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)

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.

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.


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