the apartment complex where we lived when we first moved to Portland! Had we still been living there, our apartment would have survived, as it was on the other side of the driveway from this structure, but this building would have landed on our car. So we were pretty happy we didn't live there anymore.

The next day we figured we had seen enough of the flood, so we thought of other things to do. My mom happened to be visiting us at the time, and she is always jazzed about going to museums and such, and she was keen on the Oregon Trail Museum in Oregon City. Krys and I were less enthused. But we figured, what the hell, and we headed south. Well, that was a less than stellar idea. We reached Oregon City, and there's the museum on the left.

Ah, the flood interferes with all our plans! So that was out. We lived in Portland for five more years, and my mom never suggested it again. We never went to the museum. Somehow, I don't think our lives are much sadder because of it.

Since the flood was all-pervasive, we drove to Tualatin, on the southern edge of the Portland Metro area, to check out the damage. We wandered around for a while, but not too far, because there was - shocking - some water damage:

The floodwaters receded, of course, and life went on. But for a few days, it was a weird experience to live in Portland. Of course, it can't compare to New Orleans and the Gulf Coast and other places that have been hit by serious natural disasters, but when Katrina ripped through the area last year, I thought of the flood of '96 and realized that just that small amount of water really did a number on the town, so I can imagine what happened to the Gulf Coast. Natural disasters have an eerie beauty to them, but they are certainly not fun to experience.

Next time: Seattle!

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Blogger Serene Careaga said...

Wow that is crazy! I used to live in downtown Portland (post-flood, of course), so it's crazy to see such familiar landmarks (ie. Hawthorne Bridge) almost covered in water.

6/6/06 2:42 PM  
Blogger Greg said...

It's even weird for me to look at them, Serene. You'll have to come back next week to let me know what I get wrong about all the Seattle landmarks!

6/6/06 3:01 PM  
Blogger Krys said...

I'm laughing because you wrote "Iron Bridge" instead of "Steel Bridge". Your Mom's misnomer must be embedded in your brain!

6/6/06 4:13 PM  
Blogger Nik said...

Dang, that is a lot of water. We came close to some bad flooding around the 1st of the year, but otherwise it's been pretty safe in Oregon the 4 1/2 years we've been here.

6/6/06 4:32 PM  
Blogger Greg said...

Damn. I did write Iron Bridge. I was going to mention that she called it that, but simply typed it. I is a looser.

You're going to miss the random flooding, aren't you, Nik?

6/6/06 5:07 PM  

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