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Thursday, 14 January 2021

Powerful storm with 70mph winds hits Pacific Northwest killing woman after tree falls on her car and leaving another person missing in landslide - with 11 MILLION told to brace for snow and flooding

 A powerful wind storm rolled through the Pacific Northwest Wednesday, triggering landslides and decimating homes in a destructive flurry that has left one dead, one missing and 500,000 without power.

Winds reached gusts 50 to 70 mph 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.

In Spokane, Washington State, a woman in her 40s was killed after a tree fell on her car at 27th Avenue and Post Street, trapping her inside, city Fire Chief Brian Schaeffer said.

A second woman was also injured by a falling tree in the city on 63rd avenue at 6am, when it crashed through the roof of her home trapping her inside her bedroom. She was successfully freed by firefighters and was said to have suffered 'chest injuries'. She was taken to hospital to be evaluated. 

‘We are experiencing areas of flooding, downed trees, and other impacts from the storm. Please be very careful,’ Schaeffer warned.

In Oregon, one person has been reported missing after a landslide was triggered near I-84 in Dodson, sweeping a person - who hasn't been named - away in a swell of debris. 

Around 11 million Americans across 13 states - including Wisconsin  and Minnesota - have now been put on alert for damaging winds, flooding and heavy snow as the storm moves East.

In Spokane, Washington State, a woman in her 40s was killed after a tree fell on her car at 27th Avenue and Post Street, trapping her inside (above)

In Spokane, Washington State, a woman in her 40s was killed after a tree fell on her car at 27th Avenue and Post Street, trapping her inside (above)

A second woman was also injured by a falling tree in the city on 63rd avenue at 6am, when it crashed through the roof of her home trapping her inside her bedroom

A second woman was also injured by a falling tree in the city on 63rd avenue at 6am, when it crashed through the roof of her home trapping her inside her bedroom

She was successfully freed by firefighters and suffered 'chest injuries', the extent of which were not disclosed

She was successfully freed by firefighters and suffered 'chest injuries', the extent of which were not disclosed

Winds reached gusts 50 to 70 mph in parts of the Puget Sound region as the storm blew through late Tuesday into Wednesday morning

Winds reached gusts 50 to 70 mph in parts of the Puget Sound region as the storm blew through late Tuesday into Wednesday morning

A ponderosa pine is uprooted at a homeowners sidewalk on Wednesday, January 13, 2021, after a windstorm in Spokane

A ponderosa pine is uprooted at a homeowners sidewalk on Wednesday, January 13, 2021, after a windstorm in Spokane

In Oregon, one person has been reported missing after a landslide was triggered near an interstate highway in Dodson, sweeping an person - who hasn't been named - away in a swell of debris

In Oregon, one person has been reported missing after a landslide was triggered near an interstate highway in Dodson, sweeping an person - who hasn't been named - away in a swell of debris

Around 11 million Americans across 13 states - including Nebraska and Wisconsin - have now been put on alert for damaging winds, flooding and heavy snow as the storm moves East

Around 11 million Americans across 13 states - including Nebraska and Wisconsin - have now been put on alert for damaging winds, flooding and heavy snow as the storm moves East

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.

An unofficial gust of 71 mph was recorded at Spokane International Airport on Wednesday – the second-highest ever and just 6 mph short of the all-time record of 77 mph, which was recorded during a ferocious storm in November 2015.

The driver of a UPS semi-truck said his vehicle was nearly blown off of a bridge as he attempted to cross the Deception Pass Bridge in Island Country, as gusts of up to 65pmh suddenly struck.


Jeff Myles’ vehicle did turn over under the strain of the high winds, leaving part of the truck dangling precariously over the edge of the bridge, 180 feet above water.

Myles said he escaped the terrifying incident unharmed but said he has been left incredibly shaken up.

'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,' he told KOMO News. '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 just open his door.

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

‘I’m okay, just feeling a bit older,’ he joked. ‘A few more gray hairs.’

