The Pacific Northwest has experienced many violent windstorms: The Columbus Day Storm, November 1981 Windstorm, Inaugural Day Storm, and most recently the Windstorm of 1995. These storms have damaged homes, businesses, public utilities, and left thousands without power for several days.
Hurricanes striking the Pacific Coast are a rarity, but circumstances combined to create a near hurricane like storm in October 1962 that hit northern California, Oregon, and Washington. This storm is often referred to as hurricane Freida. Although this storm hit during the Pacific hurricane season, it was not a true hurricane (or typhoon as tropical hurricane's in the West Pacific are called). Effects included more than 50 deaths, winds as high as 119 mph, and a peak recorded gust of an almost unbelievable 176 mph on Mount Hebo on the Oregon Coast (at that point the wind gauge failed).
The Inaugural Day Storm of 1993 caused widespread damage from Longview to Bellingham, Washington. The effects of this storm were significant:
The Windstorm of 1995 was forecast well in advance by the National Weather Service. This early warning gave state and local emergency management offices, utility companies, communities, governmental offices, schools, etc. time to prepare and brace for the winds that arrived. Because this pro-active approach was taken injury and property damage was minimized.
If a windstorm is forecast in your area stay tuned to your NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) Weather Radio, or local radio or television station for weather reports and emergency information.