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Dec-03-2007 13:36printcomments

Furious Weather in Oregon Relentless So Far

The storm snapped the world's tallest Sitka Spruce near Seaside.

File photo of an Oregon flood by Tim King
File photo of an Oregon flood by Tim King

(SALEM, Ore.) - After two days of hurricane strength winds along the Oregon Coast, officials say it could be days before power and phone service is restored to the area.

Currently, the towns of Newport, Lincoln City, Astoria, and Seaside are without power, and have no phone or cell phone service.

Cape Meares saw gusts to 114 mph, Newport 83 mph, Astoria 85 mph, and Salem 46 mph. In Tillamook, the Wilson River is flowing down the lanes of Highway 101, which is CLOSED in several locations.

The right lane of Interstate 5 north near Chehalis, Wash., is CLOSED due to high water and there is talk of closing the entire freeway in the area Monday afternoon.

Mudslides across the tracks have stopped Amtrak passenger train service until Wednesday between Eugene, Oregon and Vancouver, British Columbia.

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Normally, Amtrak Cascades consists of four daily round-trips between Portland and Seattle, with service between Bellingham, Wash., and Portland, via Seattle, between Eugene and Seattle, via Portland, and between Seattle and Vancouver, B.C.

The worlds tallest Sitka Spruce, near Seaside Oregon photographed in 1960

The world's tallest Sitka
Spruce, photographed in 1960,
fell during today's storm

Passengers should call Amtrak at 1-800-USA-RAIL (1-800-872-7245) or online at

The storm snapped the world's tallest Sitka
Spruce near Seaside. It had survived 700 years of ocean storms since Sunday. Tillamook County Sheriff Todd Anderson said they have evacuated some motel occupants and recreational vehicles from two parks, and highways to the town of more than 4,000 people are now CLOSED.

Melting snowfall in the Oregon Cascases could lead to the possibility of flooding in the Willamette Valley, the worst since the floods of 1996.

Due to severe weather, Employment Department offices in Clatsop, Columbia, and Tillamook counties are CLOSED.

The Red Cross has opened evacuation centers in the following locations: St. Helens -- Lewis and Clark Elementary, 111 S. 9th St.; Vernonia -- St. Mary's Church, 960 Missouri Ave.; Clatskanie -- Clatskanie High School, 471 SW Belair Dr.; Tillamook -- Tillamook County Fairgrounds, 4603 E. 3rd St. More centers may be opened as the day progresses. To visit Salem's Willamette Valley Chapter of the American Red Cross, visit:

The link to our new Road Report service is located on the left side of the front page, here is a shortcut for now: Road Conditions

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Sean Flynn was a photojournalist in Vietnam, taken captive in 1970 in Cambodia and never seen again.