High winds caused widespread damage to homes, trees and power lines around Philomath and vicinity on Tuesday. An example of the damage seen was a fir tree that appeared to crash down through the covered porch of a house located in the 800 block of Main Street.
Another site of significant damage could be seen at Philomath City Park where a large tree near the front entrance came crashing down. Much to the relief of city officials, the tree missed the new restrooms that earlier this year had completed construction but were also disappointed to see the oak had been uprooted.
“The public works crew worked to keep the large oak in place when the new park bathrooms got installed so I know the entire crew was bummed to see it come down,” Philomath City Manager Chris Workman said.
The area had been under a National Weather Service high wind warning with wind gusts of up to 55-65 mph.
Lots of other examples of damage could be seen around town from street trees snapped in half to backyard patios losing roofing and barbecues being thrown across yards. A home in the 2200 block of Applegate Street saw damage from a tree that leaned on it and crushed the rain gutters.
Several trees were also damaged in the cross-country course area of Downing Forest on Philomath School District property.
“Likely the ice storm weakened the trees and the wind finished them off,” Philomath Fire & Rescue Deputy Fire Chief Rich Saalsaa said.
Several rural areas also saw damage — one person reporting a tree down across Woods Creek Road.
Saalsaa said the fire department stayed busy Tuesday morning but there were no fires.
“Other than eight calls in a two-hour period, and lots of lines down, nothing untoward,” he said just before noon. “We are supposed to get more wind in the early afternoon … we are standing by.”
Pacific Power reported electrical outages in the region and said “service crews are working through the night … to restore power.”
As of 5:30 p.m., approximately 20,500 customers statewide had no power, down from 49,622 at the height of the windstorm. Out of those, 3,600 customers were in the Willamette Valley. Coos Bay was the most heavily impacted area.