Bad weather craziness

After a summer so uncharacteristically dry that even the weeds were having a hard time surviving, the coastal monsoons have begun with a vengeance and our weather is in the News:

Weather warnings continue for southwestern B.C. with high winds and up to nine centimetres of rain forecast for coastal areas on Monday and Tuesday, prompting officials to issue flood warnings for some South Coast rivers.

About 25,000 Vancouver-area BC Hydro customers lost power overnight Sunday after winds up to 90 km/h knocked down trees and power lines, mostly in the Fraser Valley, south Surrey and the Sunshine Coast areas.

I was one of those who sat in the dark last night, sipping tea made on the woodstove and reading by Maglite.ย  About 20 candles burned in various locations — scented candles that I’d found on Extreme Sale at some drugstore that was closing its doors forever.ย  The place smelled like a French whorehouse, but I could find my way around.

There’s always a day in November that’s a portent of things to come, when the winds pick up and the weather gets violently weird, and yesterday was it.ย  Here’s how much it rained since Saturday night — bear in mind that this is one of those big 3 litre jars that restaurants get their mayo and stuff in:


Send a life boat!

37 Responses to “Bad weather craziness”

  1. 1 Torontonian Monday, November 16, 2009 at 12:07 pm

    It was on the CBC news early today (6 am, ET).

    Sad to know you’re not in the best situation.

    We had a power failure in 2003 that lasted 22 hours
    and it was in August. No air conditioning, and I lost
    more than $100 in groceries like 3 year old Cheddar and
    ice cream and frozen orange juice concentrate, not to
    mention milk.

    Here’s another for you: My cousin was on an Air Canada
    flight that was trying to make it out of Calgary before
    the storm set it. No such luck. They sat at the end of
    the runway for 9 1/2 hours before the storm cleared enough
    for the ground crew was able to pull the plane back in.

  2. 2 mouthyorange Monday, November 16, 2009 at 1:05 pm

    Wow JJ, I’ve been on hiatus from listening to the news for awhile and I had no idea you guys were in for that. Whew. It blows!

    Torontonian – You lost 3 year old cheddar? ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

  3. 3 Janus Monday, November 16, 2009 at 2:18 pm

    I was wondering how you were doing last night, JJ. Picturing you all cozily huddled up, wrapped in a blanket on a three-cat-night (and one dog?) with a crackling fire and mug of something aromatic and alcoholic.

    Just outa curiosity, how do you know how a French whorehouse smells…? ๐Ÿ˜†

  4. 4 JJ Monday, November 16, 2009 at 2:28 pm

    Janus – ๐Ÿ˜† It’s just an old expression from way back when. Whenever a guy would be wearing too much Hai Karate, we’d say “He smells like a French whorehouse”.

  5. 5 JJ Monday, November 16, 2009 at 2:30 pm

    mouthyorange – It’s not that bad, as long as it’s only rain! But it’s definitely a wakeup call for anyone who hasn’t adequately prepared for what’s coming. This week will be spent in a frenzy of stacking wood and sealing up vulnerable spots around the house where the cold air gets in.

  6. 6 JJ Monday, November 16, 2009 at 2:34 pm

    Torontonian – I vaguely remember hearing about a big power outage from a storm in Toronto in the summer. Wow, it was out that long? We’re used to extended power outages around here, but I’m not sure how big cities handle it.

    Losing food is always a major drag. Usually our big power outages happen in the winter, so I just throw all the food outside (away from dog), but wow. In the heat of Toronto in the summer, there would not be much you could do.

  7. 7 The Anti-Social Socialist Monday, November 16, 2009 at 2:36 pm

    Damn, you have no idea how much I’d like to be in a place that gets that much rain. I -LIKE- rain.

    But here I am in southeast fucking Alberta, the Canadian Desert. We have CACTUS growing here. And TUMBLEWEEDS.

    Do you have any idea how much that blew my North Ontario mind when I first saw them?

    What the hell am I doing here?

  8. 8 hemmingforddogblog Monday, November 16, 2009 at 2:38 pm

    Nasty weather! We have been having a real nice stretch of warmish/sunnyish (for November) weather. Supposed to continue ’til Thursday. (The wood – 10 cords – is stacked in the garage.)

  9. 9 flex241 Monday, November 16, 2009 at 2:44 pm

    22 hrs?
    You were very lucky.
    We were the second last area to get power back.
    3 days. Was an experience.
    Found out that without boost, water pressure will get up to the 5 th floor only. We were living at the time on the 16th.
    After a day and a half, the back up generators started to fail as well as most of the emergency light batteries.
    Had to get water from the basement of the building.
    After the second day the only elevator which was working also stopped. Long way to bring water up from the basement.
    On top of that, forgot my car key when had to go somewhere.
    walk 16 down, up, down and up when returned.
    Great exercise. Yeah, was one of the few buildings which did have a 13th floor too.
    Amazing how much the taken for granted electricity will impact after a few hours. This was much more than a few hours and yeah was hot without air. Facing south and having huge windows was just a bonus.

