Wet weather, winds sweep across North Coast

Crews from Charter Communications remove part of a tree that fell on cables along U.S. Highway 30 near John Day County Park Tuesday. Strong winds and rain caused several trees and power lines along Highway 30 and U.S. Highway 26 to fall throughout the day.

Strong winds and rain Tuesday caused small landslides, downed trees that blocked roadways and power outages across Clatsop County.

The North Coast and Coast Range remains under a flood watch through Wednesday afternoon, the National Weather Service warned.

Residents of Astoria, Cannon Beach, Tillamook, Netarts, Pacific City, Vernonia, Jewell, Sunset Summit, Lee’s Camp and Trask should be on alert and use caution when traveling.

Clatsop County Public Works Director Michael Summers said county road crews were out all day Tuesday until about 10 p.m.

Crews responded to two landslides on Hamlet Road, south of U.S. Highway 26 near Elsie.

Last weekend a landslide blocked Lewis and Clark Road at milepost 8, which crews have cleared.

Trees were reported down in multiple places in Olney, Brownsmead, Knappa and Westport.

U.S. Highway 30 in John Day and Highway 26 near milepost 23 were closed Tuesday.

“Roads are open now,” Summers said. “We have a lot of cleanup to do.”

Power outages were reported east of Astoria and in the south county.

Starting at 12:30 p.m. Tuesday, downed trees damaged a power line and caused an outage for 375 customers east of Astoria, according to Pacific Power spokesman Tom Gauntt. As of Wednesday morning, 21 customers are still without power in the area.

Overnight, power went out for 3,400 Pacific Power customers in the south county into Tillamook County from about 11:45 p.m. to 12:40 a.m.

While the region is still under a flood watch, flood-related landslides are possible.

“Intense rainfall is a common landslide trigger,” Bill Burns, engineering geologist at the state Department of Geology and Mineral Industries, said in a statement. “Landslides and debris flows are possible during this weather event, so it’s important to be aware of the potential hazard.”

Debris flows are rapidly moving, extremely destructive landslides that can easily travel a mile or more, depending on the terrain. They can transport boulders and logs in a fast-moving soil and water slurry.

People, structures and roads below steep slopes in canyons, and near the mouths of canyons, may be at serious risk.

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