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C. Oregon winds topple trees, knock out power

Gusts knocked down trees in Terrebonne and caused outage in Deschutes River Woods

TERREBONNE, Ore. (KTVZ) -- Strong winds across Central Oregon Friday knocked down trees and left some people without power.

Wind speeds peaked at close to 30 mph in the Redmond area. Wayne Shortreed, a Terrebonne resident, said the winds were responsible for causing several trees in his backyard to come crashing down.

Shortreed said he's lived in Terrebonne for 23 years, and hearing those trees fall was one of the loudest noises he's heard in a long time.

"Just sounded like a freight train coming through, just a big crash,” Shortreed said. “I thought someone maybe had fallen. I got up and checked, wife checked out the back door, and found these four trees had just fallen though our backyard, just barely missed the house."

Shortreed considers himself lucky for that reason -- only minimal damage was left behind. The corner of the roof of his house took a hit, and his new barbecue has a dent.

Shortreed posted on social media to see if anyone could help clean up the debris, and the community responded. He said friends and family quickly arrived to remove most of the branches from his backyard.

Wind gusts were hitting speeds of more than 25 mph near Bend as well Friday afternoon. A two-hour power outage hit about 1,300 Pacific Power residents in southern Bend and Deschutes River Woods.

Officials said the cause was undetermined by crews inspecting the lines but added that it likely was caused by the wind slapping two lines together.

One family living in Deschutes River Woods said those winds blew the transformer in their driveway.

Travis Elliott said his house temporarily lost power for about 45 seconds. Then when the power tried to come back on, it caused another electric arc in the power line.

Elliott said the arc was so strong, he could see the blue light through the closed blinds of his living room.

Elliott said his neighbor saw what was going on and called 911. He said law enforcement arrived within minutes, but Pacific Power never showed up to inspect the issue.

"I explained to them I have two small kids that are relying on this, and their safety is my well-being,” Elliott said. “If their transformer is arcing 30 feet from my front door, that's a huge main concern for me."

Elliott said he was advised by law enforcement and Pacific Power to not turn on the main breaker in his house until help arrived. In the meantime, he split wood to start a fire.

However, Elliott said hours went by and no one showed up. He started to get concerned because he has a 4-year-old daughter and 6-month-old son to take care of.

So Elliott switched on the main breaker himself, and the power came back without apparent issue.

Still, though, Elliott said he's worried the problem may return overnight, since no one came to inspect the transformer.

Article Topic Follows: Weather
central oregon
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Max Goldwasser

Max Goldwasser is a reporter and producer for NewsChannel 21. Learn more about Max here.

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