By Gordon McCraw, Meteorologist for the Tillamook County Pioneer
Another busy day yesterday with all the winds and rain. The winds caused many power outages, most of which were the result of damage to feeder lines leading into the county. These were lines that were damaged outside the county, including the Bonneville Power Administration that supplied power to the City of Tillamook and the surrounding area as well as the PacifiCorp line that feeds areas from Manzanita southward to Garibaldi. At last report this morning, there were approximately 16,000 customers without power in the county. Local TPUD crews worked until late last night before securing as they had been working for over 24 hours. They came back on shift at 6AM this morning. At the time of this writing the restoration time is still uncertain and the damage impacts are widespread.
The rain totals were also impressive over the last three days though they will now be skewed due to the widespread power outages. As best as I can determine, the unofficial 3-day total in Tillamook was 7.19” of rain. Lee’s Camp is without power, so I am unable to determine the totals in the Coast Range. What I do know is the totals were high enough to cause river flooding from the Nehalem River and the Wilson and nearly the Trask River. The Nehalem River crested last night at 17.14’ and continues to go down after flooding downtown Nehalem yesterday, Flood Level is 15’. The Wilson River crested at 13.86’ last night, Flood Stage is 12’, this caused some minor flooding in the North Main area. The Trask River hit 15.84 which is bankfull, Flood Stage here is 16’.
The good news is that, currently, there are no Advisories, Watches or Warnings in place for Tillamook County. The last to drop were the Flood Warnings from the rivers that all expired mid to late morning.
Tonight, we continue to see scattered showers, but these will end as we have another front approaching that will push in more rain late tonight. Winds tonight southeasterly 8-12 gusting to 20, the low near 41.
Tomorrow the rain is likely with a little over an inch possible thru tomorrow night from another system, winds tomorrow southwesterly 10-15 gusting to 20 with high temperatures near 51, lows near 44. I should mention that the models do differ some on the location of the parent low pressure area, some push it further south which would lessen the impacts of the storm, but others push it into the Washington Coast which would be higher impact for us.
The parent low pressure area should move inland Friday which will cause the rain to ease some but will also cause the winds to increase. So, rainy to start Friday with winds becoming southwesterly 15-20 gusting to 35, of course higher at the beaches, the high near 52. The front/low pressure area finally moves inland Friday evening, and we transition to scattered showers by Friday night, the winds becoming southwesterly 4-8, lows near 41.
There is about a 50/50 chance of showers Saturday then Sunday/New Years Eve looks partly sunny with highs near 50, then it looks like a trough of low pressure will be approaching Sunday night bringing a chance of showers in the early morning hours Monday thru Tuesday with highs near 49, lows near 40.
The continued rainy period tomorrow and Friday does not appear to increase river flooding concerns. The only impact will be the rivers flow rates will just fall at a slower pace after today.