Oregon thunderstorms topple trees, knock out power

PORTLAND, Ore. - Overnight thunderstorms with frequent lightning toppled a few trees and knocked out power in places from Salem through the Willamette Valley and Portland area into Southwestern Washington.

Portland General Electric reports there were more than 3,000 customers out of service for a time Friday morning in Clackamas, Columbia, Marion, Multnomah, Polk, Washington and Yamhill counties.

KATU-TV reports lightning set a 50-foot tree on fire in Sherwood and firefighters were nearly hit when it fell down.

Neighbor Clayton Hargrove and his wife woke up, ran outside and found fire in their front yard.

"Eventually our neighbor over here came over and said he could see fire in the tree, so that's when we realized for the first time that a tree had been hit," he said.

The tree took down a fence and knocked out power to many in the area.

Lightning also started brushfires Sherwood and Forest Grove.

The Portland bureau of the National Weather Service says 850 cloud-to-ground lightning strikes were detected overnight.