Back-to-backstorms claimed at least two lives on the North Coast this week.
And one woman remained in danger after suffering carbon-monoxide poisoning because of a barbecue that was used indoors.
Clatsop County Medical Examiner Joann Stefanelli declined to release the victims' names because she didn't have full phone service until Wednesday evening and wanted to ensure relatives had been notified.
Faulty phone lines and blocked roads stemming from the storms contributed to at least one of the cases.
A 90-year-old woman was found dead in her Warrenton home Tuesday after her adult son drove to check on her from Ilwaco, Wash.
Apparently, the son checked in with her at noon daily, Stefanelli said. They last spoke Sunday, before the brunt of the storm. With the resulting damage and road closures, the son was unable to drive to Warrenton until Tuesday, when he found his mother on the floor.
She likely died early Monday, said Stefanelli, from falling and striking her head while checking on a window shattered by powerful winds.
On Wednesday, a 58-year-old Nehalem man died, apparently from a heart attack, while helping his daughter and son-in-law in Gearhart clear brush from their yard.
The man became unresponsive as he headed out to dispose of the debris. His son-in-law drove him to Providence Seaside Hospital, where doctors were unable to resuscitate him. He was pronounced dead at about 3 p.m.
Additional deaths were reported to the south in Tillamook County.
Electricity, telephone lines and other communications systems knocked out by the storm have mired emergency responders' efforts the past few days. Aside from keeping Stefanelli from properly notifying families of deaths, downed infrastructure lengthened the communication chain to getting bodies examined and notifying the sheriff, she said.
That may be why county officials stuck to claims that there were no storm-related deaths through 10 a.m. Wednesday, despite the Warrenton case earlier this week.
"We were hampered incredibly with lack of being able to get out of the exchange," Stefanelli said, referring to telephone service. "But things worked very well, and they will work even better next time."
Despite the lack of power, Stefanelli and her husband, Mark, have continued operations at their clinic, Seaside Urgent Care, this week.
Working by lamplight fueled by a home-model generator, they've treated a variety of injuries resulting from the storm.
At the beginning, accidents were often direct results of the rough, wet weather, like a broken arm after someone fell on a slippery porch, she said.
As time went on, patients often needed help because they couldn't get refills on medication. One man needed insulin. Others needed anti-seizure or blood pressure medication. Later, a Seaside man suffered a severe laceration on his eye while clearing brush.
County Sheriff Tom Bergin couldn't estimate the number of total injuries resulting from the storm but said they are "numerous."
He expects a full count from local hospitals and clinics in upcoming weeks.
Duane Mullins, chief of operations at Medix Ambulance, said that as of Wednesday, there hadn't been many calls for ambulances, although Medix drivers made "at least half a dozen" trips to Portland to help patients access advanced treatments or specialized doctors who couldn't get to the coast.
Phone service was still spotty then; people needing help had to known their local emergency office numbers, because 9-1-1 lines were down. A local fire department then would radio emergency dispatchers, who in turn would call Medix.
Mullins acknowledged some people might not have known where to get help. "That is a concern," he said. "Until we get to those people we don't know their condition."
Now, he expects call volume to increase, as workers clear trees from roadways and "they access people who have been trapped."
At 12:30 a.m. Thursday, a U.S. Coast Guard helicopter crew from Air Station Astoria evacuated a young woman brought to the base by ambulance from Providence Seaside Hospital, where she had been taken because of carbon monoxide poisoning.
She was flown to Legacy Emanuel Hospital in Portland and transferred to another hospital for treatment in a hyperbolic chamber, said Lt. j.g. Adam Davenport, a pilot on the Astoria flight.
The local station was initially asked to transport five patients with carbon monoxide poisoning, said Bob Coster, civilian search and rescue controller at Coast Guard Group Astoria. Four of the patients were stabilized, he said, and only a 28-year-old female was flown to Portland.
The injury was related to "use of a barbecue indoors," said Patti Atkins, the Seaside hospital's public affairs coordinator.