Remembering record snowfall in Longbranch, Key Peninsula

My Lovely Bride and the Goofy Goldendoodle Maddee walking up to the gate to assess the damage. Maddee was in winter heaven running around in the snow.

A 9-foot snowman, a baby’s arrival, a ditched SUV were just some of the memories Key Peninsula residents had of the record snowfall 7 years ago this week.

What is evident is how many want the piles of slushy snow back in their yards.

Let it SNOW!!,” Michael Berberich writes on Facebook.

Historic snowfall was recorded in Western Washington — including Longbranch and the Key Peninsula. According to a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration report, Olympia Regional Airport recorded 11 inches and Seattle-Tacoma International Airport recorded nearly 7 inches on Jan. 18, 2012.

I remember well,” Mickey Beardon posted on Facebook. “Loved it all piled up on the roof.”

A Pierce County snow plow at wok by the Longbranch Marina on the Key Peninsula Highway early Wednesday morning Jan. 18, 2012.
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A house in Longbranch, Wash., is covered in snow on jan. 18, 2012.
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Not many braved the snowy conditions in Longbranch. It was mostly quiet in Longbranch, Wash., on Jan. 18, 2012.
There were many down trees causing power outages around the Key Peninsula.

According to the NOAA report, “historic snowstorms and ice storms” were expected over Washington State that week.

“Falling trees and limbs burdened with the snow and ice were responsible for one death and widespread property damage along with approximately a half-million power outages,” according to the report. “Also, over 300 flights (at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport) were cancelled, costing the airline industry millions of dollars.”

Thinking back to that week, it certainly was a whiteout on Drayton Passage. Temperatures were in  the low 20s, the roads treacherous and icy, and many downed trees on the KP causing power outages.

It was a winter wonderland on our street in Longbranch.
The amount of snow did remind my Lovely Bride of the Connecticut of her youth.
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Melting snow on a pond in Longbranch looked like Alpine springs.
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Snow piling up on two white chairs on our bank.
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Our backyard was a winter wonderland on Jan. 20, 2012.

I remember it well we had just moved from the KP to (the) Burley area the year before,” Ann Curry writes on Facebook. “The day of the worst snow was my Mother-in-law’s funeral in Tacoma. We made it fine to Tacoma over the very snowy roads and unplowed highway. But on the way back slid down our driveway and ended up with our suburban stuck in the garden.”

For a family in Longbranch, the piles of snow in their yard meant material for a snowman. Anna Downen said her family decided to build a cheerful 9-foot snow sculpture sporting a mustache and a black bucket for a hat.

“It was so fun!,” Downen posted on Facebook.

“We used that paddle board to slide the second ball up on the base and then built the head in place,” she added.

The Downens pose in front of the 9-foot snowman they built in Longbranch. Photo courtesy of Anna Downen.

My Lovely Bride and the Goofy Goldendoodle made the best of it playing in the snow. It gave me a chance to get my chainsaw out and play lumberjack.

“If not for the power outage, this is really nice,” said my Lovely Bride.

The snowstorm marked a milestone for another family on the Key Peninsula.

“(Our) little guy was born in the middle of it,” Sill Wong-Underwood writes on Facebook.

The impending arrival of a sweet baby boy they call “Potato” on social media proved a logistical challenge. Wong-Underwood said her husband is a firefighter/paramedic and, during a week of record snowfall, was extremely preoccupied responding to calls.

“The power was out at our house. My husband was on duty and had to make his way home,” she said. “By the time he got home to me I was in full labor about ready to push.”

Sill Wong-Underwood posted on Facebook how her family remembers the week because of this little guy’s arrival. They had to drive to St. Joseph’s Hospital in Tacoma in the snow. Photo courtesy of Sill Wong-Underwood.

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