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Tree Damage, Timber Blowdown, and Forest Debris from Winter Storm 2007
An example of storm damage from the December 2007 winds that struck the north Oregon coast
On December 9, 2007, the Oregon Department of Forestry (ODF) dispatched a team of foresters and support staff  to the northern Oregon coast to help counties and landowners solve problems with blown-down timber, woody debris, and other forest-related effects of the storm that struck the northwest on December 2nd and 3rd.  The team was demobilized on Tuesday, December 18.
 
At the request of the affected counties, the team helped assess problems, and facilitated the removal of trees and woody debris left in the wake of the recent storms that raked coastal forests with high winds.
 
The team's final report is now available, along with a map of the affected area.
 
In addition, reports on the debris flow event in Eilertsen Creek have now been completed and are also now available.
 
Even though the team has been demobilized, ODF continues to have field staff available to assist with a variety of issues, including:
  • Identifying trees that are still standing but might be hazardous;
  • Helping landowners determine if they can derive economic value from fallen timber;
  • Working with other public agencies to facilitate the storing of downed logs that may later be placed into streams as part of stream-enhancement projects.
 
In addition, the following links provide useful and related information to help landowners and others as they continue to recover from the storm's effects.
 
Landowners are welcome to contact local ODF offices for guidance about forest-related storm damage. The primary offices in the affected northwest Oregon area are:
 
Tillamook: 503-842-2545
Astoria: 503-325-5451
Forest Grove: 503-357-2191
Columbia City: 503-397-2636
 

Photo Gallery
A view of the landslide that blocked Highway 30
In addition to the photos of the storm damage that are included on this web page, a small photo gallery has been developed that illustrates some of the storm-damaged areas and activities.  You can either view the photo gallery  of "thumbnail" photos (click on the thumbnail photos to show photos that are larger sized) or you may select individual photos from the index of photo captions below.  All photos are courtesy of ODF.
 
Photo Gallery
 
Photo Gallery Index
  1. Bird's eye view of the blown-down timber on the crest overlooking Astoria. Photo taken from an ODF contracted helicopter.
  2. ODF forester Ashley Lertora answers questions from a landowner about recovering downed timber from a rugged hillside south of Astoria.
  3. More than 15,000 acres in Clatsop and Tillamook Counties reported damaged timber, including up to 100 million board feet of debris not destined for markets.
  4. Trees also ended up in streams, such as Wrong Way Creek in Clatsop County. Fallen timber that does not pose a safety risk by blocking streams creates an opportunity help the stream’s ecosystem.
  5. Roads and bridges also sustained damage. At the convergence of the Nehalem and Salmonberry Rivers, a road bridge and railroad line received significant damage.
  6. Soon after winds subsided, ODF staff went to the field to begin the task of documenting damage and detecting areas which posed a safety risk to the public.
  7. A disturbing but common sight – an entire tree falls, exposing its root system. While creating a hazard, the tree coming down intact increases the ability to salvage the wood.
  8. One of the most visible events following the storm was the debris flow near Woodson which closed U.S. Highway 30 for several days. A concerned landowner contacted ODF several days before the slide, and an ODF geotechnical specialist advised an evacuation of the area. ODOT crews closed the highway 90 minutes before the destructive slide occurred. There were no injuries.
  9. Cities were not immune from fallen trees, including many historic trees in Astoria.
  10. A forest turns to toothpicks. U.S. Highway 26 near Mail Creek in Clatsop County.
  11. Trees succumbed to wind gusts ranging from 60 mph inland to a maximum peak gust of 129 mph at Bay City. Here, at Green Mountain in the Clatsop State Forest, single tall trees collapsed exposing root structures while leaving trees a few feet away unharmed.
  12. Instead of trees being blown down intact, wind gusts would shear off the top of a large tree which would then create a ‘scissor’ effect, slicing the tops of healthy trees which lay in the airborne tree’s path.