Shelton family celebrates birthday on Columbus Day Storm anniversary



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Posted on October 12, 2012 at 6:01 PM

Updated Friday, Oct 12 at 6:56 PM

SHELTON, Wash. -- Paul Hunter celebrated his 50th birthday Friday.  The fact that it happened to also be day a powerful storm rolled through the Pacific Northwest simply adds a twist to this farmer’s life.

“Yeah, I made a bang,” Hunter said from his Union farm.

Hunter was born during the Columbus Day Storm, when millions of dollars in damage were caused by triple-digit wind speeds and rain.  Forty-seven people died.  While Paul cannot remember the natural disaster, his parents can.

“I was in the delivery room as the electricity went off,” said Carol Hunter, Paul’s mother. “I thought it might be an omen of something to come.  This kid must be something!”

Paul’s father, Bill Hunter, had to dodge fallen trees and branches to get to the hospital in Shelton.

“The roof blew off our barn,” he explained. “I guess you don’t really realize how different that storm was until the next morning.”

The Hunters said Friday the storm hitting during Paul’s birth added an interesting twist to the special day.

“I give him grief all the time,” Carol said. “I think we’ve discussed it every October 12.”

KING 5 looks back at the forces that shaped the monster storm in a KING 5 Weather Team special presentation, "The Columbus Day Storm: 50 Years Later," airing 7:30 p.m. on KING. Watch a rebroadcast of the special at 9:00 p.m. on NWCN.