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Story by Jim Maxey - The Oregon Herald
Published on Tuesday November 10, 2009 - 5:57 PM
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PORTLAND, Oregon - Powerful winds blew across the coast Monday night, reaching nearly 100 mph in some areas and causing significant damage to a building under renovation in Seaside. Power flickered off and on in Seaside at about 10 p.m. and flooding on Highway 101 forced ODOT earlier in the day to conditionally close a portion of the highway just south of Seaside to low-profile vehicles after water rose to over a foot.

One car from California stalled and had to get help from a tow truck. "We saw another car go through, so we thought we could go through also", said the driver of the car. Seaside police struggled in the wind to close off one block of Broadway Avenue after a huge gust of wind tore off part of the old courthouse's roof that's under renovation and blew wood and debris 40 feet into the street. Obviously, this (the roof) wasn't completely done and the weather, I think, caught up to them", said Robert Gross, Seaside police chief.

"The wind, as you can see tonight, is pretty strong and it got underneath and took part of that roof off". Police decided to leave the debris where it was for the time being because they said they are concerned that with several hours of high winds left to go more of the building's roof might come off and fall on cleanup crews.As bad as it was inland, it was even windier out on the beach at Seaside, even blowing wet sand. Canon Beach Elementary School was closed due to a power outage, but that was the only school closure noted in the region.

The U.S. Coast Guard closed the bars at the Columbia River and Tillamook Bay. U.S. 101, about two miles south of Seaside, is closed to small vehicles due to rising water.Cannon Beach Elementary School is closed because of a power outage. All other Seaside schools are open this morning. Two rivers – the Willapa and the Grays – have exceeded flood stage. The Nehalem, near Foss, is approaching flood stage, said Julia Rutherford, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service. For now, Vernonia also appears to be safe from flooding. The river is running at 8.3 feet near the Vernonia gauge and flood stage is 12 feet.