Hunter from Seattle killed as storm pounds Oregon coast

PORTLAND, Ore. — A storm socked the northern Oregon coast Monday, causing the death of an elk hunter and disrupting the lives of residents in the notoriously storm-plagued region.

By the time the storm is expected to diminish Tuesday morning, rainfall in the higher elevations could total 4-to-7 inches, forecasters said, while the gale-force winds whipping in excess of 70 miles per hour cause power outages and road closures.

“We’re getting hammered,” said Sheriff Andy Long of Tillamook County.

The elk hunter, 52-year-old Nathan Christensen of Seattle, died shortly before 7 a.m. when a fir tree crashed on his tent near Nehalem, said Chief Perry Sherbaugh of Nehalem Bay Fire and Rescue.

Two hunters in an adjacent camp heard the tree snap and saw it lying across the tent. They cut it away in an attempt to rescue the man, to no avail.

“They initially called it in as one person trapped in the tent,” Long said. “But it killed him instantly.”

Christensen had been in a party of hunters, but the others were gone when the tree fell. Long said he was not sure if they left because of the storm or to go looking for elk.

No other storm-related deaths or injuries had been reported. Fallen trees, however, caused other havoc along the coast and inland toward Portland.

Four Seaside firefighters narrowly avoided injury when a tree fell on their fire truck. Fire Chief Joey Daniels said the four had gone to U.S. 26 to help clear a tree. When they got back into the truck, they saw another one starting to fall.

“They all opened their doors and jumped out,” Daniels said.

The truck was a total loss, the chief said, and the department is still totaling the damage to the equipment inside the vehicle. Elsewhere, a Beaverton teacher was not hurt when a 50-foot tree fell on her car. Kristie Russell told KGW-TV she didn’t have time to avoid the falling tree, so she held on tight and hoped for the best.

The wind gusts, meanwhile, destroyed a barn and partially tore the roof from a mobile home in Tillamook County, said Gordon McCraw, the emergency management director. In Newport, the wind peeled back the roof of a Newport restaurant.

In Astoria, a semi-truck tipped over while crossing the Astoria-Megler Bridge, causing a major traffic headache. The strong winds prevented crews from removing the truck for several hours.

The northwest Oregon and southwest Washington coast is prone to heavy winds and rain, and storm watching is a popular winter tourist attraction.

Meterologist Kirsten Elson of the National Weather Service said powerful storms are not uncommon even as early as November. The storms, however, generally include either heavy winds or drenching rains, not both.

“Hopefully this will give everybody a heads up that we’re back into the fall and winter season,” Elson said. “And here we go.”

More in Local News

A customer walks away after buying a hot dog from a vendor on 33rd St and Smith Street near the Everett Station on Friday. The Everett Station District Alliance pictures the area east of Broadway and south of Hewitt Avenue as a future neighborhood and transit hub that could absorb expected population growth. (Andy Bronson / The Herald)
How can Everett Station become a vibrant part of city?

A neighborhood alliance focused on long-term revitalization will update the public Tuesday.

Man arrested after police find van full of drugs, cash and guns

An officer on patrol noticed a vehicle by itself in the middle of a WinCo parking lot at 2 a.m.

After work to address issues, Lynnwood gets clean audit

The city has benefited from increased revenues from sales tax.

Bolshevik replaces BS in Eyman’s voters pamphlet statement

The initiative promoter also lost a bid to include a hyperlink to online coverage of the battle.

Man with shotgun confronts man on toilet about missing phone

Police say the victim was doing his business when the suspect barged in and threatened him.

Detectives seek suspect in woman’s homicide

Alisha Michelle Canales-McGuire was shot to death Wednesday at a home south of Paine Field.

Car crashes near Everett after State Patrol pursuit

The driver and a second person in the car suffered injuries.

Injured hiker rescued near Granite Falls

Woman fell and hit her head on a rock Saturday, and her condition worsened overnight.

Two teens struck by truck in Lynnwood

The teens, between the ages of 14 and 16, were taken to the hospital as a precaution.

Most Read