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Cheney Free Press
Cheney , Washington
December 17, 2015     Cheney Free Press
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December 17, 2015

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NEWS CHENEY FREE PRESS I I Thursday December 17 2015 continued from page 1 This was truly the per- fect storm. "You had three fac- tors that came togeth- er," Quinn explained, that made this event so unique, and devastating. "One was you had a very powerful cyclonic storm that came in." Such storms are very normal winter patterns. Usually as storms pass through the state, the Cascade Mountains tend to weaken them. But because of how it was organized, this storm intensified as it came down off the Cascades with the center located along the Washington- Canadian border. That is what Quinn called "The primo southwesterly wind quadrant to get the maximum winds." "The track and loca- tion was absolutely per- fect," Quinn said. The third element was the jet stream was racing along at 180-200 miles per hour at 30,000 feet. Quinn likened it to driv- ing down the road and cracking the window. The high-speed wind outside sucks air out of the car. The powerful jet stream over the low-pres2 sure system caused more lift, intensifying the low. The Columbus Day storm registered at 995.7 mil- libars while the Nov. 17 event came in lower at a reading of 993.9. "This is a case, num- ber one, that the forecast models have improved so much that, in fact, they can see this event on the forecast models develop- ing," Quinn said. The question remains that among notable weather events that have etched themselves in the memories of Northwest- erners, where does the Nov. 17 blow rank? "Here comes the Photo by Paul Delaney The Nov. 17 windstorm had gusts so strong it snapped off this giant pine tree some 25 feet above the ground. Luckily there were no injuries or damage to structures when it toppled. tricky part, was this the 50-year, 100-year, 200- year wind event?" Quinn said. "The answer is all of the above," because of a lack of true statistics beyond the turn of the 20th Century. Safe to say, "It's the strongest event we've had since the National Weather Service has had good instrumentation," Quinn said. That started in the 1940s. "It's the strongest event in the 75 years of reason- ably accurate records," he said. Based on historical data, Quinn said it was probably the strongest event in the last century; that being based purely on anecdotal records. Quinn remembered the 1962 Columbus Day Storm as he was doing undergrad studies at Or- egon State University. The remnant of Ty- phoon Freda in the east- ern Pacific Ocean, the storm raced up the Coast and caused an estimated $230 million - $1.8 bil- lion in 2015 dollars - in damage and 46 fatalities. "The winds on the eastern part of the state were nowhere near what the west side got," Quinn said, specifically in the Willamette Valley. At the Mt. Hebo station in the Coast Range gusts were reported in excess of 145 miles-per-hour. Days after, Quinn ex- perienced the damage where 600-800 acres of trees 18-24 inches in di- ameter and ready for harvest were all knocked down leaving some piles of timber 30 feet high in places. Paul Delaney can be reached at pdelaney@cheneyfreepress. com. continued from page 1 provement Board grant for replacing existing high pressure sodium light fixtures and lamps with more efficient and longer-lasting LED fix- tures and lamps. The account that often receives the most atten- tion, current expense/ general fund, came in balanced at just over $7.34 million. The general fund account handles revenues and expenses for the ad- ministration, finance, mu- nicipal court, parks and During November's public hearings, these de- partments provided their anticipated revenue and expenses for the coming year to the council with the exception of police and fire. After emai! requests from the Cheney Free Press the city released the "Financial and Position Summaries" documents for both departments. Fire Department rev- enues and expenses are projected at $1,658,100, with just under half of revenues ($801,800) being provided by the fire set- lecrea~io~,,police and, fire ,. +~ces ~tWaa~wi~~ | departments, withthema- ' Washington UniverSity jority of revenue coming ($531,400), the emergen- from property taxes, cy medical services levy ($262,000), fire equipment reserve ($7,200) and EMS trauma ($1,200). No projected 2016 budget information for the Police Department has been provided by the city. The latest budget information contained in the "Financial and Posi- tion Summaries" docu- ment was for 2015, which had projected revenues and expenses of just over $2.55 million. In November, Cheney voters approved lifting the city's property tax levy lid to help pay for l b!is r,m s, hich include two new officers and replacement vehicles for the Police Department along with new equip- ment and preparation to purchase or lease a new No. 1 attack engine for the Fire Department. The final big-ticket budget item, water/sew- er/solid waste, comes in at $5,213,200 for 2016. Cheney's final 2016 bud- get passed with no coun- cil comments. Also at the Dec. 8 meeting, the council unanimously approved several other ordinances dealing with the 2016 and 2015 budgets. Among those were a third budget ac~elldme~nt for 2015, an ordinance establishing the salaries for 2016 and an ordinance setting the utility rates and fees in the coming year. City Administrator Mark Schuller told the council the,salary ordi- nance contained all cost of living adjustments agreed to with public employee unions and a 2 percent COLA for n0n-union represented employees. Council was asked and agreed to hold all three readings and final passage of all three ordinances at the Dec. 8 meeting. John McCal- lure can be reached at Dr. Cazan & Dr. Menke +c AIRWAY HEIGHTS DENTAL CENTER Military families welcome, inviting new patients, sedation provided, experienced providers and staff! P.O. Box 1570 t 3326 West Sunset Hwy. Airway Heights, WA 99001 509-244-3655 Fax: 509-244-9527 ? continued from page 1 economic activity and effectively communicate a c6mmunity identity of which residents and business owners can be proud." Braaten said part of the plan for the highway is to break it down into sections and design aes- thetic elements and treat- ments that match that particular section of the city. The plan will involve the public through a va- riety of ways, including three workshops. "It's prime time for us to have this in place," Commissioner Sonny Weathers said in endors- ing the plan. As for the comprehen- be working on, they are short-staffed and cur- rently consumed with trying to keep up with reviewing the many de- velopment applications being filed with the city. When new Commissioner much," Braaten said. "We are just slammed with development." The professional ser- vices agreement now goes to the City Council for final approval. Also at the meeting, "We are just slammed with devel- opment." Development Services Director Derrick Braaten Nicholas Messing point- the commission held a ed out that the contract's price of $58,275 would be enough to hire a new employee for the depart- ment, Braaten said he had considered such an approach, but would be public hearing on a State Environmental Protec- tion Act (SEPA) review application for a new 500- foot rail spur on prop- erty owned by SCAFCO along McFarlane Road. faced with having to pay The spur would con- that employee beyond nect the manufacturer operated by Eastern Washington Gateway Railroad, allowing the operator to deliver and pick up three rail cars per week. Braaten told the com- mission the public hear- ing was just procedural and called only to receive public comment, required by the filing of a SEPA application. Approving a railway application is outside the commission's purview, something done by other agencies. "It's very unusual that you're going to be doing a hearing withofit taking action," Braaten said. No citizens were pres- ent to provide comment on the SEPA review. John McCal- and to Buy Tickets Visit www,SpokaneMovies,con Showtimes in () ate at bargain price. Special Attraction -- No Passes ADVERTISE