Tumalo Continues the Cleanup After Damaging Storms

By Brooke Snavely
Central Oregon Dail

Central Oregonians are still cleaning up after Friday’s severe storm that dropped up to six inches of hail in places.
Tumalo farmers and homeowners who are still discovering damage to homes and crops.

This was a big storm in a lot of ways. Here’s a telling example: Move these branches and here’s some hail three days after it fell. It’s still here.

Sheets of hail poured down on Tumalo for about 30 minutes late Friday afternoon, breaking windows, denting siding, and sand blasting wood surfaces

“Our shade cloth was on the ground covered in hail. It was suspended on wires between the house and garage and with all the hail weighing it down tore down, it was gone,” said Jean Fish.

Jean and Rob Fish say it hailed so hard it washed the grit off their roof shingles. 

“We’ve got dimpling on the top of our car. It totally decimated the roof of our travel trailer. All the plastic on the air conditioning cover is gone, just shredded. My husband and I are kind of in shock. Every time we look around we find more damage, one more thing.”

Gwen & Jim Millard found dents in their home’s aluminum siding, shredded window screens and layers of debris knocked out of their trees

“I can’t believe it didn’t break that window because of the way it broke the shutters,” Gwen said. “I don’t know if you can paint plastic shutters.” 

“I sent a lot of pictures in to the insurance company by email. Luckily we are covered for hail.” 

Sykes Mitchell says about 25 acres of nearly mature hemp plants were bent over by the hail and stripped of many of their leaves. He applied fertilizer and three days later, the plants have perked back up.

“Those tips sticking up like that tells me that resilient plant is doing everything it can to survive…up like this,” he said. “When they turn down, they are pretty easy to read. When they’re sad, they’ll point their limbs down and be kind of limp. But this, this is a glimmer of hope.”


Lightning Strike Damages Car in Bend

Lightning struck a parked car in south Bend Friday night, shattering the windshield and igniting the interior.

Deputy Fire Marshal  Susie Maniscalco said in a release that crews were called to a car on fire outside a house at 19601 Hollygrape St. about 5:45 p.m.

A neighbor heard a car alarm sounding and discovered the hole in the car’s windshield and a fire inside.

The fire department determined the lightning struck the front windshield and its energy traveled down into the dashboard causing the window to shatter.  The airbag deployed and due to temperatures generated by the electrical discharge, it began to burn, Maniscalco said.

The car was unoccupied and the owners were out of town. The fire caused about $7,000 in damage to the car.

The strike was part of another round of severe storms that rolled through the area Friday evening causing heavy rain, high winds, hail and abundant lightning.

Severe weather battered the area on Thursday night as well, causing hazardous flash flooding in Powell Butte.

Lightning image courtesy Colette Schuchardt

Flash Flooding Closes Powell Butte Highway

Heavy rains early Thursday evening caused hazardous flash flooding near Alfalfa, closing part of Powell Butte Highway for about two hours as crews worked to clear debris.

A Crook County Sheriff’s deputy on the scene reported 18 inches of water running down SW Bussett Road near Shumway Road and Powell Butte Highway, with large “bowling ball size boulders” in the road around 6 p.m.

One deputy made it to SW Hahlen Road and found that a culvert had been washed out.

Flood waters had reached SW Powell Butte Highway between SW Cronin Road and SW Bussett Road with about 12 inches of flowing water across both lanes. The flood waters ended up eroding the shoulder/ditch at the Central Oregon Irrigation District (COID) canal bridge on the highway, prompting the road closure which lasted a couple hours.

There were reports of at least one house in the area heavily damaged by water and rocks. The resident there was stranded because her cars were stuck in a river of mud.

Crook County dispatch reported the highway was closed between SW Bussett Road and SW Weigand Road as road graders helped push debris off the road between. Deputies were there to help get local traffic through the area before the road reopened about 8:30.

Central Oregon Daily’s Allen Schauffler grabbed a couple of photos that showed a bocce ball court gone aquatic and a typically dry gully turned mud bog.

The rain was part of a strong thunderstorm system that moved through Central Oregon over the dinner hour, with abundant lightning, thunderclaps rattling buildings and hail disrupting some commutes home.

Meanwhile, Crook County and Oregon Department of Forestry fire crews responded to multiple fire starts near McKay Creek Road about six miles north of Prineville.