Northwest storm kills 1, causes landslide and power outages

Crews remove a large ponderosa pine that fell on a vehicle, killing a woman during a  windstorm Wednesday, Jan. 13, 2021 in Spokane, Wash. (Colin Mulvany/The Spokesman-Review via AP)
Crews remove a large ponderosa pine that fell on a vehicle, killing a woman during a windstorm Wednesday, Jan. 13, 2021 in Spokane, Wash. (Colin Mulvany/The Spokesman-Review via AP)

Credit: Colin Mulvany

Credit: Colin Mulvany

A powerful wind storm has rolled through the Pacific Northwest, killing one person and leaving a trail of damage

SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) — A powerful wind storm rolled through the Pacific Northwest, killing one person and leaving a trail of damage -- including a highway shut down after a landslide and a tractor-trailer that was nearly blown off a bridge. More than 500,000 people lost power.

The death happened in Spokane, when a woman in her 40s died after a tree fell on her car and trapped her inside, city Fire Chief Brian Schaeffer said. In Oregon, authorities said Jennifer Camus Moore, 50, was driving a vehicle believed to be swept away in a vehicle after a landslide hit Interstate 84, authorities said.

Winds reached gusts 50 to 70 mph (80 to 113 kph) in parts of the Puget Sound region as the storm blew through on the tail end of several inches of rain that left the ground saturated and conditions ripe for trees to fall, KOMO-TV reported.

As of early Wednesday, Seattle had received 20% of its normal annual rainfall, according to the National Weather Service.

High winds blew down trees across the greater Spokane region. Avista, a Spokane-based utility, reported that more than 70,000 customers were without power Wednesday morning. About 430,000 customers elsewhere in Washington state and in Oregon also lost electrical service, officials said.

The city's public schools were closed for in-person and virtual learning Wednesday morning, and Eastern Washington University also cancelled both in-person and online classes.

In Oregon, residents of the small community of Dodson were told to evacuate after the National Weather Service issued a flash flood warning Wednesday morning, KOIN-TV reported.

The weather service told residents to call friends in the area to wake them up and tweeted that the situation has been “deemed too dangerous to send in rescue crews.”

Near Dodson, part of Interstate 84 was closed after the landslide spilled onto the freeway before dawn.

The missing person was believed to have been driving a car that was swept away in the debris flow, according to the Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office.

The landslide was estimated to be 10 feet (3 meters) deep in some areas and too dangerous for search and rescue crews. Heavy machinery was being brought in to clear the debris, officials said.

Several rivers began overflowing their banks in Oregon, and a tractor-trailer in Washington state blew over amid heavy wind gusts as it attempted to travel over the Deception Pass Bridge north of Seattle, officials said. Part of the truck was left dangling over the edge of the bridge, but the driver escaped unharmed.

“I just passed the middle of the bridge and a gust of ... I don’t know how bad ... just picked up my trailer and my truck and just pushed it against the guard rail,” trucker Jeff Myles told KOMO NewsRadio. “I slammed on my brakes, and I just laid over the guard rail. It tilted about 3 feet each way.”

Myles said his cab was leaning over the edge of the bridge, and he couldn’t open his door.

“I could look down at the water (out my window), so I wasn’t going to open THAT door,” he said.

Multiple school districts in Oregon were also closed for online learning or significantly delayed because of internet outages that prevented students from logging on to class.

In this Wednesday, Jan. 13, 2021, photo provided by the Washington State Department of Transportation, a tractor-trailer leans against bridge railing where it blew over amid heavy wind gusts as it attempted to travel over the Deception Pass Bridge north of Seattle. Part of the truck was left dangling over the edge of the bridge, but the driver escaped unharmed. (Washington State Department of Transportation via AP)
In this Wednesday, Jan. 13, 2021, photo provided by the Washington State Department of Transportation, a tractor-trailer leans against bridge railing where it blew over amid heavy wind gusts as it attempted to travel over the Deception Pass Bridge north of Seattle. Part of the truck was left dangling over the edge of the bridge, but the driver escaped unharmed. (Washington State Department of Transportation via AP)

Credit: Uncredited

Credit: Uncredited

Children climb  around a large ponderosa pine that fell in Cannon Hill Park after a windstorm passed the area on Wednesday, Jan. 13, 2021 in  A powerful wind storm has rolled through the Pacific Northwest left a trail of damage. (Colin Mulvany/The Spokesman-Review via AP)
Children climb around a large ponderosa pine that fell in Cannon Hill Park after a windstorm passed the area on Wednesday, Jan. 13, 2021 in A powerful wind storm has rolled through the Pacific Northwest left a trail of damage. (Colin Mulvany/The Spokesman-Review via AP)

Credit: Colin Mulvany

Credit: Colin Mulvany

Megan Whitmore of Post Falls, Idaho,  pulls branches from a fallen tree with help from her neighbor Ed Macdonald Wednesday, Jan 13, 2021.  A powerful wind storm has rolled through the Pacific Northwest  leaving a trail of damage.  (Kathy Plonka/The Spokesman-Review via AP)
Megan Whitmore of Post Falls, Idaho, pulls branches from a fallen tree with help from her neighbor Ed Macdonald Wednesday, Jan 13, 2021. A powerful wind storm has rolled through the Pacific Northwest leaving a trail of damage. (Kathy Plonka/The Spokesman-Review via AP)

