SEATTLE (AP) — Strong winds and heavy rain walloped the Pacific Northwest, leaving thousands without power as utility crews prepare for what’s expected to be a rougher storm on Saturday.
The National Weather Service issued tornado warnings Friday for southwest Washington and northwest Oregon. A tornado was reported on the northern Oregon coast. Tillamook County Sheriff Andy Long said it touched down in the city of Manzanita at about 8:20 a.m. There were no reports of injuries, but there have been several calls about damage, including one from a woman who says all the windows in her house were blown out.
The heavy rain created dangerous conditions for the morning commute in the Northwest, as drivers tried to see out rain-pounded windshields and navigate through standing water on the roads.
Several school districts across the region delayed start times because of the weather.
In Oregon, Portland General Electric reported that more than 4,000 customers were without power at 5 a.m. Friday. Pacific Power reported that 2,800 customers in coastal communities had no lights, down from a peak of more than 15,000.
Portland had the rainiest Oct. 13 in its history. The National Weather Service says a 103-mph wind gust was recorded at Cape Meares.
In Washington, Puget Sound Energy responded to scattered outages, reporting early Friday that more than 2,800 customers were still affected. Lightning strikes hit the southwest Washington coast Friday morning, and a tornado warning was briefly in effect for Pacific County.
Meteorologists expect a breezy Friday before the remnants of Typhoon Songda, which wreaked havoc in the western Pacific days ago, hit the region Saturday.
Forecasters say wind gusts as high as 70 mph could sweep through Seattle. Mayor Ed Murray urged residents to avoid the city’s many parks during the wet weekend weather.
“We’re advising people to stay away from our parks as the soil becomes saturated, and the winds pick up,” Murray said.
The same weather system is expected to affect Northern California, bringing rain, wind and coastal flooding to the San Francisco Bay Area through part of Saturday.
Heavy winds of up to 30 mph with gusts up to 40 mph are also expected Friday. The storm will bring the most rain to the region since March.
The Coast Guard urges boaters and beachgoers to be careful around the waters along the Northern and Central California coast due to weather conditions.