Unexpected high winds mixed with steady rainfall sent limbs flying and trees toppling across a broad swath of the mid-valley Tuesday evening, causing power outages from the Pacific to the Cascades.
Early Wednesday, Pacific Power’s map of outages looked like it had measles, with numerous red dots representing from a handful to hundreds of homes and businesses without power.
James Ramseyer, director of member services for Consumers Power Inc., said that at the peak there were about 9,000 CPI customers without power in Linn, Benton, Lincoln and Marion counties.
“We’re down to about 2,600 customers (out of service),” Ramseyer said Tuesday afternoon. “We hope to have power back to everyone by the end of the day, but there may be some spotty outages into the night.”
Ramseyer said there were more than 80 individual problem areas.
Tom Gauntt of Pacific Power said that at the storm’s height, about 1:45 a.m. Wednesday, more than 28,000 customers were without power from Crescent City, California, to Yakima, Washington.
“It was a pounding wind, combined with the rain,” Gauntt said.
Gauntt said as of 9:30 a.m. Wednesday, the number of Albany customers without power was down to 151 from a high of almost 2,700.
Lebanon and Sweet Home had 4,400 customers out of power and Corvallis had almost 1,500.
“We have about 200 workers in the field,” Gauntt said.
Linn County Roadmaster Wayne Mink said there was a small mudslide on Upper Calapooia Road south of Sweet Home, but salvage logging crews working in the area quickly cleared it.
“Mostly, we’ve seen a lot of downed trees and debris on the roads that has been cleaned up,” Mink said.
County crews were out early in the Albany area, he said.
“We’ve not seen flooding problems, but that always depends on time and water concentration before the rivers come up,” Mink said.
The slowdown in rainfall throughout the mid-valley is allowing the rivers to maintain water flows within their peak stage levels.
There appeared to be few incidents of major damage from downed trees, although in Corvallis, a large tree in Bob Baird’s yard toppled and landed on four cars parked nearby. No one was injured.
In Linn County, Rodgers Mountain Loop near Scio was closed due to downed power lines and Dogwood Road near Scio was restricted to one lane due to rockslides.
In Benton County, roads with high water issues included:
• 13th and Chapel Road in Philomath, closed.
• 13th and Fern Road in Philomath, closed.
• Southwest 53rd Street in Corvallis, closed south of the bridge at the Marys River.
•Grange Hall Road, closed.
• Bellfountain Road north of 53rd Street, closed.
• McFarland Road, high water signs posted.
• Greenberry Road, high water signs posted.
• Bellfountain Road south of Alpine, high water signs posted.
• Bellfountain Road near Dykstra Road, high water signs posted.
• Alpine Road between McFarland Road and Bellfountain Road, high water signs posted.
The Associated Press reported that across the Pacific Northwest, more than 500,000 people had no power during the storm’s peak.
Winds reached up to 70 miles per hour in the Puget Sound area, and in Spokane a woman was killed when a tree fell on her car, trapping her inside.
The weather forecast for the mid-valley calls for high temperatures in the low 50s and intermittent rain though Sunday.
Contact Linn County reporter Alex Paul at 541-812-6114.