PORTLAND A powerful new weather system hit the Portland Metro area early Thursday, dumping a deluge of rain during the morning commute and causing widespread damage.

The cold front will kick up some southerly winds ahead of and along the front, so between now and about noon, expect breezy to windy weather, said KGWMeteorologist Nick Allard. The valley will see wind around 20 to 30 mph. Expect steady rain until about 11 a.m. with breezy to windy weather, then showers for the afternoon.

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The storm also knocked out power to thousands of homes and businesses in Multnomah County and Clackamas County.

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The wind took out some trees throughout the Metro area and caused flooding in neighborhoods. Traffic on area highways quickly backed up as rain puddled on busy thoroughfares.

U.S. 26 westbound was bumper-to-bumper from 217 out. An accident blocked the Interstate 5 northbound off ramp to Marine Drive. And flooding was reported on Interstate 84 near the Grand Avenue exit.

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Allard said that while the system will remain through Friday, conditions will be much calmer with just a few showers and also some sun breaks.

The storm stretched from Portland to Mount Hood and the Oregon Coast.

The coast will be windy Thursday morning and all day with winds around 30 to 45 mph, Allard said.

Heavy snow in mountains

At least a foot of snow could fall at Mt. Hood ski resorts, according to KGW Meteorologist Nick Allard.

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It will likely be weeks before the runs open at most Mt. Hood ski areas, but with snow building up, people were already lining up for season passes.

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