|High winds pummel coast, heavy rain on its way|
|Written by Scott Graves, Pilot staff writer|
|November 19, 2012 03:53 pm|
Wind gusts of up to 65 mph in Gold Beach and Port Orford today toppled trees, downed power lines and sent a storage shed tumbling down the street as the brunt of Curry County’s first major storm pummeled the area.
Wind damage was minimal so far in Brookings, where a high gust of 46 mph was reported at 3:30 p.m. However, Carpenterville Road just north of Brookings was closed as of 4:45 p.m. today after a fallen tree blocked the road, according to the Oregon Department of Transportation.
“We’re lucky. The damage has been minimal so far,” Curry County Sheriff John Bishop said at 4:30 p.m. today.
“It’s mostly been trees down and scattered power outages that haven’t lasted too long,” he said.
High winds are expected to continue tonight as a second front arrives, bringing with it up to six inches of rain to the coast tonight through Tuesday morning. Up to 10 inches of rain was possible in the higher elevations.
“All that rain in the mountains has to go somewhere, and we’re at the end of the line,” Bishop said.
The National Weather Service (NWS) issued a flood warning at 2:05 p.m. for rivers and small streams in Curry County that will last through 2 a.m. Wednesday.
The warning read, “A flood warning means that flooding is imminent or has been reported. Stream rises will be slow and flash flooding is not expected. Take precautions now.”
As of 4 p.m. today, Curry County’s rivers and streams were within their banks. The Chetco River height was around normal for this year at 8.84 feet, with a flow level of 10,400 cubic feet per second. However, the NWS was predicting the river could reach 24.4 feet, or 60,000 cubic feet per second, by 3 p.m. Tuesday.
At 1 p.m. today, the NWS issued a high wind warning that would remain in effect until 10 p.m. tonight. Strong, potentially damaging southerly winds of 45 to 55 mph, with gusts of 70 mph at the immediate coast were predicted as the next front approaches. Winds are expected to ease after 10 p.m. The peak of the wind was predicted at around sunset.
A high surf warning was issued at noon today, with strong winds expected to generate waves 24- to 30-feet high. The high surf will continue into the night. The surf was expected to be particularly dangerous on south facing beaches when combined with a high tide at 4 p.m. today and 5 a.m. Tuesday.
Reports of wind damage in Gold Beach began coming in around noon today as gusts reached 65 to 70 mph. There were reports of multiple downed trees and power lines. The flashing on the animal shelter facility was ripped off and rain was leaking down the walls. At one point, there was a report of a stand-alone storage shed tumbling down Seventh Street and heading for Highway 101.
A toppled tree struck a Gold Beach house on First Avenue above Buffington Park, knocking it off its foundation, according to Gold Beach Police Chief Dixon Andrews.
No major injuries or accidents were reported in Curry County as of 4 p.m. today, Bishop said.
Check this website often for storm updates.