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Windy, wet fall storms rake Oregon, High Desert

By Barney Lerten
Published On: Dec 24 2013 08:02:36 AM CST
Updated On: Sep 30 2013 01:47:57 AM CDT
Redmond tree down Richard Bozarth

Richard Bozarth

Richard Bozarth says tree on his property fell on Ninth Street in Saturday's winds, damaging the fence; he was worried about a couple more trees about 80 years old

BEND, Ore. -

A pair of intense early-autumn storms swept into Oregon Saturday and Sunday, buffeting much of the state with high winds and heavy rain, toppling trees from Portland to Bend and knocking out power to thousands on the Oregon coast and in the Willamette Valley.

Portland General Electric reported more than 17,000 customers lost power in the Portland and Seaside areas on Saturday. All were restored by about 5 p.m., the utility reported. But new outages hit about 3,800 PGE customers in Portland and Coos Bay before nightfall.

Thousands more were left in the dark from the coast to the Valley from Sunday's second stormy bout of wind and rain, which again toppled trees and caused various problems.

Much of the High Desert is under a National Weather Service wind advisory until 11 p.m. Monday for winds that could gust to 55 mph at times. And some areas are under a high wind warning that winds could gust to 65 mph as the second storm moves through.

Bend and Redmond airports had winds gusting to 40 mph for much of Saturday afternoon, though relatively little rain in many areas.

But Sunday brought more widespread rain in the afternoon and a return of winds gusting to 30-40 mph after dark.

On NewsChannel 21's Facebook page, Aaron Wyngarden said a large top half of a tree had landed onto a parked SUV on NE Quimby Avenue Saturday afternoon.  Meanwhile, a caller reported that a leaning power pole had prompted closure of NE Bear Creek Road near Rawhide Drive.

As darkness fell Saturday, a tree more than a foot in diameter fell across Southeast Ninth Street in Redmond,  while in Bend, a tree fell on a power line near Eighth Street and Butler Market Road, with a caller reporting seeing flames.

Other downed trees were reported earlier on Mount Washington Drive, Boyd Acres Road and on East Cascade near Fort Rock Park in Sunriver.

Trees also were falling around the Portland area, including a large tree that fell on a mobile home in Hillsboro. No one was injured, but the homeowner was displaced.

Rainfall records for the day and month were falling over a wide area as some spots saw a half-foot of rain since Friday.

Garibaldi on the Oregon coast, where storms always bring the highest winds, reported gusts to 75 mph Saturday.

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