|Eintime Conversion for education and research 05-14-2006 @
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N West Record Rain Fall*
Record rains fall on the Northwest
Storm brings wind, downpours, heavy snow through region
SEATTLE, Dec. 14 Strong wind, record rain and heavy snow closed roads, toppled trees and left thousands of homes and businesses without power in the Pacific Northwest. Gusts along the Oregon coast exceeded 75 mph Thursday, and the Coast Guard said 14- to 16-foot waves broke along the shore.
A COASTAL flood watch was issued for high tide in Washingtons Bellingham area Friday morning as winds reaching 50 mph generated 8-foot waves.
Gusty wind in Oregon made the rain and snow come down sideways. Heavy snow closed about 40 miles of Interstate 5 Thursday night, from the Siskiyou summit in southern Oregon south to Mt. Shasta City, Calif.
A 70-mile stretch of Interstate 80 in Northern California through the Sierra Nevada was closed because of to white-out conditions. Both highways reopened Friday morning. In northern Nevada, snow tires or tire chains were required on some roads, and some schools were closed.
In Washington, record rainfall totals for the date were reported from Olympia to the Seattle-Tacoma airport to the north and Stampede Pass in the Cascades to the east. The total at Olympia, 2.12 inches, easily bested the mark of 1.38 inches set in 1966.
About 8,000 customers were without power around Olympia, Puyallup and the Seattle suburbs early Friday, said Angie Lundberg, a spokeswoman for Puget Sound Energy, western Washingtons largest utility. An additional 500 customers were without power in Oregons Mapleton area.
Mudslides were reported on two roads in Washington, near Olympia and north of Bremerton. A tree blew down across the northbound lanes of Interstate 405 in the suburbs east of Seattle, blocking traffic for about an hour.
Five to 10 inches of new snow was expected Friday in the Cascades, and minor flooding was reported or forecast along several Washington rivers.
© 2001 Associated Press. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
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