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Wet Weather is Coming

Waves crash along the beach in January.

COOS COUNTY — Close to 4,000 people are without power this morning.

According to Pacific Power, one of the largest outages is in Empire right now.

“That one started at 5:09 a.m. and is still active,” said Tom Gauntt, spokesman for Pacific Power. “There are 2,144 customers affected by it.”

Empire had another outage earlier this morning at 4:31 a.m. that took down power for 566 customers, but has since been restored.

However, other outages are still active on Lockhart in Coos Bay, affecting 1,727 customers.

“This is all wind related,” Gauntt said. “They found a wire downed by a tree on Cape Arago Highway, so are attempting to isolate the damage.”

Gauntt warned that so long as the storm continues, outages may as well. He assured that Pacific Power is moving to each outage to fix them as they happen.

“When the storm is finished, there may still be minor blows as limbs weakened by the storm are knocked down,” he said. “That is the shape of storms like this, you get aftershocks. Flooding is a component too. At some point, that can undermine trees and utility poles as well.”

As The World reported previously, the National Weather Service issued a warning yesterday afternoon before the storm hit the southern Oregon coast.

“A strong and wet storm will bring precipitation and wind impacts to the area,” the release read. “Heavy rain along with strong winds and high surf conditions are expected along the coast.”

The storm is expected to stretch inland, bringing with it moderate to locally heavy rains along with the high winds.

“Winds and rain will develop along the coast later today and increase tonight into Tuesday, peaking late tonight through early Tuesday afternoon,” the release said. “Heavy to moderate rain along the coast and inland may lead to ponding on roadways, sharp rises on area rivers and local rockfalls on the roadways.”

In addition to those warnings, the Klondike, Taylor and Chetco burn scar areas are being flagged for possible flash flooding and debris flows.

“Strong winds may result in power outages, trees down, and difficult travel conditions,” the release said.

Two to five inches of rain is expected to fall along the coast and possible snow farther inland. Wind gusts are anticipated to reach 60 miles an hour starting this evening through tomorrow afternoon.

On the beaches, the release said 28 to 32 foot breakers are beginning Monday through Wednesday evening.

“The highest surf will be (Monday) and again on Wednesday,” the release said.

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Reporter Jillian Ward can be reached at 541-269-1222, ext. 235, or by email at jillian.ward@theworldlink.com. Follow her on Twitter: @JE_Wardwriter.

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