Gust damages roof, blows out windows in Portland

PFR officials said it's likely weather related

Attorney Steve Smith's office in the Porrtland Standard building was damaged by flying metal that blew out his windows during a wind storm, Dec. 11, 2014 (Courtesy to KOIN 6 News)
Attorney Steve Smith's office in the Porrtland Standard building was damaged by flying metal that blew out his windows during a wind storm, Dec. 11, 2014 (Courtesy to KOIN 6 News)

PORTLAND, Ore (KOIN 6) – The wind that hammered Oregon caused at least one roof to collapse in Northwest Portland and blew out windows in the Portland Standard building in Southwest Portland.

Four windows in an upper level of the Portland Standard building were blown out from debris blown from the PacWest building across the street.

A Portland firefighter told KOIN 6 News a 12-foot by 6-foot piece of thin metal flew off the PacWest building and into the windows of the Portland Standard building. PF&R shut down Madison between SW 5th and 6th to pedestrian traffic, and evacuated the buildings.

One woman who works at the Portland Standard building, Lisa, said she was at her desk when she heard “a terrific noise, saw debris, metal on the floors, papers flying around.” She said she checked to make sure the attorney in the office was OK, then called building security. Shortly after they received a call from the PacWest building.

Attorney Steve Smith was in his office in the Portland Standard building when a piece of metal from the PacWest building hit and shattered his windows on the 15th floor, Dec. 11, 2014 (KOIN 6 News)
Attorney Steve Smith was in his office in the Portland Standard building when a piece of metal from the PacWest building hit and shattered his windows on the 15th floor, Dec. 11, 2014 (KOIN 6 News)

Attorney Steve Smith — who was working on an estate plan at the time — was in his office when the metal from the PacWest building blew out the windows in his office in the Portland Standard building.

“I saw all this paper flying out and towards my office, and right behind it was this giant piece of silver aluminum,” Smith told KOIN 6 News about an hour after it happened.

“It was coming so fast. I had about one second to turn away from the window, so my back was at the window. It blew in and shattered glass went everywhere, totally. It was like being in a tornado.

“My papers in my office were flying in all directions. Then I just was so stunned, I immediately got out of my office and shut the door.”

He said he wondered if he would survive.

“I thought, am I going to survive this? Because it was such a big piece of metal and it was going so fast I thought, you know, this may be the last moment. And so I just hunched and then it hit.”

The estate attorney said with a chuckle he has his estate plan done.

Apartment roof collapse

The roof collapse happened at The Zenabe Court Apartments, which is at the intersection of Northwest 20th and Irving. According to the Bureau of Emergency Communications, the collapse was reported at 2:52 p.m. and is “likely weather-related.”

The entire building was evacuated and then evaluated. Engineers determined there was no danger of the entire building collapsing. However, officials said, there is still a danger of further collapse of the parapet and brick veneer.

Of the 23 apartments, nine are damaged and can’t be occupied until repairs are completed.

There are no reports of any injuries, but some cars may have been damaged.

City engineers and the American Red Cross have been notified.

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