By Associated Press • 

Portland records wettest December with latest deluge


SEATTLE — A Monday morning deluge pushed Portland's December rainfall into record territory and brought afternoon snow to some Seattle suburbs as strong winds downed power lines and closed sections of highway in yet another round of storms.

The National Weather Service predicted heavy rain and unusually strong winds for much of western Oregon and southwest Washington on Monday. Heavy snow remained in the forecast for in the Cascades.

Portland General Electric reported early Monday afternoon that more than 30,000 customers lost power as strong winds took down trees. By 7 p.m., nearly 9,000 customers were without power, the company said. Portland bus and other metro transit was delayed Monday afternoon due to the weather.

A semi-trailer blew off a road near the Portland airport, but no one was injured, police said.

Residents living in hillside apartments about 13 miles south of Portland in Oregon City, Oregon, were told to evacuate their homes by Monday afternoon because of deteriorating stability, The Oregonian reported.

Residents in some Seattle suburbs and south of the city saw rain turn to snow Monday afternoon. Accumulation was expected to be minor.

Vehicle crashes closed a portion of eastbound Interstate 90 around Snoqualmie Pass early Monday afternoon. By 4 p.m., state transportation had officials closed I-90 in both directions around the pass, about 54 miles east of Seattle, for avalanche control work. The road reopened in both directions at about 6:30 p.m.

A winter storm warning has been issued for many areas of eastern Washington and eastern Oregon through Tuesday morning. Up to 4 inches of snow could fall in the valleys and up to 7 inches in the mountains. Blowing and drifting snow was also expected.

In Portland, it has rained every day this month, and the National Weather Service said it adds up to 13.5 inches as of Monday morning. That breaks the previous December record of 13.35 inches set in 1996.

With a total of about 10 inches of rain this month, the weather service said it's the sixth wettest December on record in Seattle so far.

Precipitation is expected to continue through Thursday.

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