Oct 262014
Sen. Merkley (L) Wehby (R) Oregonian photo

Sen. Merkley (L) Wehby (R)
Oregonian photo

In a little over a week, it’ll all be over. With control of the U.S. Senate still very much up in the air, it may bring some comfort to the majority of Oregonians who are making Senator Merkley a likely bet for reelection. The only question is, by how much. In fact there are likely to be few surprises around a state whose voters prefer to think with their grasp of important issues, rather than the last 30 second hit-piece on TV paid for by out-of-state billionaires who have a lot at stake in this election. In an era of critical issues that will chart the course of the planet for the next several hundred years on natural resources, issues of equality and environmental and public health, the next ten years will be sobering.

The Oregonian’s Jeff Mapes tallies up the final campaign scorecard on Merkley and Wehby, something we all should consider when we mail in our ballots before the 4th. Click here.

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 Posted by at 9:15 AM
Oct 262014

Chris Burns Weather

Sunday, October 26th – Lincoln County

Summary: It was indeed a real barnburner, but top wind speeds yesterday were very close to our forecasts over the preceding days (we’d advised preparing for 60 mph gusts in Central Coast communities and 75 mph on beaches and headlands). Yachats had the highest local gust at 64 mph and the Yaquina Bay Bridge recorded 76 mph, so projections were fairly accurate. The short-lived windstorm ramped-up quickly before noon and the Fat Lady was already singing by 3:00pm. There was widespread damage locally, though nothing terribly severe. Utility lines and limbs/trees came down across highways, roads and streets, but quick action by emergency responders and good Samaritans kept things moving and, for most of us, the lights stayed on. Rainfall was less than predictions of 1-2″; our actual totals were more like half an inch. The wind faded quickly through the evening and overnight, replaced by cool, unstable air that produced a number of lightning flashes and rumbles of thunder. This morning, it was showery with thunderstorms in the area, nearly calm and low temps were in the 50s.

Past 24 Hours High/Low/Gust/Rain…
Lincoln City: 62F/54F/48mph/0.58”
Depoe Bay: 60F/53F/56mph/0.47”
Newport: 63F/52F/63mph/0.35”
Waldport: 62F/53F/56mph/0.43”
Yachats: 62F/55F/64mph/0.51”

Regionally… Along the Oregon Coast, the Cape Blanco Coast Guard station reported 94 mph for the overall highest gust, it hit 87 mph on Cape Meares and 85 mph at Sea Lion Caves. Mary’s Peak east of Newport in the Coast Range recorded a top gust of 91 mph. Gusts in the Willamette Valley were 40-55 mph causing power outages and significant tree damage.

Forecast: Showers and possible thunderstorms are expected today, but we should also have some sunshine along with light winds and high temps of 55-WON SUN-RAIN60F. A chance of showers lingers tonight and the mercury drops to 45-50F. Tomorrow, look for a mix of sun and clouds, with winds remaining light and the thermometer rising to about 60F. Outlook is for another storm Monday night and Tuesday, though not as strong as yesterday’s. South winds rising to 20-25 mph gusting 40 and total rainfall of about an inch. Wednesday we’ll be between systems and showery, with the next storm predicted to arrive on the Central Coast sometime late Thursday or early Friday.

Halloween… Showers likely, light winds and a First Quarter Moon.

Travel: In the Coast Range today, showers and 55F. Valley destinations are also expecting showers with highs of 55-60F. For the Cascades, at 8:00am, Highway 20 at Santiam Pass had 3 inches of snow on the pavement and it was snowing hard; ODOT advises carrying chains or traction tires*. Highway 26 was above freezing with rain at Government Camp. Cascades forecast today is windy with rain and snow showers; the snow level is down to 4,000 feet. Outlook for weekend travelers generally is wet pavement, but with 1-3 inches of snow possible on Cascade highway passes.

* It is indeed time to start carrying chains or traction tires if you’re motoring over the Cascades. NOTE: Under Oregon’s Chain Law, running studded tires on your vehicle is unlawful until next Saturday, November 1st, but ODOT allows some wiggle room when conditions necessitate an early start to the snow season.

Marine: SW winds are down to 10-20 knots this morning but seas are rough, 16 feet at 11 seconds. As of 8:00am, Depoe WON SCABay and Yaquina Bay bars are closed to all recreational and uninspected passenger vessels. A Small Craft Advisory for seas remains in effect through this evening. While seas slowly subside today, they’ll still be pretty rough for most of the day, squaring to 11 feet at 11 seconds this afternoon. Winds should ease to W 10-15 knots. Tonight, expect light westerlies 5-15 knots and seas dropping to 9 feet at 10 seconds. S wind returns tomorrow, rising to 10-15 knots gusting 20 with seas around 7 feet. Outlook is for another gale coming in Monday night into Tuesday packing S winds 30-35 knots gusting 40 and combined rough seas building to 13 feet. Wednesday and Thursday, southerlies 15-25 knots, with seas 11 feet subsiding to 7 feet.

