Series of storms begins slamming Oregon; Ponderosa pine falls on Ashland house

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PORTLAND, Oregon — Debra Neisewander of Ashland, Oregon, said she had worried about a Ponderosa pine in her front yard for some time and had even recently had a dream about it falling.

About 3 a.m. Friday, she awoke. It was no dream this time. The giant tree had fallen on her house, and plaster was raining on her bed.

"The house shook a little bit," she told the Medford Mail Tribune (http://bit.ly/1zptRoc ). "It happened real quick. It came right through my bedroom."

High winds and heavy rains caused power outages and flooded roadways in southern Oregon and other parts of the state as a series of storms started rolling ashore along the West Coast.

Neisewander spent Friday morning sawing branches out of the way so she could get to her front door, only to give up and use the rear door instead. Two vehicles and utility lines also were damaged.

The storm dropped up to two inches of rain on parts of southern Oregon overnight, and wind gusts were reported at 55 mph in Ashland.

Flooded roads were reported in several areas of southern Oregon on Friday morning. In Ashland, runoff clogged drains to the storm-water system, flooding streets.

In rural areas, roads in both low-lying and mountainous regions were reported flooded.

"We're chasing water everywhere," said John Vial of the Jackson County road department.

More storms this weekend are expected through the beginning of next week.

Some of the biggest problems Friday were in Josephine County, where high water closed lanes of Highway 199 at a low point east of Cave Junction, said spokesman Gary Leaming of the state Department of Transportation. There were other problems near the Greensprings east of Ashland and near Applegate, he said.

"We're chasing them, and we expect to be doing that all weekend," Leaming said.


Information from: Mail Tribune, http://www.mailtribune.com/

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