HIGH WINDS LASH NORTHEAST OREGON

December 15, 2002 11:00 pm

ENTERPRISE — Wind continued to howl today and damage reports were still coming in from weekend winds that ripped through the upper Wallowa Valley.

A Web site, firegone.com, listed the highest gust at 84.1 mph at 1:28 p.m. Saturday — the record for the four years that the private weather station has operated along Highway 82 north of Joseph. The daily average high wind speed Saturday was 50.7 mph.

From about 10:30 a.m. Saturday, residences at the south end of Wallowa Lake were without power for 16 hours after a utility pole broke. Today, a power line was reported down and sparking there.

Some Joseph residences were briefly without power, from power lines broken along Russell Lane. There, a barn also blew apart and the flying remnants damaged some new fencing.

Wallowa County Sheriff's Sgt. John Campbell and the county road crew removed a fallen tree that blocked Russell Lane Saturday. They struggled to remain on their feet, and keep an eye out for flying roofing blowing their way from the Chief Joseph Rodeo grounds.

A roof was ripped off a mobile home in Joseph. The roof was also lost from Mary Howerton's mobile home on Hurricane Creek Road nearly 2 miles south of Enterprise. The wind, which often changed direction, picked up a cast iron bathtub used as a watering trough and deposited it a distance away.

Last November the nearby home of Howerton's daughter was destroyed by fire.

In Enterprise Saturday a tree was blown onto a house causing damage to the eves, and a tree temporarily blocked a side street. Monday trees were reported down on Dobbin Road east of Enterprise.

— Gary Fletcher