High winds cause power outage

Several power poles along Highway 34 were knocked down at about 10 a.m. on Monday by strong winds. About 18,000 Pacific Power customers were without power in Sweet Home, Lebanon, Cascadia and Foster.

Many businesses were closed but some schools operated as usual.

All schools in the Sweet Home district stayed in session.

They were fed lunch and though classes remained in session, some parents chose to pick up their children, said Cathy Hurowitz, Director of Student Achievement.

“All of our schools have good natural lighting,” Hurowitz said.

The Lebanon Community School District stayed in session initially, but sent a Flash Alert notification at 11:39 a.m. for parents to pick up their students. Buses were on their regular schedules for those who could not be picked up.

The Linn-Benton Community College Sweet Home and Lebanon centers were closed for the day because of the power outage.

The National Weather Service issued a high wind warning for the central Oregon coast that was to remain in effect through the afternoon, with gusts up to 60 mph. The Willamette Valley was expected to get wind gusts up to 40 mph through Monday evening.

Pacific Power initially estimated power would be restored at 1:30 p.m. At 2:30 p.m., many remained without power.

Monday afternoon, the Oregon Department of Transportation said Highway 34 would remain restricted to two lanes for at least two more days. A dozen power poles and multiple power line fell into the eastbound lanes of the highway, according to a news release from ODOT.