JOHN DAY - When the Dowdys left their home on West Bench at 11 a.m. on Dec. 31 to watch Dustin Elliott ride in the Bull Bash in Redmond, everything was fine.

The family returned at about 5 p.m. the following day to find five big trees had fallen down. Apparently, they had missed a severe windstorm.

"We were afraid of what we were going to find in the morning when it was light," Sherry said.

The trees were broken off and fell north, away from the house. No real property damage was done. Their camp trailer was slightly jarred to the side and had a small dent in the top, but other than that nothing else was damaged.

They have a mess to clean up with all of the fallen trees, though. The top of one tree is stuck in another several feet in the air. Long pieces of juniper bark are scattered across the property. They planned to break out the chainsaws to begin clean up right away.

Severe weather played havoc all week in the county, especially for the folks at OTEC and its customers. Early on the morning of Dec. 27, the Long Creek, Fox Valley and Beech Creek area customers, about 270 in all, were without power for approximately nine hours. The cause of the power outage was due to heavy, wet snow and rain causing a tree to fall on a powerline, OTEC said.

OTEC was especially busy on Dec. 30. Fifty customers in the Austin, Bates and Dixie Mountain area lost power at 7:20 a.m. for an hour and a half. The power outage was caused by heavy, wet snow and wind gusts.

These same customers lost power again at 1:55 p.m. for about 40 minutes, due to extreme weather conditions.

Also on Dec. 30, Seneca, Fall Mountain and Silvies Valley customers lost power at 8:25 a.m. for about an hour. Approximately 200 customers were affected by the outage. Heavy, wet snow and wind gusts were responsible.

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