High winds pelting eastern Multnomah Co.

High winds pelting eastern Multnomah Co.

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by Wayne Havrelly

Bio | Email | Follow: @HavrellyKGW

kgw.com

Posted on February 3, 2012 at 6:05 PM

Updated Friday, Feb 3 at 8:08 PM

GRESHAM, Ore. -- When whitecaps hit the Columbia and massive fir trees bend like blades of grass, you know the notorious gorge winds have returned.

Firefighters in Gresham said the east winds made things worse Friday when they fought a chimney fire at a home at 197th and Yamhill.

"The wind just has a tremendous impact on the rate of spread of any structure fire," said Battalion Chief Mark Maunder. No one was injured in the fire.

A few blocks away, near 183rd Avenue and Burnside, a large fir tree came down on a mobile home Friday morning.

"When you come out and find a tree up against your neighbor's house, it's kind of like bewilderment," said David Hughbank.

There were no reports of injuries. Neighbors teamed up with chainsaws to cut up the huge tree, which had blocked several residents attempting to drive to work. 

At the Vista House at Crown Point wind gusts topped 65 mph Friday. The high east winds were expected to stick around at least through Super Bowl weekend.

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