Update 4:30 p.m.
The National Weather Service extended a high wind advisory until 7 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 27.
The day’s forecasts include showers, and a south/southwest wind around 34 mph with gusts up to 50 mph. Salem has seen around 0.75 inches of rain since this morning.
The service said that winds may continue to blow down tree limbs and cause power outages throughout the evening.
As of 4 p.m. Tuesday, Portland General Electric reported 258 outages in Marion County affecting 4,802 customers and 34 outages in Polk County affecting 1,049 customers.
PGE outage clusters are concentrated in south and south central Salem, southeast Mill Creek and in Hayesville. The estimated restoration time listed for many of the outages is Wednesday, Dec. 28 at noon.
“These winds are blowing debris into our lines, taking down trees and damaging high-voltage transmission lines,” said Dale Goodman, PGE director of utility operations, in a statement Tuesday afternoon. “The sustained winds make it challenging for crews to safely work in bucket trucks and on high wires, where we are seeing the impacts of the winds on our equipment.”
The utility had more than 100,000 customers without power across their service area as of 4 p.m., the statement said. More than 600 utility employees and contractors were working to make repairs, with mutual aid crews on the way from California, Washington and Idaho.
Pacific Power reported 41 outages affecting 132 customers in Marion County, and 36 outages affecting 868 customers in Polk County, mostly near Monmouth and Independence.
Salem Electric reported no outages as of 4:30 p.m.
Update 10:30 a.m.
Salem will face high winds Tuesday until late afternoon, and is seeing widespread power outages in the morning.
The National Weather Service has issued a high wind warning for Dec. 27, in place until 4 p.m. with winds between 30 and 40 mph with gusts between 55 and 65 mph.
Portland General Electric reported 148 outages in Marion County, affecting 4,677 customers, as of 9 a.m. Tuesday. Polk County had 12 outages affecting 744 customers.
Outages were scattered across Salem and included portions of the Morningside, Four Corners and Hayesville areas.
In west Salem, Salem Electric said a downed tree across Northwest Doaks Ferry Road was causing an outage in the Doaks Ferry and Glen Creek area. As of 10:30 a.m., the utility said it did not have an estimated time for restoration.
Portland General Electric reported 681 total outages affecting over 26,769 customers, mostly in the Portland area, as of 8:51 a.m. Tuesday.
Pacific Power reported 39 outages affecting 106 customers in Marion County, and 34 in Polk County affecting 864 customers near Dallas, Monmouth and Independence as of 1:53 p.m. Tuesday.
The high wind warning includes the South and Central Willamette Valley, the greater Portland Metro Area and the greater Vancouver area.
Residents should remain in the lower levels of their home during the windstorm, use caution while driving and avoid being outside around trees and branches, according to the National Weather Service.
The winds caused issues for a handful of trees, according to city spokesman Trevor Smith.
As of noon, the city had reports of tree issues from Southeast Marietta Street near Strong Road, and two reports from west Salem near Northwest Doaks Ferry Road, Smith said. The city’s current road conditions map lists road hazards and closures.
As of noon, the traffic team reported no ongoing signal outages.
Due to heavy rain, Smith said that rivers, streams and creeks are rising slowly but are well below action level as of noon. Salem residents can fill sandbags at the city’s shops complex at the intersection of Southeast 22nd Street and Southeast Oxford Street.
To report flooding, downed trees and other street issues, call the city’s public works dispatch at 503-588-6311.
Contact reporter Abbey McDonald: [email protected] or 503-704-0355.
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Abbey McDonald joined the Salem Reporter in 2022. She previously worked as the business reporter at The Astorian, where she covered labor issues, health care and social services. A University of Oregon grad, she has also reported for the Malheur Enterprise, The News-Review and Willamette Week.