Strong winds, rain batter Pacific Northwest, sparking power outages

PORTLAND, Ore., Oct. 15 (UPI) — The Pacific Northwest experienced powerful winds and tornadoes as the area endured even more severe weather Saturday night, with high winds causing mass power outages.

A high wind warning was issued by the National Weather Service for the Greater Portland area from 11 a.m. Saturday until 12 a.m. Sunday as residents were warned to avoid traveling on streets flooded by heavy rain water, according to NBC News.

Portland General Electric reported more than 34,000 customers in seven coastal counties were without electricity by 5 p.m. Pacific time Saturday. The heaviest winds were not expected until later in the evening.

Saturday’s storm is expected to bring as much as an inch of rainfall to Portland as well as 45 to 60 mph wind gusts in the valley area and gusts as powerful as 90 mph along the coast, KGW reported.

Difficult travel and rough seas were also reported after the area faced a record number of tornado warnings on Friday.

“We had never issued more than 3 tornado warnings in one day,” the Portland National Weather Service said in a tweet. “We issued 10 today.”

An EF2 tornado struck the northwest Oregon town of Manzanita on Friday, touching down at 8:20 a.m. local time with maximum winds between 125-130 mph, according to KGW.

Tillamook County Emergency Management said 20 to 35 homes were damaged, but no injuries were reported. A second tornado came ashore near Oceanside within an hour, although no damages nor injuries were reported.

More than 8,071 people were left without electricity in Seattle, Wash., including a group of students who were stranded during a field trip to Camp David on Lake Crescent on Friday.

The U.S. Coast Guard helped rescue the group of 40 13- and 14-year-old students and six adults who had been stranded in a cabin without power and unable to drive out due to fallen trees.

A 4-year-old and his father were also injured after being stuck by a falling tree branch, according to the Seattle Fire Department.


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