Pacific NW winds shut interstate, fell tree that crushes man

High winds made for a blustery — and sometimes dangerous — day Sunday in Oregon and Washington

PORTLAND, Ore. — High winds wreaked havoc on the Pacific Northwest on Sunday, closing a stretch of an interstate freeway in Oregon and toppling a large tree that crushed a man sleeping in an apartment complex in Washington state.

The man was critically injured in Renton, Washington, after a tree fell on a six-unit apartment building during a morning of high winds and heavy rain.

The man was sleeping on a couch in the living room of one of the units when the 200-foot (60-meter) tree came crashing down, KING-TV reported.

It took about 45 minutes to rescue the man, who had the tree across his pelvis and was critically injured.

Elsewhere, Interstate 84 was closed in both directions between Pendleton and La Grande in northeast Oregon, about 200 miles (320 kilometers) east of Portland, because of a downer power line. Several other smaller state highways in Oregon were closed because of windy conditions and blowing debris in lanes.

A cold front that moved through western Washington on Sunday brought wind gusts up to 40 mph (64 kmh), knocking out power for nearly 20,000 customers in the Puget Sound. Point Defiance Zoo and Aquarium in Tacoma also closed Sunday due to a power outage.

Oregon and southwest Washington also saw high winds, with gusts of up to 55 mph (88 kmh) along the Oregon coast. Winds gusted at 20 mph (32 kmh) or more in the Portland, Oregon metropolitan area.

A high surf advisory was in effect Sunday along the Oregon coast and the National Weather Service warned beachgoers to be wary of sneaker waves.

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