Hurricane Force Winds Cut Power to Thousands in Pacific Northwest

Winds gusting at hurricane force in some places Monday left more than 125,000 customers without electricity across the Pacific Northwest and blew the roof off an Oregon firehouse, authorities said.

Winds higher than 70 mph blew trees and branches onto power lines and cut electricity to roughly 85,000 customers in Washington, mostly in the western part of the state.

The region's largest utility, Puget Sound Energy, had about 37,000 customers in the dark in nine counties, spokeswoman Christina Mills said. In Oregon, more than 43,000 customers lost power, utilities reported.

Gusts reported by the National Weather Service by noon included 71 mph at Hoquiam in western Washington and 41 at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport.

The roof blew off the fire station in Gearhart in western Oregon. Cape Meares, on Oregon's north coast, registered a gust of 92 mph, the National Weather Service reported.

Utilities generally consider one home or business a customer, so the number of individuals without power could be much higher.

Fog, rain and sleet led rescue teams to call off intensive efforts to find University of Oregon mathematics professor Daming Xu, 63, believed to be missing in the foothills of the Cascade Range. He was last seen Nov. 4.

The search will continue as weather and resources permit, the Lane County Sheriff's Office said.