Monday, February 24, 2020
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Typhoon Songda cancels Oregon school travel

Many school events and travel opportunities were cancelled in the Pacific Northwest last week due to Typhoon Songda and its remnants, several news sources are reporting.

Typhoon Songda (NASA)

Skies were clear as people in Salem, Oregon, woke up Friday morning, but a look outside revealed the occasional downed tree and a few power outages from high winds the night before. Some tornadoes touched down on the Oregon Coast, the Statesman-Journal reported.

Hail and wind gusts higher than 100 mph accompanied a tornado warning from the National Weather Service for southwest Washington and northwest Oregon. A tornado touched down in Manzanita at 8:25 AM, and less than an hour later, a second tornado hit Oceanside.

Both tornadoes began as water spouts and then came ashore, the paper reported, although meteorologists hadn’t yet surveyed the area to determine the tornadoes’ severity.

“Behold there was this big tornado flying about a mile away from our house,” the Associated Press quoted one resident as saying. “There was debris flying everywhere … you could see the debris up in the funnel.”

US Coast Guard officials reported rescuing several campers from Stevens Middle School in Port Angeles, Washington, who were on a school-sponsored, annually conducted trip to Crescent Lake, which is about 80 miles southeast of Eugene, Oregon.

In addition to school closings on Friday and a few remaining power outages (Puget Sound Energy said about 15,600 customers still had no power Saturday, the Seattle Times reported), a Bands of America contest was adapted in Hillsboro, Oregon. The event was supposed to be a regular marching band festival and competition, but the fact that so many of the participating schools couldn’t make the trip on account of the weather meant the Music For All organization, which is the nonprofit that runs Bands of America, had to convert the festival to an indoor clinic.

“Bands will perform for each other, receive independent clinics with all judges, and enjoy a Bands of America Leadership Experience with John Pollard and Dr Tim Lautzenheiser,” wrote Debbie Laferty Asbill on the BOA website. She’s the vice president for marketing and communications at Music For All. Of nine bands scheduled to appear, only two made it: Eastside Catholic and Mead, both from Washington state.

The wet weather is expected to continue into next week, but winds died down during Saturday night, the National Weather Service reported.

Paul Katula is the executive editor of the Voxitatis Research Foundation, which publishes this blog. For more information, see the About page.

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