UPDATED: Wind, downed trees wreak havoc in Rogue Valley
Melissa Buchanan said it sounded like a bomb.
The Medford resident had just returned to her Inverness Drive home after dropping off her eldest son at school for an early morning field trip. About 10 minutes later, a fierce gust of wind pushed a 60-foot pine tree over onto her roof.
"It was massive," Buchanan said. "It was like the whole house shook, like a bomb went off."
She went outside to find the tree, collapsed and blocking her home's garage, making it so she couldn't get to work.
The toppled tree was just one of many reports of mayhem around the Rogue Valley this morning, following the arrival of a storm front that brought 45 mph wind gusts and more than an inch of rain to parts of Jackson County. A high wind warning remains in effect for Talent and Ashland through 1 p.m. today, with a wind advisory for Medford, Central Point, Jacksonville and White City.
Buchanan said no windows broke during the impact and that damage appears to be isolated to the exterior. She hopes to have the tree removed today.
"All you can see out the front door is pine tree," Buchanan said.
A few miles away, employees at Economy Plywood, 6142 Crater Lake Ave., came to work to find the roof ripped off of the business's main building and a collapsed barn on the grounds.
"There is just debris everywhere," office manager Jean Heyden said. "We've got metal roofing all over the drive."
The business is closed until temporary repairs can be made.
"There's been stuff blowing around ever since we've been here," Heyden said. "It's just been a real disaster."
Up the road in Gold Hill, winds pushed a tree into a power line this morning, causing a pole to fall onto the roof of a home, touching off a fire.
The fire at 5932 Highway 234 was reported at 6:08 this morning, according to dispatch records from Emergency Communications of Southern Oregon. Captain Mike Calhoun of Jackson County Fire District No. 3 said a passing motorist spotted fire and smoke pouring off the home. Crews responded and found the home awash in flames.
"It was completely involved upon arrival," Calhoun said.
Eleven engines responded to the scene, with firefighters from District 3, Medford Fire-Rescue and Jackson County Fire District No. 4 out of Shady Cove responding. The home's owners are out of town. No animals were injured in the fire. Officials said there was never any danger of flames spreading to other homes.
Crews had the fire extinguished by 8 a.m.