Betsy Swanback

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December 20, 2012
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Wind over, heavy rains expected for holiday weekend

A storm that brought strong winds overnight followed by heavy rain in the morning caused scattered power outages in Douglas County and overwhelmed the Glendale sewer plant.

National Weather Service meteorologist Ryan Sandler said this morning that Roseburg will be hit hard by more rain, but the strongest winds have already passed.

The National Weather Service in Medford issued a winter weather advisory that will be in effect above 2,500 feet until 4 p.m. Friday.

A wind gust of 29 mph was recorded at the Roseburg Regional Airport at around 6 this morning before winds died down and gave way to rain.

The airport received .29 inches of rain in a one-hour period ending at 6:53 a.m.

Sandler warned travelers to be careful. Sexton Summit and Canyon Creek pass could have significant snow, making Interstate 5 challenging to drive, he said.

There are pockets of snow as low as 1,000 feet elevation, but most of the snow should stay above 2,000 to 2,500 feet through Friday, he said.

The city of Glendale’s sewer plant was deluged with stormwater and began spilling raw sewage into Cow Creek at 8 this morning. City officials warned people not to drink from, bathe or swim in Cow Creek below the treatment plant.

It will be a white Christmas for Diamond Lake Resort at 5,200 feet elevation.

“It’s white. We have had 21 inches of snow here since this storm started on Monday,” the resort’s marketing director, Rick Rockholt, said today.

The resort has had strong winds, with gusts up to 40 mph, which is blowing some of the snow away, he said. Rockholt said there are 27 inches of snow on the ground.

“There’s plenty of snow,” he said. “The snow is light and dry.”

Some Pacific Power and Douglas Electric Cooperative customers experienced minor power outages.

Pacific Power spokesman Tom Gauntt said 22 customers in the Steamboat area east of Glide were without electricity from midnight until 8:30 this morning.

Douglas Electric spokesman Todd Munsey reported that about 10 customers east of Sutherlin and 30 customers west of the Elkton tunnel near Hancock mountain lost power. The outages were fixed around 10 a.m. today.

Rain and snow showers are predicted through Sunday night. The weather service forecasts a slight chance of rain and snow showers for Monday.

• You can reach reporter Betsy Swanback at 541-957-4208 or email at

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The News-Review Updated Dec 20, 2012 03:10PM Published Dec 21, 2012 12:16PM Copyright 2012 The News-Review. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.