Storm wallops region
November 22, 2012
A winter storm that packed hurricane force winds and dumped five inches or more of rain hit the lower Columbia River region Sunday and Monday.
The heavy rains brought flooding to the Grays River Valley on Monday and led to landslides that closed SR 4 in several places Monday afternoon between Cathlamet and Longview.
The National Weather Service reported a gust of wind of 104 miles per hour was recorded on Naselle Ridge. Wind gusts tipped a semi trailer on the Astoria-Megler Bridge Monday morning, and the bridge was closed most of the day.
Highway 101 was also closed between Naselle and Long Beach. On that stretch, a Washington State Patrol trooper had stopped at a mudslide when the mudslide carried a tree into the trooper's car. Then the patrol car was hit by another car and both cars and the tree caught fire.
The patrolman escaped and helped the woman get out of her car, which was trapped under the tree.
On Monday afternoon, a highway crew and District 4 firemen responded to Cape Horn where storm water was flowing across SR 4 and into a house.
The Puget Island ferry had to suspend service late Monday afternoon as high water made docking unfeasible at the Westport, Ore., landing.
The Grays River crested at 16.03 feet, major flood stage, about 3 p.m., and began dropping. Minor flood stage is 12 feet.
The Naselle River crested around 4 p.m. at 14.51 feet, one foot short of minor flood stage, 15.5 fee.
While the weather forecasts call for more rain, the amounts aren't expected to be high, and both rivers are expected to return to normal levels Wednesday morning.