Region mops up after storm leaves trail of destruction
PORTLAND, Ore. - Scattered power outages and flooded roadways persisted Tuesday morning after a powerful storm lashed the Northwest on Monday, downing trees, knocking out power and sending some rivers and streams over their banks.
Drivers heading to work Tuesday morning in the Portland area were met with light rain, wet streets with some deep water in spots where it has yet to drain away.
As the storm blew in on Monday, an elk hunter was killed when a tree fell on the tent he was in near Nehalem and a police officer was seriously injured when a tree fell and struck him while he was riding an ATV during a training exercise on Hayden Island in the Columbia River. The officer required surgery.
Near Seaside, Ore., a large tree fell on a fire truck, severely damaging it, but no one was hurt. Near Naselle, Wash., a mudslide hit a patrol car and another vehicle, which caught fire, but both the officer and the driver of the other car were able to escape. The driver had a minor injury.
KATU Meteorologist Rhonda Shelby said the peak wind gust recorded by the National Weather Service was 114 mph at the Naselle Ridge station in Washington, at an elevation of 2,000 feet. Naselle is just north or Astoria, Oregon. She also said Newberg saw a gust hit 60 mph on Monday.
Around the region Tuesday morning, PGE reported over 3,500 customers were without power, most in the area around Oregon City and Clackamas County. Pacific Power reported over 2,400 customers were in the dark amid scattered outages along the Oregon Coast.
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Both utilities said crews were in the field working hard to restore electrical service. Tens of thousands of people lost power across the region on Monday as hurricane-force winds raked the coast and gusts inland reached 40 to 50mph.
School closures were minimal on Tuesday with the Clackamas Academy of Industrial Sciences closed due to a power outage and Central School District schools in Marion County on a 2-hour delay.
On the coast, ODOT said water 9 inches deep was still over the roadway near Beerman Creek just outside Seaside, a usual bad weather trouble spot, but vehicles were allowed to traverse the roadway at 5mph.
In Lincoln County, officials said road crews were busy working on Highway 20 between Eddyville and Newport and on Highway 101 north of Lincoln City. Travelers should expect delays of up to 15 minutes as traffic is flagged through a single lane, ODOT said in a press release.
The Astoria-Megler Bridge, spanning between Oregon and Washington, was back open following a long closure Monday after winds gusting to over 100mph blew over a semi mid-span, closing the bridge for hours.
Shelby said Tuesday will see rain showers, some possibly heavy at times, along with possible thunderstorms but less rain and wind than on Monday.
And while Shelby said the big storm was so warm it didn't leave any new snow at ski resort elevations, the snow level is expected to drop to as low as 3,000 feet over the next few days and new precipitation would fall as new snow - perhaps several feet of it - above that level.
Shelby said the forecast for Thanksgiving, one of the busiest travel days of the year, is looking mostly dry.
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