NewsNational News


High winds, rain lash Pacific Northwest a second day

Posted at 12:09 AM, Oct 16, 2016
and last updated 2016-10-16 00:09:46-04

High winds and rain whipped Oregon and Washington for a second straight day Saturday, downing trees and wires, causing flooding and knocking out power for nearly 53,000 customers in the coastal regions of the Pacific Northwest.

The fierce storm spawned by Typhoon Songda put 33,000 customers in the dark in the Portland area, Portland General Electric reported at 3 p.m. (6 p.m. ET).

Around 6 p.m., Puget Sound Energy said 16,838 customers lost power and Seattle City & Light tweeted 3,000 power outages in southeast Seattle were caused by a fallen tree.

The National Weather Service said winds reached 70-80 mph along the Oregon coast and 45-55 mph in the Portland area Saturday. The Portland Bureau of Transportation tweeted around 4:45 p.m. (7:45 p.m. ET) that 34 trees were down on roads.

So far, no deaths have been reported.

The winds lost some power in the afternoon and the weather service canceled high-wind warnings for the Oregon coast around 4 p.m. (7 p.m. ET). A wind advisory for south Willamette Valley was lifted.

Seattle braced for winds to move up the Washington coast. The city hunkered down by shutting its parks, preparing emergency resources and opening more slots at homeless shelters.

Early Saturday, emergency workers were treating a 4-year-old boy with serious injuries and his father for minor injuries after they were struck by a falling tree branch. They were transported to Harborview Medical Center.

“Damaging winds will still be possible across the Seattle metro region, but will experience gusts between 50 to 60 miles per hour,” aid CNN Meteorologist Derek Van Dam.

Storms were expected to hit when the Seattle Seahawks play the Atlanta Falcons on Sunday afternoon.

To the south, winds of 45 mph were reported in the Sacramento Valley in California and high gusts were reported as far south as Las Vegas, Nevada.

Two confirmed tornadoes

The National Weather Service confirmed two tornadoes touched down Friday in the northwest Oregon coastal cities of Manzanita and Oceanside.

Judson Moore of Manzanita told KOIN he looked outside and saw “a wall of water and debris coming up the street.” He and his wife locked themselves in a bathroom.

“The pressure changed. You could almost feel the suction and the whole building was shaking,” he said. “I could hear the neighborhood just being torn apart.”

It lasted 30 seconds, he said. They weren’t hurt and their business was not badly damaged.

Jane Wannell of Manzanita weathered the storm well.

“I always have my camping equipment ready because we lost power,” she told KOIN. “So I was able to cook nice meals yesterday. The utility people were amazing! We got power back at 8 o’clock last night. That was an amazing gift to us.”

First responders searched the Mazanita area but have not found anyone trapped under the debris, Tillamook County Sheriff Andy Long told CNN.

The tornadoes damaged 25-30 homes, Gordon McCraw with Tillamook County Emergency Management told CNN. Video and photos showed uprooted trees, toppled telephone poles and ruffled rooftops.

The Coast Guard rescued 40 teenagers and six adults near Lake Crescent, Washington, Coast Guard Petty Officer Ali Flockerzi told CNN.

The group was stranded at their camp without power and was blocked in by falling trees, Flockerzi said. The Coast Guard deployed a 29-foot rescue boat to take them to safety, Flockerzi said.

The National Weather Service’s Portland office said it broke its record for the most tornado warnings in a day, issuing 10 on Friday.

It has issued a high wind warning for the marine area from Washington’s Cape Shoalwater to Oregon’s Cascade Head from 11 a.m. until 8 p.m. PDT. It warned of winds of 50-60 mph with gusts of up to 80 mph.

Saturday’s fierce weather may not be the end of it. A third storm could potentially pass through the Pacific Northwest next week, according CNN Meteorologist Dave Hennen.