Wind and heavy rains thrash Oregon from metro to coast

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by KGW staff

NWCN.com

Posted on November 19, 2012 at 6:16 PM

Updated Tuesday, Nov 20 at 12:30 PM

PORTLAND – A major storm slammed into the Portland area Monday morning and KGW meteorologist Nick Allard said heavy rain will continue all day with winds 25 to 35 mph and umbrella-busting gusts to 40 mph.

Up to three inches of rain could fall through Tuesday morning, Allard predicted.

The National Weather Service has issued Flood Warnings and High Wind Warnings stretching from the Portland/Vancouver Metro area to the Central Willamette Valley and the Oregon Coast.

More: Check all weather warnings

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The dangerous combination of heavy wind and the saturated ground brought down several trees. In Beaverton, a tree crushed the car of a teacher on her way to work but she escaped unharmed.

More: Teacher's car hit by fallen tree

People across Oregon were warned that the storm wasn't likely to let up soon.

"We could see about 2-3 inches over the metro area and the valley through Monday and Tuesday morning. All of that rain will lead to some flooding," Allard said. "We already have at least two area rivers, the Grays & Nehalem, around flood stage and will likely see more. Area streams and creeks like Johnson Creek could also rise potentially a couple of feet above flood stage later Monday. Local standing water and clogged storm drains will also cause some issues."

On the Oregon coast, high water closed U.S. 101 in several areas, including Seaside, to car traffic. Trucks with high clearance were allowed to go through slowly. A semi-truck rollover closed the Astoria-Megler Bridge around 11 a.m. Drivers were urged to use an alternate route.

Traffic was also halted north of Gearhart while power lines on trees were repaired.

More: 98 mph gust near Newport; Hwy. 101 flooded

Trees were down along the Coast Range highway, where up to seven inches of rain could fall by Tuesday morning. A hunter was killed when a tree fell on his tent near Nehalem.

More: Hunter killed in severe storm

The Neah-Ka-Nie School District closed for Monday after a power failure.

More: Check school closures

Small outages were reported to PGE from Portland south in the Willamette Valley.

MORE: PGE outage information

Many area streams and rivers will be near flood stage by Monday night.

In the mountains, Cascade snow levels Monday were at 7,000 feet, placing some doubt in whether ski areas could open by Thanksgiving.

More: Storm will fall as rain in Cascades

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High winds gusting to 60 mph will also be possible across much of central and eastern Oregon.

If you are hoping for the rain to let up early next week, you might be out of luck. KGW Meteorologist Jim Donovan said that any drying will be short-lived due to even more storms heading this way.

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