Strong winds could bring down trees in Columbia Gorge

High wind warning in the Columbia Gorge

PORTLAND, Ore. – The National Weather Service has issued a High Wind Warning for the western Columbia River Gorge, including cities of Corbett, Rooster Rock, Multnomah Falls, Cascade Locks, North Bonneville, and Stevenson. 

Drivers on Interstate 84 could experience winds of 30 to 40 mph, with gusts up to 75 mph. Crown Point, the windiest location, could get gusts of 80 to 90 mph. 

The warning will remain in effect until 6 p.m. Thursday, in what is expected to be the strongest east wind event so far this winter season. 

“I feel like I’m just going to get picked up and fly away,” said Michelle Tupper, with Skylar Waldo, fighting the wind at Crown Point. “There’s a little bit of a balance challenge.”

Oregon Department of Transportation spokesman Don Hamilton says crews are on high alert, as there are concerns that the winds will knock down trees that have been damaged or killed in the Eagle Creek Fire. 

“There are still a lot of danger trees in the area, around in there,"said Hamilton. "The highways are safe but there’s always a threat slides in the gorge, and there’s always a threat in even the best of circumstances. When we see this kind of high wind that we're going to be seeing out in the gorge over the next day, or so, there’s an extra heightened alert out there.”

© 2017 KGW-TV


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