At the height of last week’s powerful storm, emergency workers of all stripes were up against the elements big-time.
Just about every nook and cranny of San Mateo County felt the impact of the chaotic weather in one way or another. It’s been an historically rough ride for the last three months.
Accurate emergency information on a minute-by-minute basis has been both important and, sometimes, less than helpful. Communication from PG&E has been especially challenged as complaints about the utility’s social media performance multiplied.
County authorities have had their difficult update moments as well. At one point last week, the county, with the best of intentions, sent out a Twitter alert that stated, in part, “Highway 92 west of Half Moon Bay is closed.” What?
If true, it would have been an unprecedented shock since State Route 92 ends at Highway 1 near downtown Half Moon Bay. West of that location, for the most part, is the vast expanse of the Pacific Ocean.
Savvy residents no doubt knew that a mistake had been made. “West” almost certainly meant “east.” To be honest, it probably didn’t take a gander at Google’s map function to figure that out.
Nonetheless, people paying attention probably had to do a double take.
THIS FLORA BLUE WHALE DEFIES TIME: Still on the subject of rain, wind and the damage that has accrued from both for what seems like endless months of disruption here, eucalyptus trees have been unmasked as serious threats to both life and property.
Dozens of the impressive trees have been blown down over the past many weeks. But one massive euc has continued to defy even the most troubling and dangerous elements. It resides placidly and grandly on the 1400-block of Shafter Street in San Mateo near the Borel Avenue intersection, not far from Borel Middle School.
The majestic tree, a veritable blue whale of vegetation, is beyond huge; it’s at least 100 square feet at its base. It is so old, so complex and so wide and tall it appears to be more than one tree, its offshoots having grown so much over the decades.
Fortunately, it appears to have been cared for and pruned to a reasonable degree. Which is a good thing because it utterly dominates one private property and has an impact on several others.
Any chance of this behemoth falling over is not something anyone wants to consider. Talk about a potential earth-shaking experience. Mercy.
WOODSIDE SCHOOL ISN’T SPARED DAMAGE: Creekside properties have been among the hardest hit during our spate of horrendous weather.
Erosion and flooding have become common occurrences. The power of surging water cannot be denied. Students, teachers, administrators and parents at Woodside’s lone combined public elementary/middle school know this all too well.
There, a creek that courses next to the school has eaten away at its banks, causing problems on a portion of the campus. To stabilize and repair the site will cost well over $1 million, according to media reports. Will the school qualify for disaster relief? That’s unclear.
SOMEONE, CANCEL THESE FOLKS: Spelling is not the strong suit of certain unknowing individuals who update airport information on their public flight data boards.
The word “canceled” is spelled all too often as “cancelled.” It’s not unlike those helpful supermarket checkout signs that too frequently read, “15 items or less.” It should be “fewer.”
Please. Help me out here. Your correspondent attended Catholic schools as a youngster. The nuns, strict to a papal fault, did not tolerate any of our grammar gaffes.
SEA BOWL IS SET TO SHUT DOWN: Say goodbye to another San Mateo County bowling establishment. Sea Bowl in Pacifica is scheduled to shut down as of May 31.
According to an official announcement on social media last week, the longtime North County recreation hub, which features 32 bowling lanes, is in its final days and nights of operation.
Owner David Szeto posted a statement noting that Sea Bowl, located in the Rockaway Beach area near the Highway 1/Fassler Avenue intersection, has served keglers in the North County for more than 60 years.
You can get in touch with John Horgan by email at email@example.com.
And here I was, planning to drive down San Mateo Road for a long-overdue road trip to Honolulu, when I got a notice that 92 was closed West of Half Moon Bay. Darn.
Thanks for another ride on the Horgan Train. Perhaps folks updating airport information on public flight data boards prefer British English to American English. Or perhaps they’re not fans of Noah Webster? One has to wonder why Mr. Webster opted to cancel the extra “l” in “cancelled” or the “u” in “labour” among a few other changes. On the other hand, we should also be thankful (debatable) that some of his other changes weren’t adopted, such as “soop” instead of “soup” and “stile” instead of “style” although “stile” also exists. Ah, the English language – you gotta (I’m sorry, have got to) love it. Looking forward to your next missive…
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