Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

The storm that would last a lifetime: Activist Charlene Strong remembers how her fight began

Wikimedia Commons
Damage from the 2006 windstorm


This story originally aired on February 13, 2016.

Credit wiki commons
Charlene Strong

In mid-December of 2006, a vicious wind storm hit Western Washington. Gale-force winds knocked out power, knocked down trees and knocked Charlene Strong onto a different life path.

When Strong arrived home she found her wife, Kate, trapped inside the basement of their home.  Water was rushing in, and as each moment passed, it seemed less and less likely that Kate would survive. 

Charlene Strong did lose her wife that night and then went on to advocate for equal rights, playing an integral role in getting marriage equality passed in Washington state. In this interview, senior producer Arwen Nicks sits down with Strong to discuss the night that changed her life and broke her heart.