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Fire, Floods, Snow and Ice Strikes the Western US | Video Photos

Funny weather forecast. Click to enlarge.

A state of emergency has been declared in Oregon and Washington, where a powerful winter storm brought deadly floods, heavy snows of up to 4 feet, a severe ice storm, and damaging winds Wednesday and Thursday. Heavy rains of 3 – 8 inches have fallen over a wide swath of Western Oregon since Monday, causing major to record flooding on multiple rivers and creeks. In Albany, Oregon, a family of four drove out of a supermarket parking lot and into a flooded Perwinkle Creek Wednesday night, and were swept away. Two people were rescued, but a 20-month-old boy and his mother drowned. The Marys River in Philomath rose to its highest flood on record yesterday, and will remain at major flood stage today before gradually receding tonight. The rains have tapered off over much of the region today, but renewed rains are expected later today and intermittently into early next week.

The storm also brought strong winds to Reno, Nevada, fanning a brush fire that tore through the Reno area, destroying more than 20 homes and forcing thousands to evacuate. Reno experienced sustained winds of 44 mph, gusting to 70 mph, during the afternoon Thursday. The city didn’t get any precipitation, and has received just 0.03 of precipitation this year. That fell on Monday, breaking a 56-day streak with no precipitation–the longest wintertime dry streak in city history. Strong winds gusting to 55 mph are expected during the day today, keeping the fire danger high, but heavy rain is expected tonight, which should ease the fire danger.

The storm also brought a significant freezing rain event to northern Oregon and Western Washington yesterday, and up to an inch of ice accumulated in some areas, contributing to power outages that affected at least 275,000 people.

Midwest is now preparing for the hit.  Chicago has already canceled 700 flights.

Here are both videos and photos of the extreme weather.

Fires in Reno NV


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Photo by Liz Margerum/RGJ

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Photo by Liz Margerum/RGJ

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Flooding in Oregon


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Photo by Photo/Rick Bowmer

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Photo by Photo/Don Ryan

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Seattle WA Snow and Ice Storms

I travel every year to Seattle for business – and a few days of vacation after the business is completed.  I love it up there!  This weather is HIGHLY unusual for the city of Seattle.  Rain, yes.  Snow and ice, no.  This first video is GREAT!


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Photographer unknown

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Photo by Ted S. Warren / Associated Press

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Photo by JOE DYER / SEATTLEPI.COM

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Photo by LINDSEY WASSON / SEATTLEPI.COM

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Photo by JOE DYER / SEATTLEPI.COM

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Photo by SOFIA JARAMILLO / SEATTLEPI.COM

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Photo by SOFIA JARAMILLO / SEATTLEPI.COM

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10 Comments »

  1. I LOVE this part of the country but definitely not when there’s snow and ice. The worst drive of my entire life was in winter going from La Push WA home to Utah. A living nightmare.

    • I LOVE it up there! Would love to live in Seattle – well actually, on the west side of the Puget. But, yeah… that city rarely gets snow/ice, so when it does, it shuts down. I watched several other videos last night taken up there, and Denny Way was a very popular playground. It was so odd not seeing any traffic at all since that city is always packed with traffic. Do you live in La Push?

      • No, I live in Utah. My kids and I “found” La Push twenty years ago in one of those lovely gifts from lady serendipity. At first we went back every year (summer), but after realizing that I want to retire there, decided that I’d better see if it spoke to me in other seasons as well. Everyone has places that speak to their soul, of which they feel a part of and La Push is that for me. Strange — I have no family there, no roots, in fact, all my roots are in the deserts and red rock of southern Utah. You know, you’ve been there and seen them. My hometown is Cannonville, on the Paria River. I spent summers in Bryce Canyon as a child and my growing up years freely roaming slot canyons, sandstone and sagebrush.

        • Ohhh… (banging head on wall)… stupid me. LOL… yeah… talk about a space cadet this morning. Sorry. I so loved Paria! Shoot… what is the name of the side canyon (slot) which is one of the most photographed in the world… it’s about halfway or so from the start to the take out at the river. I LOVED it! We did a two-night stay near it so we would have an entire day to play in there, and also catch the morning and evening sun which gives such better lighting for photos. Another thing that fascinated me about Paria were the old water pipes which the cowboys built from the river, up those steep cliffs, to the plateaus to provide water for the cattle. What a feat that must have been.

    • While we are down here in the desert SW going up in flames. We’ve been averaging mid 50’s to 60 for the past few weeks. No precip. We’re going to fry this summer. More like spring when the spring winds hit.

  2. Regarding the climate change comments, I read yesterday (can’t remember where it was) something to the effect that, being science, climate change/global warming is not something you BELIEVE in or not (like the tooth fairy). It either exists, or doesn’t. Since we have the scientific data proving that climate change is indeed happening, it is no longer an “if,” we have proof.

    • I studied geology in college for 3 years, and we covered climate change and the ozone layer in depth. It’s been several years now and I have forgotten most of it. But basically, the ozone layer is there for a reason. There is in fact, a hole in the layer. That alone is enough to create changes in our climate.

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