Seattle: Trees and power lines snapped as a powerful storm bearing the remnants of a Pacific typhoon hit the Northwest.
Tens of thousands of people were without power in Oregon and Washington on Saturday as the storm made landfall after gathering intensity off the coast. The National Weather Service said winds gusted above 80km/h in the Portland area, and strong winds and heavy rain squalls were hitting the Seattle area Saturday night.
“We’ve definitely seen a good round of strong wind, with gusts along the coast anywhere from 60mph to 80mph [96km/h to 128km/h] in some of the more exposed parts, and 50 to 60mph [80km/h to 96km/h] in the Portland area,” said Matthew Cullen, a meteorologist with the agency. “There’s scattered damage.”
Emergency crews reported trees and power lines down throughout the region. The Tualatin Valley Fire and Rescue posted a photograph on Facebook of a tree that crushed the new car and part of the home of a family in North Plains, Oregon, near Portland. The Washington Department of Transportation said trees came down on Interstate 5 near Olympia, blocking a lane.
No injuries were immediately reported Saturday.
In Coburg, Oregon, north of Eugene, a moss-covered tree limb smashed a bright yellow 2003 Mustang parked outside the Dari Mart convenience store. The car was owned by Dari Mart employee Angel Ramon.
“I have never parked in that spot before,” Ramon told The Register-Guard newspaper.
The storm brought heavy rain and wind from Northern California to Washington state.
The Quinault Indian Nation, on the coast of Washington’s Olympic Peninsula, fretted that the storm would bring a swell that would breach the sea wall that separates its main village from the Pacific Ocean, but the wall was holding Saturday amid 30-foot seas, the tribe said.
The ocean has breached the sea wall twice in recent years, bringing extensive flooding. The tribe is working to relocate the village to higher ground due to the rising sea-level from global warming and the risk of a tsunami.
The storm carried the remnants of Typhoon Songda, which wreaked havoc in the western Pacific days ago. It closely followed a separate storm that on Friday brought a tornado to Manzanita, Oregon; injured a four-year-old boy and his father when a tree branch fell in West Seattle; and prompted the Coast Guard and other emergency officials near Port Angeles, Washington, to make several boat trips across a lake to rescue 40 teenagers and six adults who became stranded at an outdoor recreation camp after they lost power and downed trees blocked their way out.
The tornado destroyed two businesses and rendered one home uninhabitable, but no injuries were reported. Another twister was confirmed near Oceanside, Oregon, but it caused no damage.
The weather service urged people to finish any chores requiring power — such as charging cell phones — and to fill prescriptions and secure loose yard items before the worst winds hit.
Officials also warned residents to keep off the roads, closed parks and zoos, and even halted visiting hours at state prisons as the storm approached.