SALEM, Ore. — Winds gusting as high as 113 mph hammered parts of the Oregon coast Wednesday, knocking down trees, causing power outages and disrupting traffic.
The winter storm brought little snow at low elevations but lots of rain and plenty of inconveniences.
News outlets reported a wind gust of 113 mph in Charlston, 110 mph at Cape Foulweather, 99 mph at Cape Blanco.
KCST-FM radio in Florence reported 88 mph gusts and power outages in the area. The station also said a tree fell onto a car and injured a woman.
Wind pushed a tractor-trailer into a pickup traveling the opposite direction on the bridge spanning Yaquina Bay in Newport, pinning the small truck against the guardrail and blocking both lanes of U.S. Highway 101, police said. Nobody was injured. Wind gusts in the area were clocked as high as 70 mph.
Officials in Coos and Lincoln counties each said they've responded to reports of about 20 downed trees blocking roadways. The numbers were typical for a winter storm, they said, and crews were keeping up.
Crews closed roads throughout the Coast Range when downed trees blocked travel. One lane of Interstate 5 near downtown Portland was shut down because of high water, causing long backups. I-84 was temporarily blocked in both directions east of Biggs after a tractor-trailer crashed into a guardrail.
Most roads had reopened by Wednesday evening.
The Coast Guard closed entrances to Depoe Bay and the Siuslaw and Umpqua rivers.
The National Weather Service issued flood warnings around portions of three rivers, and the state Oregon Department of Geology warned of the potential for flooding, landslides and debris flows — rapidly moving landslides that can destroy anything in their path.
After intense rainfall, officials said, anyone near steep slopes should be on alert for signs of danger like the sound of trees cracking or a sudden change in the flow of a stream.
The Weather Service late Wednesday reported major flooding on the Marys River near Philomath, south of Corvallis.
The Siuslaw River near Mapleton in Lane County also overflowed its banks, causing what the Weather Service described as moderate flooding.
Flood advisories covered much of the Willamette Valley.
The storm began moving in Tuesday night, bringing some snow that changed to rain early Wednesday as temperatures warmed.
Wet snow coated tree branches and power lines early Wednesday, resulting in power outages that at times affected thousands in the greater Portland metro area.
Shutter Creek prison in North Bend ran on generators after a power outage. Prison officials canceled programs and off-site work crews, and inmates were restricted to their housing units and the yard, said Jennifer Black, a spokeswoman for the Oregon Department of Corrections.
Pacific Power officials said 1,700 customers lost power in that area. At the peak statewide, the company had 5,200 customers without electricity. About 1,000 remained in the dark late Wednesday night.
Early Wednesday morning, 30,000 customers of Portland General Electric were without power. Power had been restored to most by late Wednesday night.
Late Tuesday, a specially equipped pediatric ambulance lost traction on the steep road leading to the hospital while transporting a 3-month-old infant. The unit was freed with help from paramedics from a separate ambulance, said officials from American Medical Response Northwest, which operates the rescue ambulance.