A storm blew over the North Coast last weekend, blowing down trees, wreaking havoc on the Hood to Coast Relay finish, stripping the Astoria Column restoration and closing access to Coxcomb Hill.

Saturday’s storm toppled several trees, along with many limbs and branches, in Cannon Beach, according to Police Chief Jason Schermerhorn.

There was a tree downed near Les Shirley Park, another on Ecola Park Road and three on the highway in midtown.

“The dayshift officer was kept busy responding to these incidents,” he said.

After a calm Friday, a hurricane-like swarm of clouds brought winds gusting as high as 85 mph down on the Lower Columbia region. The National Weather Service increased its previous gale warning to a storm, remaining in effect through noon Saturday.

By late Saturday morning, gusts were reported as high as 84.8 mph on Radar Ridge in Pacific (Wash.) County, 78.2 over the Astoria Bridge, 70 mph on Washington’s Cape Disappointment and 60 mph above Clatsop Spit. The winds built seas to between 14 and 16 feet, closing the Columbia River Bar to recreational traffic, and with it much of the Buoy 10 salmon fishery. A gale warning remained in effect through Saturday night.

The winds stripped off tarps on the scaffolding placed around the Astoria Column for its restoration and blew down trees and closed access to Coxcomb Drive through the weekend. Meanwhile, Hood to Coast organizers in Seaside had to cancel the relay’s beach after-party and establish gathering space inside the Shilo Inn. (See related stories)

The storm knocked out power to nearly 3,600 residents around Astoria Saturday, along with others on the Long Beach (Wash.) Peninsula and in South County.

The winds stayed above 20 mph at the National Weather Service’s monitoring station at the Astoria Regional Airport between 3 a.m. and 7 p.m. Another smaller storm surge kept winds between 10 and 15 mph between 12:40 a.m. and 7 p.m. Sunday.

The National Weather Service forecasts at least a 50 percent chance of showers through Wednesday, with gusts as high as 20 mph.


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