The Great Olympic Blowdown of January 29, 1921 , also called the Big Blow, was a compact, intense windstorm that struck the coast of Washington. The storm is remembered for the massive number of trees destroyed. At the time, it was the greatest loss of timber in the country, according to the Forest Service. Hurricane-force. winds destroyed billions of board-feet of timber across the Olympic Peninsula. More than 40 percent of the trees on the southwest side of the Olympic Mountains were blown down. The Great Olympic Blowdown felled eight times more trees than the eruption of Mount St. Helens. The old-growth timber that was destroyed created a fire hazard, and fire suppression crews were deployed by the U. S Forest Service, the state of Washington, and the Washington Forest Fire Association. Air patrols to support the fire suppression crews were provided by the U.S. Army. A herd of 200 elk were killed near the town of Forks by tree branches and flying debris and hundreds of domestic farm animals were also killed. Power and telephone lines were downed. Moored boats were dashed on the beaches. Twenty-one barges were adrift in Puget Sound after breaking from their mooring lines. Smokestacks and chimneys collapsed.
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