On the Beach… Showers, sunbreaks, light breeze, surf 10-12 feet (moderate).
* Surf may rebuild to high levels Tuesday.
* Tides
10/26 Sun 07:56 AM 2.80 L
10/26 Sun 01:57 PM 8.88 H
10/26 Sun 08:49 PM -0.58 L
10/27 Mon 03:30 AM 7.11 H

In Short: Showers, partial clearing, light wind, then stormy.

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 Posted by at 8:26 AM
Oct 252014
State Capitol Salem

State Capitol

A big push to get Oregon colleges students to register to vote has pumped up the number of registered voters in Oregon to an all time high for a non-presidential election. But the higher numbers don’t benefit either Democrats or Republicans nearly as much as you might expect. The big beneficiary of this voter registration season is the Independent Party of Oregon which is within 5 percentage points of catching up with Republicans. The Republicans are falling farther and farther behind Democrat and other party registrations. Republicans now make-up less than 30% of total registered voters in Oregon.

The story is in the Oregonian and political reporter Jeff Mapes is driving the keyboard. Click here.

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 Posted by at 7:23 PM
Oct 252014

These pelicans don't need storm warning signs to tell 'em which way the blows! Ken Gagne photos

These pelicans don’t need storm warning signs to tell ‘em which way the blows!
Ken Gagne photos

Bumper to bumper traffic for those trying to stay warm!

Bumper to bumper traffic just trying to stay warm!

"Groober" takes off saying..."You guys can have this stuff!  I'm headed for Miami!"

“Groober” takes off saying…”You guys can have this stuff! I’m headed for Miami!”

"I'm on a bead to Biscayne Bay, boys!"

“I’m on a bead to Biscayne Bay, boys!”

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 Posted by at 5:57 PM
Oct 252014

Chris Burns Weather

5:00pm – Update with Peak Gusts:
Wind gusts up to 80 mph were clocked along the Central Coast on Saturday, causing widespread damage to trees and utility lines, which at times blocked various highways, roads and streets. The highest official local wind gust was 76 mph recorded on the Yaquina Bay Bridge. Of our regular reporting stations, Yachats had the strongest gust at 64 mph, Newport hit 63, Waldport was 56, both Depoe Bay and Lincoln City had 48.

* On Mary’s Peak east of Newport in the Coast Range, winds were sustained at 50-plus mph and a top gust of 91 was logged. Elsewhere along the coast, the overall peak gust was 94 mph at the Cape Blanco Coast Guard Station; the wind hit 85 on the beach near Florence, and 87 atop Cape Meares. As you can see, the windstorm impacted the entire coast.

* The Willamette Valley didn’t escape this storm, either. Wind gusts on Saturday were generally 40-55 mph from Eugene to Portland, with many trees down, roads blocked and tens of thousands without power.

* A mariners’ Storm Warning was posted for local offshore waters through 6:00pm Saturday. The weather buoys have reported seas to 27 feet and winds gusting to near 50 knots (about 60 mph).

* The High Wind Warning for the Central Coast expired at 5:00pm Saturday and winds were expected to subside throughout the evening and overnight.

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 Posted by at 4:02 PM
Oct 252014
Newport - Muni parking lot 9th & Hubert Greg Harlow photo

Newport – Muni parking lot
9th & Hubert
Greg Harlow photo

Winds found their way under the hood of this unsuspecting Mercedes. Wonder if the hood wasn’t fully latched.

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 Posted by at 1:57 PM
Oct 252014

Fella with a yellow Jeep is running around pulling trees off the highway. Milepost 7 cleared – Highway 18 re-opened. For how long, no one knows.

"Jeep Man" yanking trees off the highway...

“Jeep Guy” yanking trees off the highway…

Downed trees Hwy 18 "V" photo

Downed trees Hwy 18
“V” photo

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 Posted by at 1:14 PM
Oct 252014

Tree down across westbound lane of Highway 20 near Olalla Road (milepost 7). Stay alert. Trees are coming down all over the region.

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 Posted by at 1:03 PM
Oct 252014
Highway 18 Milepost 10 "V" photo

Highway 18
Milepost 10
“V” photo

Highway 18 has just been re-opened to normal traffic 10 miles east of 101.

Locals with proper resources clear the road. ODOT and OSP spread really thin.

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 Posted by at 12:59 PM
Oct 252014

Wind gusts of 65-85 mph are being recorded along the Central Coast causing damage to trees and power lines. The highest official coastal wind gusts so far are 87 mph at Cape Blanco, 71 mph on the Yaquina Bay Bridge, 63 mph at Yachats, and on Mary’s Peak in the Coast Range, winds are sustained at 50-plus mph gusting to 90. Trees are reported down in several areas between Florence and Clatsop County.

The National Weather Service says peak gusts on the Central Coast should subside by 3:00pm.

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 Posted by at 12:51 PM