Portland, OR Wind Storm, Dec 1921

Portland Rocked By Wind Storm

Big Trees Are Shattered; Phone Poles Felled.

Burnside Bridge Damaged

Plate Glass Windows Blown In and Roofs Torn Off.

Gale Hits 41-Mile Clip

Towering Fires in Laurelhurst Park Uprooted-Vessels Buffeted About in Harbor.

Maximum wind velocity at Portland, 41 miles an hour; at Astoria, 75 miles.

Forty big trees blown down in Laurelhurst Park.

Hundreds of telephone and electric light poles blown down and much of telephone company’s recent repair work undone.

Burnside Bridge put out of commission for two days.

Three ocean vessels blown about harbor, but not damaged.

Plate-glass windows in department stores blown in.

Roofs torn from schoolhouses and other buildings.

Numerous electric signs blown down.

A sudden violent wind storm visited Portland and vicinity yesterday afternoon, rocked the city to its foundations, afforded vast amusement for pedestrians, and passed on, leaving a wake of destruction.

Probably the most severe damage was done to telephone and electric light systems. Scores of poles were blown down, trees were hurled across wires and such havoc was wrought in general that officials of both the telephone company and Portland Railway, Light & Power Company were unable last night to give anything approaching an accurate estimate of the damage.

The storm did great damage in Laurelhurst Park. Early in its progress it overpowered some of the fine large fir trees in the park, swaying them until they snapped off, and tearing off large limbs from other trees, strewing the park with debris.

Large Trees Felled

As the storm increased in fury the large firs began to lose their battle with the wind, and in all sections of the park there were resounding crashes that could be heard for several blocks. Many large trees were blown down or broken off from eight to 15 feet from the ground.

The men employed at the park blockaded all entrances as soon as the severe character of the wind storm was realized, and in this work some of the men had narrow escapes from being hit by flying limbs from the trees. Men were stationed at each entrance to warn people from going into the park, although a number of persons stood on the streets outside to watch the spectacular battle of the wind with the large trees.

Park Superintendent Keyser visited the park during the tempest and superintended the work of safeguarding the public. He estimated that about two dozen of the best trees had been broken off or uprooted. Later reports gave 40 trees down by actual count and many others so weakened that they cannot be saved. It is expected that the loss will total between 50 and 60 of the trees for which the park was noted.