    “The place smelled like a French whorehouse,”
    How does a French whorehouse smell like?
    lol; Just kidding, no need to answer.

  10. 10 Dr. Prole Monday, November 16, 2009 at 2:46 pm

    It’s been totally wild here where I live. We had non-stop gusting wind and lashing rain for over 24 hours. It sounded like the house was going to blow down! I slept with earplugs last night because the storm was so loud. The bay was absolutely churning.

  11. 11 Scott Tribe Monday, November 16, 2009 at 2:47 pm

    Hmm.. more wacky weather this year for you, eh JJ?

    Perhaps this is a precursor of Snowmageddon II happenning? ๐Ÿ˜‰

  12. 12 Torontonian Monday, November 16, 2009 at 2:54 pm


    The power failure started in Ohio and spread through most of the north east of the US and Ontario.
    From my apartment I could see line-ups at hot dog vendors because most people couldn’t cook. Thousands of people got free ice cream from their local stores.

    The building across the street was back on in 6 hours and
    there were pockets still in the dark several days after. People who lived above the 9th floor had no water and had to come down to the 2nd floor. The Dominion store had no fresh bread or produce for 3 days.

    You know how much I dislike Michael Coren but I have to concede
    that he was the most listened to radio host because CFRB had
    its own power backup.

    Thankfully, the power failure dictated the subject matter of
    the call-in program. There were no mentions of any of his
    pet subjects or pet peeves.

  13. 13 Rob F Monday, November 16, 2009 at 3:10 pm

    I went through that rain too. It’s pretty rainy in the Lower Mainland.

    The most annoying thing was the wind. It was coming from the right direction that it blew directly on my bedroom window. That would cause the horizontal sliding part to move in and then back out in the fixed part of the frame, making noise as it did so. Of course this had to happen at night.

  14. 14 Bruce Monday, November 16, 2009 at 6:00 pm

    “French whorehouse” ๐Ÿ˜† ๐Ÿ˜† ๐Ÿ˜†

  15. 15 Shade Monday, November 16, 2009 at 6:31 pm

    Things are heating up over here. But that’s what having a planet on a tilted axis gets you. Someone has to be closer to the sun.

    I’m surprised you didn’t have some generic non-scented candles lying around just in case of a black out, I rarely get one but I have a pile of them under the sink.

    I still have this huge fat candle from my christening which comes in REALLY handy during a black out. Seriously I think I’d have to leave the thing lit for a month to use it up. Also it’d make a good weapon against burglers, everyone should have one.

  16. 16 Bleatmop Monday, November 16, 2009 at 6:38 pm

    AntiSocial – You mean they don’t have cacti and tumbleweed in Ontario? Sweet! When I moved into the house I am living in now, the lawn was so ill kept that it had tumbleweed growing in it. Do you know how difficult it is to get rid of tumbleweed?? I didn’t until a couple years ago. I kinda makes me wish I was living in Vancouver Island right now where I could have flowers year round and a cold day might require a sweater.

  17. 17 Scott Tribe Monday, November 16, 2009 at 6:57 pm

    (You remember Snowmageddon, right JJ? ๐Ÿ™‚ )

  18. 18 JJ Monday, November 16, 2009 at 8:30 pm

    Antisocial – Oh, I like the rain. I like the sunshine too. I like all weather, except snow. But it’s always a bit of a shock to the system when we go from the mild, indian-summer kind of weather to booming, crashing downpour with typhoon-worthy winds.

    I love the desert. The Baja is my favourite place in the world!

  19. 19 JJ Monday, November 16, 2009 at 8:32 pm

    SQ – 10 cords! Good man. That would last me 2 winters. I need at least 4, depending on the kind of wood (5 if its all softwood).

  20. 20 JJ Monday, November 16, 2009 at 8:38 pm

    Scott – UGH. I remember Snowmageddon very well. What a disaster. At least this year my 4 wheel drive is working and I won’t get stuck in my own driveway again. Embarassing!

  21. 21 JJ Monday, November 16, 2009 at 8:48 pm

    Torontonian – It’s funny, out here we’re so used to the power going down for extended periods of time (days) that it’s no biggie, everyone knows what to do. (Make sure the old folks in the neighbourhood are okay, then get together with neighbours, build a bonfire in someone’s yard and drink til the lights come on.) But I can see how it would be a real disaster in a big city. Come to think of it, in all the time I lived in T.O., the only time I can recall the hydro going out for a long time was when I was a kid, that big power outage in ’63 or ’64.

  22. 22 JJ Monday, November 16, 2009 at 8:50 pm

    Rob F – That wind was something else! It was wild. On Friday the trees all had leaves, today they’re almost bare naked. Winter is here ๐Ÿ‘ฟ

  23. 23 JJ Monday, November 16, 2009 at 8:53 pm

    Bruce – ๐Ÿ˜› It must be a really old expression, because nobody’s heard it before. Descriptive though, don’t you think? ๐Ÿ˜‰

  24. 24 JJ Monday, November 16, 2009 at 8:56 pm

    Shade – I usually do have a pile of candles, but I guess I used them up last winter, didn’t replace them right away and forgot about it. They’re on the list for next time I go into town for supplies.

