PORTLAND, Ore — A High Wind Warning for the Portland metro area was canceled late Tuesday morning after strong winds caused power outages and knocked down trees Monday. High winds and dry conditions mean fire danger is extremely high throughout Oregon and much of Washington.
Portland General Electric (PGE) reported around 11:30 p.m. Monday that 100,000 customers were without electricity due to more than 560 downed power lines. As of 12 p.m. Tuesday, about 76,000 people remained without power, according to PGE.
Pacific Power reported about 21,000 customers were without power statewide as of Tuesday morning.
Overnight, wind gusts hit 60 mph on Government Island in the Columbia River between Portland and Vancouver. Portland International Airport saw a gust of 52 mph. Beaverton saw a peak gust of 59 mph.
KGW meteorologist Rod Hill provided an update on wind gusts Tuesday morning and said the strongest gusts took place Monday night.
Get the latest updates: Multiple fires burning in Oregon, SW Washington
A High Wind Warning for the Cascades and Cascade Foothills in both Oregon and Washington was still in effect until 7 p.m. Tuesday.
KGW Chief Meteorologist Matt Zaffino called a “historic wind event for this time of year.”
Just before 5 p.m. on Monday, high winds made their way into Portland, bringing with them wildfire smoke from eastern Washington wildfires.
PGE announced that beginning at 7:30 p.m., it would cut the power for 5,000 customers in a "high-risk fire zone" along Highway 26 from Alder Creek and Brightwood to Government Camp.
PGE anticipated the outage lasting between 24 and 48 hours.
Images of down limbs and trees started coming in from all over the region Monday evening.
Wind damage across Portland metro
The conditions were extremely dangerous for fires, which spread quickly in the strong winds.
Emergency crews were busy all evening putting out brush fires that popped up in multiple counties including one in Oregon City near the Clackamette Cove. Crews were able to put the fire out by 11:40 p.m.
The NWS urged people to use extreme caution with ignition sources. A Red Flag Warning was in effect for Northwest Oregon and Southwest Washington.
Your pics: Eerie skies across Oregon after historic wind event
The Oregon Department of Forestry said all state forests were in Extreme Fire Danger.
The Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) warned that travelers could even see trees falling into the highways.
"Motorists should keep their hot vehicles away from dry grass, make sure chains aren’t dragging and causing sparks and never throw flammable materials out the window," ODOT spokesperson Katherine Benanati said Monday afternoon. "Remember, the devastating Eagle Creek Fire of 2017 was caused by a single, legal piece of fireworks. We all have a role in trying to limit wildfires in Oregon, especially in the hot, dry and windy conditions we face this week."
Because of the smoke in the air, the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) issued an Air Quality Advisory for the Portland metro area through Tuesday afternoon.