The driver of a UPS semi-truck said his vehicle was nearly blown off of a bridge as he attempted to cross the Deception Pass Bridge in Island Country, as gusts of up to 65pmh suddenly struck

The driver of a UPS semi-truck said his vehicle was nearly blown off of a bridge as he attempted to cross the Deception Pass Bridge in Island Country, as gusts of up to 65pmh suddenly struck

Tacoma Fire Department crews also responded to an incident near the 6000 block of South Mason Street after winds caused a tree to fall on a residence, trapping an occupant in their bed.

Tacoma Fire Department crews also responded to an incident near the 6000 block of South Mason Street after winds caused a tree to fall on a residence, trapping an occupant in their bed.

The damage from inside the home is seen in the above image.  The person trapped in bed reportedly escaped without significant injury

The damage from inside the home is seen in the above image.  The person trapped in bed reportedly escaped without significant injury

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

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

Children climb around a large ponderosa pine that fell in Cannon Hill Park after Wednesday's windstorm passed through

Children climb around a large ponderosa pine that fell in Cannon Hill Park after Wednesday's windstorm passed through

Spokane County Fire District 8 and Spokane City Fire responded to a woman trapped when a tree fell on a house on 63rd ave

Spokane County Fire District 8 and Spokane City Fire responded to a woman trapped when a tree fell on a house on 63rd ave

A winter storm watch has been issued for Wisconsin and Minnesota where some areas could see 6 to 12 inches of snow. Chicago too is likely to see snow by the week’s end too, according to forecasts

A winter storm watch has been issued for Wisconsin and Minnesota where some areas could see 6 to 12 inches of snow. Chicago too is likely to see snow by the week’s end too, according to forecasts

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.

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 a landslide spilled onto the freeway before dawn.

As of Wednesday afternoon one person has been reported missing in the landslide’s wake.

Rescuers were searching through mud as deep as 10 feet in search of the person, who was not named but is thought to have been swept away by the debris flow.

‘Firefighters were not able to locate any heat sources using thermal-imaging cameras,’ the Multnomah County Sheriff's office said. ‘It remains too dangerous for physical search.’

The Red Cross was providing rooms for evacuees at a nearby hotel.

The National Weather Service in Portland said several rivers were at or above flood stage across the state of Oregon.

Huge waves along the coast of up to 32 feet caused some beach erosion and coastal flooding, officials said.

In the mountains, locally 4 to 5 feet of very wet snow fell in the last two to three days and closed some passes which made roads treacherous.

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

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

As of Wednesday afternoon one person has been reported missing in the landslide’s wake

As of Wednesday afternoon one person has been reported missing in the landslide’s wake

Rescuers were searching through mud as deep as 10 feet in search of the person, who was not named but is thought to have been swept away by the debris flow

Rescuers were searching through mud as deep as 10 feet in search of the person, who was not named but is thought to have been swept away by the debris flow

The Red Cross was providing rooms for evacuees at a nearby hotel as crews working to clear the area

The Red Cross was providing rooms for evacuees at a nearby hotel as crews working to clear the area

Roads closed after heavy rains lead to mudslides in Oregon
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Around 11 million Americans across 13 states - from Washington to Wisconsin - have been put on alert for damaging winds, flooding and heavy snow. 

The storm is tipped to move east into the Midwest by tomorrow and Friday.

A winter storm watch has been issued for Wisconsin and Minnesota where some areas could see 6 to 12 inches of snow. Chicago too is likely to see snow by the week’s end too, according to forecasts

Additionally, winds could gust 40 to 60 mph causing blowing and drifting snow from the Dakotas down to Nebraska and Iowa.

The storm system will then move into the Northeast by Friday night and into Saturday, bringing heavy rainfall to New York City and Boston, and snow to Pennsylvania, New York State and New England.

In the East, the heaviest snow will be in western Pennsylvania, New York and into Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine where locally more than a half a foot snow is possible, according to ABC.

The storm system will then move into the Northeast by Friday night and into Saturday, bringing heavy rainfall to New York City and Boston, and snow to Pennsylvania, New York State and New England

The storm system will then move into the Northeast by Friday night and into Saturday, bringing heavy rainfall to New York City and Boston, and snow to Pennsylvania, New York State and New England

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