The Pacific Northwest is bracing for a second storm aiming to pummel the coast Saturday with intense wind and rain.
The fierce storm spawned by Typhoon Songda is expected to drench the West Coast from Washington down to northern California, potentially downing trees and wires, and causing power outages and floods.
It is the second of a double-punch of typhoon-related wild weather, with a storm Friday whipping up damaging tornadoes.
There is growing consensus that Saturday’s storm will move over Washington, according to the National Weather Service.
If the storm crosses directly over or near western Washington, “this would be a worst-case scenario leading to a historical and destructive windstorm for the area,” the weather service warned earlier this week.
The winds from the second storm are likely to be fierce and widespread, according to CNN Weather.
“Coastal Washington, Oregon and the interior mountain ranges will feel the brunt of the strongest winds, possibly reaching hurricane strength (which is 74+ mph) by Saturday evening,” said CNN Meteorologist Derek Van Dam.
“Damaging winds will still be possible across the Seattle metro region, but will experience gusts between 50 to 60 miles per hour.”
Seattle hunkers down
Seattle began hunkering down for the double barrel of storms by shutting its parks, preparing emergency resources and opening more slots at its homeless shelters.
The possibility that the Saturday storm could be “one of the severest weather events that we’ve ever had has caused us to step up our response significantly,” said Seattle Mayor Ed Murray in a news conference Thursday.
Early Saturday, emergency workers were treating a 4-year-old boy with serious injuries and his father for minor injuries after they were struck by a falling tree branch. They were being transported to Harborview Medical Center.
Stranded without power
The storm that struck Friday spun off two tornadoes in Oregon and forced the rescue of 46 people in northwest Washington.
The Coast Guard rescued 40 teenagers and six adults near Lake Crescent, Washington, Coast Guard Petty Officer Ali Flockerzi told CNN.
The group was stranded at their camp without power and was blocked in by falling trees, Flockerzi said. The Coast Guard deployed a 29-foot rescue boat to take them to safety, Flockerzi said.
The National Weather Service confirmed two tornadoes touched down in the northwest Oregon coastal cities of Manzanita and Oceanside.
The tornadoes damaged 25-30 homes, Gordon McCraw with Tillamook County Emergency Management told CNN. Video and photos showed uprooted trees, toppled telephone poles and ruffled rooftops.
“Police are doing a great job keeping people safe after tornado,” Manzanita resident Michael O’Loughlin tweeted.
First responders searched the Mazanita area but have not found anyone trapped under the debris, Tillamook County Sheriff Andy Long told CNN. Though a Red Cross shelter has been opened at a local church for anyone displaced, residents are urged to shelter in place because more storms are expected in the area, Long said.
The National Weather Service’s Portland office said it broke its record for the most tornado warnings in a day, issuing 10 on Friday.
Saturday’s fierce weather may not be the end of it. A third storm could potentially pass through the Pacific Northwest next week, according CNN Meteorologist Dave Hennen.