PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) – Power outages and flooding have rocked the northern Oregon coast as a storm blankets the region with wind and rain.
In Tillamook County, first responders are monitoring major rivers and warning commuters not to drive through standing water.
County officials are also watching problem areas for flooding. Winds gusting at more than 70 mph have caused road closures and power outages.
“It’s impressive; it’s Mother Nature at its best,” said Oregon Coast visitor Pete Heery. “We like long walks on the beach and that’s not happening here today.”
“I’ve enjoyed weather since I was a kid. It makes me feel the most alive being out here in the brunt of nature,” said Benjamin Jurkovich from Washington Weather Chasers.
The storm is a collision of warm and cold air and he’s been waiting for it to hit the Pacific Coast.
“I’ve been watching this cyclone on the models the last few days I’m like ‘Oh man, it’s finally going to happen for the first time in a few years,‘“ Jurkovich said.
For Heery and his family, it’s a holiday trip to the coast with a twist.
“A little bit wild actually. Really windy, last night power went on and off and power is off now all over the place, so we picked up our supplies. We were going to head back but we had to get a look at this,” Heery said.
Over the weekend, the King Tides sent waves higher than the Barview Jetty, but Tillamook County Emergency Management Director Randy Thorpe said the wind from this storm has made them even more immense, as much three feet higher than normal.
“The storm is elevating the tide and creating massive waves that are coming and causing the tides to stay high longer than they should have,” Thorpe said.
Flooding has taken place in some areas including parts of Highway 101. The sustained wind overnight also caused several power outages across Tillamook. Officials say people reported outages quickly and that helped crews address them.
Additionally, the emergency management director sent alerts to people who have signed up with them — warning people where the worst problems are.
“I guess it just is special right here because we seem to get more issues with the storms,” Thorpe said.
Thorpe said communication has been critical and hopes more people sign up for alerts for the rest of the stormy season. Anyone in Tillamook County can visit the county’s website to sign up for emergency alerts.
Anyone who signs up will receive time-sensitive messages wherever they specify, such as at their home, mobile or business phones, email address, text messages and more.