I had another column written and ready to go, but I felt it necessary to write about the December storm we just endured. It was absolutely mind-boggling with the high winds and high water. The winds felt like they went on forever, they were constant. However, I just want to give a reminder of why we live in such a great county. I live in Grays River, and yes, I knew how it flooded and my family and I were still willing to take the chance by living there due to the beauty of the Grays River Valley. That being said, I was completely cut off, but safe, from the world for a day. I wasn’t even able to use the county emergency route through logging roads due to the amount of timber windfall on those roads. I was only able to travel on Barr Road and Covered Bridge Road for a total of about a mile. My family and I were prepared with the basics that we needed to survive the storm. Feeling somewhat guilty, we were one of very few residents in the valley that didn’t lose power throughout the storm. Thank you PUD for working that magic, however it happened. The county lost telephone service to the outside world, including phone line internet access, but fortunately the sheriff’s office main radio repeater on KM had battery back up. Deputies were able to hook up a gas powered generator so we would at least have radio communications with Fire/EMS, PUD, County Roads, the ferry, local HAM operators, WSP, Cowlitz County Emergency Operations Center (EOC), and Clatsop County EOC (Oregon). Sheriff Bardsley and the Department of Emergency Management folks, as well as other EOC officials, including elected officials kept things running smoothly. The Wahkiakum County Sheriff’s Office dispatch center was able to relay messages to and from the regional Emergency Operations Centers. Cowlitz County 911 center handled our 911 calls and then relayed them to us via radio. The Wahkiakum County Sheriff’s Office Department of Emergency Management (DEM) was able to get a state owned military satellite phone from Skamania County, which was delivered by a Washington State Patrol Trooper Sergeant on Tuesday. The communications process worked well, all things considered. Other people like Wally Wright assisted County Roads and Grays River Fire with a rescue of a family on Loop Road. I’m very sure that there were other people that did all kinds of things to help others out that I didn’t hear about. The most amazing thing that happened is the concern that neighbors had for neighbors, and the willingness that all of the citizens, volunteers, county workers, and emergency personnel, both paid and volunteers, had to help each other out. Politics, personal beliefs and any other hindrance was set aside and people just simply helped people. Wahkiakum County has always come to gather when needed, I’ve seen it time after time, that’s why it’s a great county and an awesome place to live. Everyone should be commended for their efforts and a job well done.