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December 17, 2012
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Hundreds lose power in Douglas County to strong winds

The winds were howling Sunday night, bringing down power lines and causing power outages across Douglas County.

A wind gust of 33 mph was recorded at the Roseburg Regional Airport at 9:53 Sunday night.

A National Weather Service data manager, Chuck Glaser, said the blustery weather came off the Pacific Ocean and started relatively warm, dropping rain in the valley, before becoming colder and bringing snow to as low as 1,500 feet, he said.

Pacific Power and the Douglas Electric Cooperative customers experienced power outages overnight, and crews were working to restore power today.

Douglas Cooperative spokesman Todd Munsey said the utility had approximately 1,600 members without power. Camas Valley residents and customers on Upper Smith River, Doerner Road, Flourney Valley Road, San Souci Drive, and in Tyee experienced outages.

He said this morning Camas Valley residents could be without electricity until late this afternoon or evening.

The power outages kept Camas Valley schools closed this morning.

All of the crews available, about 24 people, had been dispatched to restore power, he said.

“Our crews have been out all night long, starting at the coast early last evening,” he said.

Pacific Power spokesman Tom Gauntt said as of 7:30 this morning there were 114 customers out of power in the Roseburg area. He did not have specifics of the outages, but said some occurred in the Green area.

“Areas are being restored, a few more areas might fall out. There are still loose branches and things,” he said. “It’s a number in flux.”

He expected power to be restored for customers by tonight.

Camas Valley resident Peggy Bidwell, 54, said the wind blew down a tree in her yard. A branch came down across a power line, and chairs blew around in her yard overnight, she said.

“The wind was blowing as hard as we can remember,” she said. “It kept us awake last night. I was hoping our roof wouldn’t blow off.”

This morning, the weather had calmed down, she said. There was no snow on the ground.

Glaser said snow levels are currently around 1,000 feet and will drop to 400 feet Tuesday, bringing snow to much of the valley. He said weather forecasters expect an inch of snow at lower elevations and between 1 and 2 inches above 1,500 feet.

The weather service issued a winter weather advisory for Douglas County that will be in effect from 4 this afternoon through 4 a.m. Tuesday.

Rain and snow showers in the higher elevations are expected through the rest of the week.

• You can reach reporter Betsy Swanback at 541-957-4208 or email at bswanback@nrtoday.com.

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The News-Review Updated Dec 19, 2012 07:42AM Published Dec 21, 2012 12:16PM Copyright 2012 The News-Review. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.