Credit: Kathy Plonka

Credit: Kathy Plonka

A ponderosa pine is uprooted at a homeowners sidewalk on Wednesday, Jan. 13, 2021, after a windstorm in Spokane, Wash.   (Colin Mulvany/The Spokesman-Review via AP)
A ponderosa pine is uprooted at a homeowners sidewalk on Wednesday, Jan. 13, 2021, after a windstorm in Spokane, Wash. (Colin Mulvany/The Spokesman-Review via AP)

Credit: Colin Mulvany

Credit: Colin Mulvany

A private tree crew cleans up a wind-downed tree in a Walla Walla, Wash., Wednesday,  Jan 13, 2020. High winds caused minimal damage in the eastern Washington town.  (Greg Lehman/Walla Walla Union-Bulletin via AP)
A private tree crew cleans up a wind-downed tree in a Walla Walla, Wash., Wednesday, Jan 13, 2020. High winds caused minimal damage in the eastern Washington town. (Greg Lehman/Walla Walla Union-Bulletin via AP)

Credit: Greg Lehman

Credit: Greg Lehman

A broken utility poles is tangled in wires in Seattle, Wednesday, Jan. 13, 2021, following an overnight storm. (Mike Siegel/The Seattle Times via AP)
A broken utility poles is tangled in wires in Seattle, Wednesday, Jan. 13, 2021, following an overnight storm. (Mike Siegel/The Seattle Times via AP)

Credit: Mike Siegel

Credit: Mike Siegel

A broken utility poles rests in a  Shell gas station a block south of Myrtle on Ellis Avenue South in Seattle, Wednesday, Jan. 13, 2021, following an overnight storm. (Mike Siegel/The Seattle Times via AP)
A broken utility poles rests in a Shell gas station a block south of Myrtle on Ellis Avenue South in Seattle, Wednesday, Jan. 13, 2021, following an overnight storm. (Mike Siegel/The Seattle Times via AP)

Credit: Mike Siegel

Credit: Mike Siegel

A bulldozer is surrounded by floodwaters from the Snoqualmie River near Fall City, Wash., Wednesday, Jan. 13, 2021, following an overnight storm. (Steve Ringman/The Seattle Times via AP)
A bulldozer is surrounded by floodwaters from the Snoqualmie River near Fall City, Wash., Wednesday, Jan. 13, 2021, following an overnight storm. (Steve Ringman/The Seattle Times via AP)

Credit: Steve Ringman

Credit: Steve Ringman

A sign along SE 24th Street is surrounded by floodwater from the swollen Snoqualmie River near Fall City, Wash., Wednesday, Jan. 13, 2021, following an overnight storm. (Steve Ringman/The Seattle Times via AP)
A sign along SE 24th Street is surrounded by floodwater from the swollen Snoqualmie River near Fall City, Wash., Wednesday, Jan. 13, 2021, following an overnight storm. (Steve Ringman/The Seattle Times via AP)

Credit: Steve Ringman

Credit: Steve Ringman

A utility pole is toppled along East Marginal Way South at South Myrtle Street in Seattle, Wednesday, Jan. 13, 2021, following an overnight storm. (Mike Siegel/The Seattle Times via AP)
A utility pole is toppled along East Marginal Way South at South Myrtle Street in Seattle, Wednesday, Jan. 13, 2021, following an overnight storm. (Mike Siegel/The Seattle Times via AP)

Credit: Mike Siegel

Credit: Mike Siegel

Utility poles are toppled in the Boeing employee parking lot near the Boeing delivery center in Seattle, Wednesday, Jan. 13, 2021, following an overnight storm. (Mike Siegel/The Seattle Times via AP)
Utility poles are toppled in the Boeing employee parking lot near the Boeing delivery center in Seattle, Wednesday, Jan. 13, 2021, following an overnight storm. (Mike Siegel/The Seattle Times via AP)

Credit: Mike Siegel

Credit: Mike Siegel

In this photo taken by a drone, a massive tree branch that broke away in a windstorm lies across the roof of a house Wednesday, Jan. 13, 2021, in Bellingham, Wash. The powerful wind storm that rolled through the Pacific Northwest killed one person and left a trail of damage. The storm nearly blew a tractor-trailer off a bridge in Washington state, caused a landslide in Oregon and left more than 500,000 people in the two states without power. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)
In this photo taken by a drone, a massive tree branch that broke away in a windstorm lies across the roof of a house Wednesday, Jan. 13, 2021, in Bellingham, Wash. The powerful wind storm that rolled through the Pacific Northwest killed one person and left a trail of damage. The storm nearly blew a tractor-trailer off a bridge in Washington state, caused a landslide in Oregon and left more than 500,000 people in the two states without power. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

Credit: Elaine Thompson

Credit: Elaine Thompson

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