High winds bring down branches, power lines throughout county

LAKE STEVENS — Mike Vanney heard a crack, looked up and saw the tree coming down.

About 16 inches at its base, the tree struck the roof of a neighbor’s building at the Lake Villa Apartments around 11:30 this morning.

Vanney knew what was to blame.

“The wind was blowing big time up here,” he said.

A winterlike storm continued to cause power outages and traffic delays this afternoon, with high winds expected to continue sweeping across Western Washington until the early evening.

The National Weather Service measured early afternoon gusts of 54 mph on Whidbey Island and 49 mph at Paine Field in Everett, said Johnny Burg, a meteorologist with the weather service in Seattle.

“It’s pretty windy everywhere right now,” Burg said.

A wind advisory warning remains in effect until 6 p.m. for Snohomish County.

Wind knocked down tree branches and power lines throughout the day.

About 2 p.m., power was knocked out for 1,586 customers in Clearview, while another 364 lost power in the Woodway area, Snohomish County Public Utility District spokesman Mike Thorne said.

Before noon, PUD crews quickly restored power to 3,071 customers in and around Snohomish and Lake Goodwin, Thorne said.

Downed lines ruined David Menard’s lunch break at the Camano Island Library. He tried to visit the beach to look at white caps, only to have utility crews turn him around.

“The route I would normally take was blocked,” he said.

Washington State Ferries canceled the 2:15 p.m. sailing from Port Townsend because of high winds and rough seas.

While some travelers have been delayed, the mountain passes remained open at 2:30 p.m.

The central Cascades may get up to three feet of snow during the storm. Weather officials recommend postponing travel plans if possible, but traffic is moving on U.S. 2 and I-90.

Traction tires are advised and oversize vehicles are prohibited at Stevens Pass.

While no restrictions are in place right now for Snoqualmie Pass, a fallen tree in Eastgate is blocking three eastbound lanes of I-90.

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