PORTLAND A powerful new weather system hit the Portland Metro area with a wallop Thursday, dumping a deluge of rain and carpeting Mt. Hood with fresh snow.

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The storm also knocked out power to thousands of homes and businesses in Multnomah County and Clackamas County.

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The wind took out some trees throughout the Metro area and caused flooding in neighborhoods. Traffic on area highways quickly backed up as rain puddled on busy thoroughfares.

Kathy Hartfield of Lake Oswego shared the photo at left with and said the tree caused damage in her backyard and nearly hit her house.

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KGW Meteorologist Nick Allard said that while the system will remain through Friday, conditions will be much calmer with just a few showers and also some sun breaks.

The storm stretched from Portland to Mount Hood and the Oregon Coast. A High Surf Advisory was in effect through midnight at the North Oregon and South Washington Coast.

The coast will be windy Thursday morning and all day with winds around 30 to 45 mph, Allard said.

Fresh snow in Cascades

At least a foot of snow could fall at Mt. Hood ski resorts, according to Allard.

The snow level will rose back up Thursday afternoon, but may drop down in the evening. The Oregon Department of Transportation ordered drivers to use chains to make it up the steep hill to Timberline Lodge.

This is what happens when it snows in Oregon, one enthusiastic teen told KGW. Go to Timberline and just drift in the parking lot. It's all good fun!

Drivers were warned of hazardous travel conditions, particularly along Highway 26 near Government Camp and near Santiam Pass along Highway 20.

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It will likely be weeks before the runs open at most Mt. Hood ski areas, but with snow building up, people were already lining up for season passes.

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