STREAMING NOW: Watch Now

Sudden storm fells trees, causes damage in Medford

A series of potent storms rolled through the Rogue Valley on Wednesday afternoon and evening, breaking particularly hard over Medford.

Posted: Sep 19, 2019 4:45 PM
Updated: Apr 28, 2021 12:29 PM

MEDFORD, Ore. — For many in Southern Oregon, Wednesday evening's storm system brought sudden darkness followed by a brief and awful downpour of rain and a few startling cracks of nearby thunder. For others it was somewhat more dramatic — downing massive trees that swallowed yards and smashed vehicles.

Queen Anne Avenue, just south of E Jackson Street, was in the middle of it all. Lined with maple, oak, and pine, the area saw heavy rain, wind and hail during the storm.

"It came out of nowhere," said Bob Capsey, who has lived on Queen Anne for 41 years. "I was upstairs doing stuff on the computer and I heard this noise, and I looked outside and the trees were all going sideways."

Capsey said that his home lost power, and he watched the road outside fill with rain. It was the most rain that Medford has seen on a September 18 since 1966.

"I've never seen it that much — probably about 2 to 3 feet wide — like little rivers on each side and a lot of water," Capsey said.

Right across the street, Katy Smith's backyard was filled with pea-sized hail.

"Huge amount of hail . . . in fact this morning it was still there and they were about that big," Smith said, demonstrating the size of the hail with her fingers.

Less than two miles away, outside of Innovative Investments Services on Superior Court, a 52-foot tree fell around 6 p.m. that night — crushing a pickup truck and clipping a nearby Franz delivery truck.

"The truck never be the same again," said Jason Rumel. "My first concern was hoping that nobody was in it."

Officials from the National Weather Service spent the day conducting a damage assessment on Thursday. By the end, they were reluctant to call the storm "severe," cataloguing no confirmed wind gusts over 34 miles per hour. Officials said that damaged trees were more likely the result of poor root support than particularly strong wind gusts.

Regardless, the storm was unusually strong for how low it was, NWS said.

"Most storms of this kind of strengh usually have the core of the thunderstorm extend up to 20, 25 thousand feet, with tops up at 35, 40 thousand feet or higher," said Sven Nelaimischkies with NWS. "This was only around 25 thousand feet tall and the core of the storm only extended to around 15 thousand feet."

Oregon Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 396501

Reported Deaths: 5268
CountyCasesDeaths
Multnomah61066850
Washington42631406
Marion40277517
Clackamas33256388
Lane30473363
Jackson25211363
Deschutes23984192
Umatilla15155184
Linn14966184
Douglas13608295
Josephine10357248
Yamhill9878145
Klamath9120152
Polk8347103
Benton622940
Malheur593592
Coos5806109
Columbia441156
Jefferson426066
Lincoln367952
Crook343958
Union341456
Wasco319646
Clatsop265435
Baker222533
Tillamook219846
Hood River217237
Morrow198425
Curry194239
Harney121733
Grant109116
Lake106318
Wallowa76313
Sherman1933
Gilliam1854
Wheeler1161
Unassigned00

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 5127121

Reported Deaths: 74911
CountyCasesDeaths
Los Angeles153745027248
San Diego4104514351
Riverside3912955388
San Bernardino3784085998
Orange3367395771
Sacramento1699162460
Kern1588341838
Fresno1581872284
Santa Clara1536961933
Alameda1262241513
San Joaquin1084911837
Ventura1049251194
Contra Costa1046451058
Stanislaus922291434
Tulare869791102
San Francisco57458674
San Mateo56861631
Monterey52973626
Solano48014360
Santa Barbara47846555
Merced45506672
Sonoma43609414
Placer42736473
Imperial39148778
Kings35547369
San Luis Obispo31803360
Madera26511311
Shasta26353462
Butte25690320
Santa Cruz22540224
Yolo21792263
Marin18728249
El Dorado18544168
Sutter14691186
Napa13501107
Yuba1084791
Humboldt10360119
Tehama10329133
Nevada10187105
Mendocino873799
Lassen801259
San Benito793979
Tuolumne782691
Lake7073113
Amador583267
Siskiyou480757
Glenn460336
Calaveras449988
Del Norte380442
Colusa329821
Inyo259446
Plumas19679
Mono19274
Mariposa163318
Trinity102117
Modoc7956
Unassigned3820
Sierra2210
Alpine1080
Out of CA00
Medford
Mostly Cloudy
44° wxIcon
Hi: 46° Lo: 40°
Feels Like: 44°
Brookings
Partly Cloudy
50° wxIcon
Hi: 58° Lo: 42°
Feels Like: 50°
Crater Lake
Partly Cloudy
44° wxIcon
Hi: 40° Lo: 30°
Feels Like: 44°
Grants Pass
Cloudy
44° wxIcon
Hi: 47° Lo: 41°
Feels Like: 44°
Klamath Falls
Partly Cloudy
35° wxIcon
Hi: 40° Lo: 33°
Feels Like: 29°
Showers return tomorrow with falling snow levels
KDRV Radar
KDRV Fire Danger
KDRV Weather Cam

Community Events