Wind and rain slam Washington, Oregon



SEATTLE — A late September storm was bringing rains and high winds to parts of Oregon and Washington, with an urban flood advisory issued for the Portland area and forecasters predicting gusts of more than 50 mph across the greater Puget Sound region.

The National Weather Service issued high-wind warnings for Sunday night into this morning for a region that stretched from the Canadian border to south of Olympia, saying gusts could reach 60 mph. The cause was an area of low pressure moving ashore.

“This has the potential to be one of the strongest September windstorms on record,” the weather service said in its advisory.

The gusty weather comes after record rainfalls in Western Washington. On Saturday 1.71 inches fell at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, more than double the old record of 0.83 of an inch set in 1948. A record rainfall of 2.93 inches was set in Olympia, breaking the old record of 0.82 set in 1971.

In Oregon the flood advisory was issued until Sunday night. Portland officials asked people to clear neighborhood drains to help curb flooding, and a wind advisory was set for the Willamette Valley into Sunday night. High wind gusts of up to 80 mph also expected on the Oregon Coast.

The Saturday storm in the Portland area knocked out power for thousands in the city and throughout the Willamette Valley. Steve Pierce, president of the Oregon Chapter of the American Meteorological Society, said daily rainfall records were set Saturday in the Oregon communities of Hillsboro, McMinnville, Troutdale, Redmond and Salem.

In Washington, the weather service issued flood warnings for Pierce, Lewis and Mason counties. Flooding of the Puyallup River near Orting was a possibility through today. Heavy rain caused the Puyallup River to reach just above the flood level Saturday about midnight, and receded below that mark early Sunday.