Portland residents should brace for potentially stormy weather this weekend as the FOX 12 weather team keeps a close eye on a storm that could disrupt an as-of-yet quiet weather pattern this spring.
The biggest risk factor will be high winds Saturday.
Saturday marks the anniversary of last year's deadly windstorm that caused widespread damage and left more than 100,000 Portlanders without electricity.
Similar to the storm last year, the strongest gusts are expected on the coast Saturday, but arborist Terry Brier warns that wind speeds could be strong enough to cause problems in the valley, too.
“I would think in the 40-50 mph gust we’ll see some limbs some dead wood and maybe some weak trees come over," Brier, a tree expert, says. "We get up in the 50, 60 and beyond we’ll start seeing some widespread damage.”
Ronald Kibert, 67, died in last year's windstorm after first responders found him pinned under a tree limb in a green space behind his home in southwest Portland.
Deputies believe the high winds, which were reported to reach up to 60 mph that day, caused the tree limb to fall and hit him.
Brier advises homeowners to examine trees in their yard before this weekend to prevent potential storm damage. He says there are signs to look for that indicate if a tree is more susceptible.
“You want to watch for mushrooms," Brier says. "That can be a sign of root rot.”
According to the tree expert, “When we get into the storm and you start seeing cracks in the soil… you want to definitely be upwind of it at that point.”
If you see these or other signs, Brier says not prune or cut the tree down yourself, as the city of Portland and nearby communities have specific restrictions for tree work to preserve older trees.
“In the city of Portland any tree about 12 inches, pretty much anywhere, you have to have a tree removal permit,” Brier said.
Regulations can vary by neighborhood. To learn more about restrictions near your home, call the city's tree hotline at 503-823-8733.
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