A series of thunderstorms is blowing through Southeast Washington and Northeast Oregon on Monday evening, sparking concerns about wildfires.
The Lower Columbia Basin of Washington and Oregon is under a red flag fire warning until 10 p.m. tonight.
After a string of 90-plus degree days, the National Weather Service’s Pendleton office said thunderstorms were rolling across the region.
The National Weather Service sent out a severe threat alert at 5:02 p.m. to warn of possible flash floods in some areas until 7 p.m.
Radar as of 4:15 p.m. showed the storms stretching in a line from Walla Walla southwest into Hermiston.
People are reporting up to 50-mph gusts from the storms. They are expected to affect the eastern half of the Columbia Basin and the Blue Mountain foothills. Lightning strikes can spark fires in the grass and shrubs in the area.
One fire was sparked at Highway 240 at milepost 15 outside of Benton City.
A fire started in the attic of a Salerno Lane home in Richland. Firefighters are reporting the residents were able to escape.
Lightning struck a home in the 1400 block of Meadow Hills Drive, sparking a fire.
Reports are coming in of structure fires on Clodfelter Road and Quincy Street.
Wind and lightning damaged power poles and knocked down a number of power lines throughout the region.
Benton PUD are working on various power outages including one in the Rancho Reata area and another in the area of 10th Avenue and Clodfelter Road. Officials are advising to avoid the area of 45th Avenue and Olympia.
A tree was knocked down across both lanes of Van Giesen Street, as of 6 p.m. Dispatchers are reporting removing the tree is going to take a while before it removed.
The weather systems are predicted to pass through the area by 11 p.m. bringing weather in the high 80s for most of the rest of the week.
Officers are warning drivers to be careful of standing water on roads and highway. A flash flood warning is in affect for the Tri-Cities until 9:45 p.m.
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