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Monday windstorm knocks out power, shuts down highway

UPDATE: Northeast Marine Drive closed after truck blown off road


More than 30,000 people across the Portland area have lost power and the Sunset Highway is closed about 10 miles west of Manning because of fallen trees as a windstorm blasted its way through the Portland area Monday.

TriMet also said that at about noon, Dec. 21, fallen trees also stopped the MAX Blue Line between Ruby Junction and Cleveland Avenue in East Portland and Gresham. Buses were shuttling passengers between stations after a tree fell on the light-rail train’s overhead power lines.

Falling trees also closed part of Highway 224 about three miles west of Eagle Creek.

Northeast Marine Drive was closed Monday afternoon after an 18-wheel truck and trailer were blown off the road by high winds. Portland police said the driver was not injured in the accident.

The road was closed at about 1:14 p.m. in the 7800 block of Marine Drive. Tow trucks were called to haul the truck back onto the road.

Portland General Electric reported that falling trees and other debris had cut off power to nearly 14,000 people in Clackamas County, about 12,000 people in Multnomah County, 5,000 people in Washington County and about 500 people in Yamhill County.

The largest number of people who lost power, more than 5,000, were in the Gresham area, according to PGE.

The National Weather Service says high winds blowing into the region most of the day Dec. 21 are aimed at Northwest Oregon and Southwest Washington. Sustained winds from the south could hit 25 to 40 mph, with gusts blasting through at between 55 and 65 mph in some places.

Cities most at risk for the blast include St. Helens, Hillsboro, Portland, Oregon City and Gresham in Oregon; Longview, Kelso, Vancouver, Battle Ground and Washougal in Washington, according to the weather service.

The high wind warning is in effect until about 4 p.m. Fast wind should develop between 10 a.m. and noon, with peak gusts hitting between 11 and 3 p.m., according to the weather service.

The wind storm could stay just north of Portland, blowing through Cowlitz and Clark counties in Washington.

All this comes on top of heavy rain expected to fall at times Monday, with flooding in the Portland area. The Pudding River near Aurora in Marion and Clackamas counties, and the Tualatin River near Farmington in Washington County, are both near flood stage and could overflow their banks, according to the weather service.