Lightning strike destroys Oregon home; Tornado in SW Wash. - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Lightning strike destroys Oregon home; Tornado in SW Wash.

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Oregon police ID woman who died in storms / Jeff Pricher Oregon police ID woman who died in storms / Jeff Pricher
US National Weather Service Portland Oregon Lucia Falls on East Fork of the Lewis River in Clark County US National Weather Service Portland Oregon Lucia Falls on East Fork of the Lewis River in Clark County

SEATTLE (AP) - The latest on heavy rains in the Pacific Northwest (all times local):
    
1:15 p.m.
    
Authorities say a lightning strike sparked a fire that destroyed an Oregon home and killed two pets.
    
Jefferson Fire District spokeswoman Tammy Robbins says renter Maria Lugo awoke to the sound of what she thought was pounding rain or hail. When she looked out the window, she saw flames.
    
Lugo and five relatives - three of them children - escaped as flames engulfed the house. A Chihuahua named "Angel" and a bird named "Blue" did not make it out.
    
Firefighters needed 2 ½ hours to get the fire under control Thursday morning.
    
The 2,500-square foot home was built in 1940. Jefferson is about 65 miles south of Portland.
    
____
    
12:15 p.m.
    
The National Weather Service says a two-person survey team is heading out to check on reports about a possible tornado touching down in southwest Washington.
    
Hydrologist Andy Bryant in Portland, Oregon, says the team will determine if damage reported Thursday in the city of Battle Ground was caused by a tornado or just high winds.
    
He says the area that includes southwest Washington and northwest Oregon typically sees about one tornado a year. The tornados tend to be short-lived and relatively weak compared to tornados in other parts of the country.
    
There have been reports of possible damage to a building but no injuries have been reported yet.
    
___
    
11:31 a.m.
    
A woman who was stuck in a car behind the landslide on Interstate 5 took a scary mountain detour to get her 6-year-old grandson and his other grandmother back home Wednesday evening.
    
Diane Smith of Lacey, Washington, says she was directed off the freeway south of the landslide about 26 miles north of Portland, Oregon, after spending nearly three hours stopped on the interstate.
    
Because there were no signs telling her where to go once she left the freeway, Smith made a choice that led her to the steep, winding Green Mountain Road above Woodland, Washington.
    
The Washington Department of Transportation is not recommending people take that mountain road without guardrails to get around the landslide. But Smith said she did not know. She says five cars were following her and she was thankful when she got back down the other side and drove back onto I-5 again north of the slide.
    
She says she was scared and her ears were popping and she wasn't sure she was going the right way until she made it back to the freeway.
    
Her grandson declared the experience an adventure to remember.
    
___
 

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) -Oregon State Police identified a woman who died when a car became submerged in a flood near her home as 72-year-old Penny Forrest.
    
The woman was a passenger in a Jeep Grand Cherokee driven by her husband, Richard Forrest. Police say the 82-year-old driver went around a "road closed" sign at Lost Creek Road and Highway 30 in Clatskanie.
    
The road had been closed because of this week's flooding. The vehicle stalled in high water and eventually became submerged.
    
Richard Forrest escaped, but his wife could not.
    
It's unclear if Forrest will be cited for going around the road closure. Lt. Bill Fugate says the investigation is not over.
    
Clatskanie is a town with fewer 2,000 residents. It's 60 miles northwest of Portland.

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