Deaths, flooding as storm hit Oregon and Washington state

Deaths, flooding as storm hit Oregon and Washington state

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) – A winter storm that brought powerful winds to Oregon on Tuesday caused at least two fatal car crashes that left four people dead, preliminary police investigations have found.

Three people were killed, including a 4-year-old girl, when bad weather caused a large tree to fall on their pickup truck while they were traveling on US 26 about 15 miles east of the coastline, Oregon State Police said. in a press release. . The passengers were pronounced dead when first responders arrived on the scene.

Further east on US 26 in Mount Hood, a motorist was killed when a large tree fell on the cab of the commercial truck he was driving in snow and high winds, causing him to lose control and veer off the highway , state police said. The 53-year-old driver, who was alone in the truck, was pronounced dead at the scene.

Another person died when a tree fell and struck a pickup truck they were traveling in on Interstate 84 near Cascade Locks at the mouth of the Columbia River, Oregon State Police said. The driver was injured and was transported to the hospital. The weather appears to have contributed to the tree falling, OSP spokesman Kyle Kennedy said.

Strong winds snapped trees and downed power lines across much of the western half of the state on Tuesday, knocking out power to more than 100,000 people in places. Wind gusts reached 86 mph near Cape Perpetua on the Central Coast and 107 mph near the iconic Timberline Lodge on Mount Hood, said Andy Bryant, a hydrologist with the National Weather Service’s Portland office.

Utility companies have been progressively restoring power, but more than 50,000 people were still affected by outages as of midday Wednesday, according to online tracker PowerOutage.

Portland General Electric and Pacific Power — among the utilities reporting the most outages — both said they had hundreds of utility crew members, including out of state, working to assess and repair damage.

Oregon led the nation as the state with the most reported power outages Tuesday, with more than 160,000 customers affected, according to PowerOutage.

Tuesday’s storm system also brought massive waves, high tides and flooding to the region.

Wave heights reached 30 feet along the Oregon coast, the National Weather Service said.

The storms flooded parts of Washington state, including Seattle, where some residents of the South Park neighborhood kayaked through streets and used buckets to clear their homes of water.

A record wave of 18.4 feet (5.61 meters) submerged parts of the state capital of Olympia and washed jellyfish over the shoreline into city streets, officials said.

A coastal flood warning will remain in effect for Seattle and southern Puget Sound until 1 p.m. Wednesday.

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