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Pacific Northwest Escapes Storm's Fury With Toppled Trees, Power Outages

Dozens of trees were toppled in the Pacific Northwest and power was out for thousands, but forecasters feared more damaging winds.
Northwest Storm
Skagit County District 3 volunteer firefighter Nathan McCaughn clears part of a fallen alder tree Friday afternoon, Oct. 14, 2016 on Bulson Road, south of Conway, Wash. Emergency workers responded to dozens of wind blown trees as a powerful storm blew through the Pacific Northwest.Scott Terrell / Skagit Valley Herald via AP)

A powerful storm fueled by the remnants of a typhoon swept through the Pacific Northwest Saturday, toppling dozens of trees in the Portland area and knocking out power, but the winds were less fierce than feared in Seattle.

In Tigard, Oregon, southwest of Portland, a tree fell on a car as it traveled down a road, but the driver and passenger escaped with minor scrapes, Tigard police said.

In Lacey, Washington, east of Olympia, a tree was sent crashing on top of a house, the fire department said. No one was injured.

Forecasters had warned of a possible historic storm along the coast. Gusts of a 77 mph were recorded near Garibaldi, Oregon — but in the Portland metro area gusts of 53 mph were recorded at the city’s airport, and in the Seattle area wind gusts were around 40 mph, the National Weather Service said.

"Winds with this storm were significantly less along the coast than we were expecting,” the National Weather Service’s Portland office said in a statement.

While the forecasters said they were relieved there wasn’t more damage, they would be looking at why the forecast was wrong.

But the storm was still powerful enough to cause damage. Two tornadoes touched down in coastal Oregon Friday, including one that tore through a neighborhood in the town of Manzanita, damaging around 30 homes, officials said.

More than 34 trees fell in Portland Saturday and a landslide closed down a road in the Sellwood neighborhood, the city’s Bureau of Transportation said. Seattle activated its emergency operations center in anticipation of what looked like a monster storm.

Power outages affected more than 20,000 customers in a swath of Oregon in and around Portland, Portland General Electric reported on its website.

In Snohomish County in Washington state, close to 9,000 customers remained without power, mostly in the cities of Everett, Brier and Bothell, the county public utility district said.

More than 3,000 lost power in part of Seattle, but by Friday night power had been restored to all but around 800, Seattle City Light said.