Powerful storm kills one, wreaks havoc throughout region
PORTLAND, Ore. -- Strong winds and heavy rain pounded much of the Pacific Northwest on Monday, killing one man when a tree fell and causing several other close calls.
A Washington State Patrol trooper had stopped at a mudslide on Highway 101 near Naselle when the mudslide carried a tree into the trooper's car.
The patrol car burned, along with another car stopped nearby. The trooper was not hurt and the driver of the other car had a sore neck.
Trooper Russ Winger says it was the worst of several weather-related incidents on the Washington coast in Monday's wind and rain storm.
Heavy rain and howling winds raked the Northwest region on Monday, knocking out power, toppling trees and flooding rivers.
Firefighters said the man who died was an elk hunter. Nathan Christensen, 52, of Seattle died when a tree snapped and fell on his tent near Nehalem.
A Portland Police Bureau officer was seriously injured at about 11 a.m. on Hayden Island after a tree fell on him.
Sgt. Pete Simpson said the officer was participating in all-terrain vehicle training when the incident happened. He said it was likely a weather-related accident.
The officer underwent surgery. His condition was unknown late Monday.
About 24,000 Pacific Power customers lost power during the day's storm. Crews whittled that number down to about 6,000 customers in Clatsop, Lincoln and Coos counties by about 10 p.m. But officials warned that those customers remaining without power Monday night may not get power restored until Tuesday morning. Crews are working to restore power but officials said the weather and other adverse conditions have made it difficult.
In Clackamas County, a homeless woman and her dog were rescued by boat from a campsite surrounded by rising water.
A tree toppled onto Danielle Tudor's home in Southeast Portland, heavily damaging it.
The tree hit the roof, took out part of her deck and the metal overhang. The gash in the roof let in the drenching rain, soaking a kitchen wall, dripping onto a counter and then onto the floor. Construction crews worked to patch the holes.
"It looks like a bomb went off," she said about the damage.
Most of the damage was confined to the kitchen and dining room areas.
KATU Meteorologist Dave Salesky said the bulk of the storm system moved away from the coast Monday afternoon and moved east of the Portland area at around 5 p.m.
Coastal areas were especially hard-hit by the storm.
Water rose in the usual spots as two inches of rain soaked the Coast Range over the weekend. High winds howled along the beaches with gusts ranging from 43 to 89 mph, according to the National Weather Service. Lincoln City recorded a 85 mph gust Monday morning.
The wind even stripped away parts of the roof of an Izzy's restaurant in Newport.
At 11 a.m., ODOT officials in Clatsop County asked motorists to postpone or delay trips from Portland and the Willamette Valley to the coast because of falling trees and other hazardous conditions on Highway 26 and Highway 30.
Water was across several roadways near Seaside and elsewhere along Highway 101 through the north Oregon Coast. ODOT officials said two sections of Highway 101 in Clatsop County "remains either closed or restricted due to weather-related issues."
On the Astoria-Megler Bridge on Highway 101, morning high winds caused a semitrailer to overturn, forcing the closure of the bridge. Unsafe conditions prevented crews from clearing the truck, and the bridge remained closed until about 7 p.m.
The National Weather Service said many small streams and rivers could get pushed to flood stage as the storms continue.
- River level prediction table from the NWS
- Flood tables for individual rivers in Oregon
- KATU News twitter page: Get news updates fast
The wet and windy weather is expected to last into the week with over an inch of rain forecast for valley locations and another two inches possible for coastal areas.
Portland city officials are asking residents to call 503-823-1700 if they see urban flooding and are also asking residents to clear curbside storm drains of debris so rainwater can drain away.
The Associated Press contributed to this story.