PORTLAND – The Portland Metro Area was buffeted by high winds Thursday, as gusts blew through the gorge, knocked a mobile home off a trailer on Interstate 205 and brought trees crashing down.
In Milwaukie, a tree crushed a car when it was blown down. The homeowner said it just missed his father who had pulled out of the driveway moments before.
“All I can say is the Lord giveth and the Lord taketh away,” he said.
Another large tree came down on top of a SUV in Southwest Portland. A KGW Facebook fan sent a photo of the tree (shown above) at Southwest Patton Road, close to Scholls Ferry. The man and woman inside the SUV were not injured but had to wait until crews could make sure downed power lines were not touching the vehicle.
KGW Meteorologist Matt Zaffino said Thursday that gusts were as high as 69 mph at Crown Point and 41 mph at the Portland International Airport. The National Weather Service declared a High Wind Advisory for the Portland Metro Area until 8 p.m. Thursday.
The high winds were also blamed for knocking a manufactured home off a semi-truck's trailer on the Glenn Jackson Bridge shortly after noon. While no one was harmed, the incident caused major traffic delays in the southbound lanes of Interstate 205.
The winds were also strong enough to push a skateboarder uphill at Crown Point, the popular tourist area at the mouth of the Columbia River Gorge.
Jerrod Miller and his wife enjoyed the clear weather but decided to cut their visit short.
“It’s pretty windy when it can knock down a 300 pound gentlemen like myself,” Miller said. “It’s a beautiful day but [the wind] cuts right through your clothes. My wife is about 8 months pregnant and we better get back down the hill before she goes into labor.”
The wind gauge was broken at Crown Point and park rangers said they won't be able to fix it until the wind dies down.
Further to the east at Rooster Rock, high winds may have even kept windsurfers away.
”On a really nice day we might get 30 to 40 windsurfers that come out here,” said Lavern Watson of Rooster Rock State Park. “[But it’s] just too cold and too windy.”
As 4:30 p.m. Portland General Electric reported it had some 2776 affected customers in Washington County and 389 in Multnomah County.
Zaffino said the winds should back off slightly Thursday night but regain their strength Friday.