Pacific Northwest Pummeled By High Wind, Torrential Rain
Residents in the Pacific Northwest region are bracing for more winds and rain after a massive storm swept through the region on Monday, swamping streets, toppling trees, and cutting power to nearly 50,000 residents.
The main weather threat is over for Washington and Oregon and the rain is expected to continue, but it is not expected to disrupt the Thanksgiving holiday travel plans, because all major passes and roads in the region are open, reports The Associated Press.
Moderate flooding is expected on Tuesday along the Chehalis River near Centralia and residents have been told where to find sandbags and were also told to move any endangered livestock to higher ground.
Almost two inches of rain fell in one Seattle neighborhood in just six hours — a number that Seattle Public Utilities meteorologist James Rufo-Hill called “extraordinary.” Rufo-Hill added:
“It was a pretty big storm for most of the city — lots of rain in a relatively short amount of time.”
The Seattle Post-Intelligencer notes that BNSF railways also posted a 48-hour moratorium on all passenger and commuter trains between Everett and Seattle, beginning at noon on Monday, because of more than 10 mudslides affecting the tracks.
There is only one fatality from the mass of wind and rain so far. A hunter in Oregon’s northwest coast was killed by a tree falling on his tent Monday morning near Nehalem. Two hunters in a nearby camp heard the tree crack and fall and went to help, but they were too late to rescue the man.
A Washington State Patrol car and another vehicle were struck by a tree and carried by a mudslide in southwest Washington on US Highway 101 near Naselle. The patrol car caught on fire, but the trooper was able to break a window and crawl to safety. Both vehicles were destroyed by the fire, but the police officer and the woman in the second vehicle escaped serious harm.
Powerful Northwest storms are not uncommon, even as early as November. Monday’s storm was unusual, however, because it included both high winds and heavy rains. The highest recorded storm gust was 114 mph on Naselle Ridge in southwest Washington, while the highest 24-hour rainfall was 4.09 inches in Bremerton, Washington.