Damaging wind gusts shook the Pacific Northwest and Rocky Mountain states on Wednesday, felling trees, downing power lines and killing one person.
At the time of reporting, at least 33,049 Idahoans, 14,665 Montanans, 20,686 Oregonians and 125,510 Washingtonians were out of power, according to data from PowerOutage.US.
BLIZZARD WILL BRING HEAVY SNOW AND STRONG WINDS TO UPPER MIDWEST
In Washington, winds reached speeds of up to 70 mph, blowing over a tractor-trailer on the Deception Pass Bridge.
Spokane Fire Chief Brian Schaeffer told reporters a 40-year-old woman died after a tree fell on her car and trapped her inside.
In Oregon, the wind’s impact was just as destructive, and authorities reported that a landslide on Interstate 84 swept away 50-year-old Good Samaritan Medical Center nurse Jennifer Camus Moore, who remains missing.
A windstorm toppled a large tree onto a house in Tacoma, Washington, early Wednesday, Jan. 13, 2021, trapping a woman in bed. Firefighters were able to extricate the woman and take her to an area hospital. (Drew Perine/The News Tribune via AP)
Already swollen from rainstorms, several rivers began overflowing and the community of Dodson was told to evacuate after the National Weather Service issued a flash flood warning.
More than 500,000 people lost power in the Pacific Northwest, according to the Associated Press.
In Wyoming, winds reached 105 mph near Cheyenne’s F.E. Warren Air Force Base, prompting Union Pacific to stop train travel between Nebraska and the Cowboy State.
Billings Logan International Airport saw winds at 68 mph, breaking a previous record set on Jan. 13, 2014.
High winds are expected to continue through the end of the week.
As a low-pressure storm system heads from the Midwest over the Northern and Central Plains, high-wind warnings have been issued by the National Weather Service.
Iowa, Minnesota and Wisconsin can expect to see up to 8 inches of snow, according to predictions.
The interior Northeast is projected to see snowfall and coastal rain over the weekend as the system heads toward the Atlantic coast.
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Nevertheless, the National Weather Service reports that warm air from the Southwest will shift into the Northeast over the next couple of days. Temperatures will spike to 15-20 degrees above average in California, Nevada and Arizona.
The combination of high temperatures and windier conditions will put Southern California at a critical risk of fire on Thursday and elevate the risks of a blaze in Colorado, Kansas and Oklahoma.