  25. 25 burpster Monday, November 16, 2009 at 10:02 pm

    The wind hit Kamloops today, thought not as bad. I’m between 2 mountains which affords alot of protection. The rain has started in the last 20 minutes as well.

    My wife is very used to the fall storms, coming from Burien, Washington. She said the lights were always going out.

  26. 26 J. A. Baker Tuesday, November 17, 2009 at 7:38 am

    Perhaps this is a precursor of Snowmageddon II happenning?

    Wouldn’t Snowmageddon II be a good thing for the upcoming Olympics?

  27. 27 Dr. Prole Tuesday, November 17, 2009 at 8:27 am

    JAB: “Wouldnโ€™t Snowmageddon II be a good thing for the upcoming Olympics?”

    In Whistler, yes. In the GVRD? If they handle it anything like last year’s Snowmageddon, it’ll be a total disaster. We need a Snow Removal Czar, preferably someone from Ontario or Minnesota, or maybe Buffalo NY. Otherwise we’re pretty well hooped if we have tens of thousands of people from all over the world, driving rental cars, not knowing where they’re going, on our slippery half-plowed roads. And the ambulance drivers are on strike. Should be a blast.

  28. 28 sedum Tuesday, November 17, 2009 at 8:36 am


    I was wracking my ancient mind trying to remember “Hai Karate”. I’ve almost run out of the my half flagon of “Brute” and wanted to “experiment” and I hear that “Hai Karate” is the new “Canoe” and will make me feel seventy again…. Oh “Joy”.

  29. 29 sedum Tuesday, November 17, 2009 at 8:58 am


    It’s 9 am and turned quite nice on the Sunshine Coast at Wilson Creek (Sechelt) and living up to its name but the winds do persist. Fortunately I face Nanaimo across the Strait and we generally can be assured that what they got, we get.

    By the way JJ, If you were ever to spend some relax time on any of the Georgian Bay small islands in Summer, you’d be hard pressed to even remember Baja. This is from someone who has Mount Elphinstone as a backyard and the Big One as a front porch view.

  30. 30 deBeauxOs Tuesday, November 17, 2009 at 9:26 am

    sedum, I spent some time on Manitoulin last summer. The most amazing night sky. I can see why people are drawn back, over and over again, sometimes to stay.

  31. 31 Janus Tuesday, November 17, 2009 at 9:33 am

    “Wouldnโ€™t Snowmageddon II be a good thing for the upcoming Olympics?”

    Yeah, it probably would. Which is why, if I thought it would do any good, I’d pray for a heat wave.

  32. 32 JJ Tuesday, November 17, 2009 at 10:50 am

    burpster – It hasn’t snowed yet up there? I have friends in 100-mile house, and usually by this time of year the snow’s flying big time. Lovely area, but way too cold for me! (But as they say, “It’s a dry cold”…)

  33. 33 JJ Tuesday, November 17, 2009 at 10:51 am

    JAB – Snowmageddon would be good this year, considering the games. I heard that it’s already snowing like a bastard up in Whistler, so they should be okay.

  34. 34 JJ Tuesday, November 17, 2009 at 11:00 am

    Dr. Prole

    weโ€™re pretty well hooped if we have tens of thousands of people from all over the world, driving rental cars, not knowing where theyโ€™re going, on our slippery half-plowed roads.

    Gah! I never thought of that! What a mess!

    But that’s only if the city plows the roads as per usual, which I suspect won’t be the case this year. The city might have budgeted for lots of extra snow removal this year, considering the additional traffic. I hope so, anyway.

  35. 35 JJ Tuesday, November 17, 2009 at 11:13 am

    sedum – Oh yeah, “Brut”, that was the other one ๐Ÿ˜† Nowadays I guess it’s “Axe”. Yeccch!

    The weather has settled down here today, the sun was even peeking out for awhile. But it’s getting more overcast and ominous looking, and I suspect will be raining again this afternoon.

    Re Georgian Bay — My grandma had a cottage up there (Honey Harbour) where I spent a lot of time as a kid. It was beautiful up there, but thinking back on it, it was kind of like where I live now (except I have indoor plumbing).

  36. 36 Frank Frink Tuesday, November 17, 2009 at 10:08 pm

    Seems I missed the worst of the “Pineapple Express” hit in the Lower Mainland/Van. Island area. It doesn’t seems, though, to have been anywhere near as bad as it was around here in 2006.

    Was up in the Okanagan where all was dry and cold through the weekend. Did catch some of the monsoon on the drive back Sunday evening, mostly from the Coquihalla descent through to Hope and on just a bit past Chilliwack. The Okanagan Connector was mostly dry – just a bit of snow on the higher pass summits – and the Nicola Valley area around Merritt was nothing but clear skies.

  37. 37 Frank Frink Tuesday, November 17, 2009 at 10:10 pm

    Oopsie.. bad link above to “Pineapple Express” (not the movie).

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