EVERETT — As winter approaches, Monday’s windstorm was perhaps a wicked warm-up act for nasty weather ahead.
More than 45,000 utility customers lost power in Snohomish County and on Camano Island, though by Tuesday morning that number had been reduced to several hundred, according to the Snohomish County PUD outage map.
Trees fell on homes in Maltby and Snohomish.
In Arlington, a tree crushed an RV where a man slept.
Some schools closed on Island County. Others in Lake Stevens began the day without power.
Traffic signals went dim in Edmonds and elsewhere. Another light was knocked down altogether southeast of Everett.
Ferry service to Coupeville was canceled.
Fall’s first major windstorm left its mark on Snohomish and Island counties overnight Sunday and well into Monday evening. It caused damage from Woodway to Arlington.
There were winds of 40 mph in parts of Snohomish County. The strongest gust here, 54 mph, was recorded at Paine Field at 4:57 p.m. At the Naval Station on Whidbey Island, a gust of 59 mph was recorded.
Strong wind was everywhere in the Puget Sound region. One of the highest gusts recorded at or near sea level was 63 mph, at Lopez Island. Among stations at higher elevations, Crystal Mountain near Mount Rainier reported the highest gust — 89 mph.
“The real challenge today has been how sustained this has been,” said Neil Neroutsos, a PUD spokesman. “It basically started at 2:30 this morning and it was gusty all day and we had a big burst going into the (afternoon) commute.”
Mountlake Terrace City Hall was among the buildings affected.
City officials wrote in a tweet around 2:40 p.m.: “Temp power outage zapped our City Hall email and phones. Bear with us while we work to resolve the issue.” Those services went back up not long after 4 p.m.
The intersection at Seattle Hill Road and 35th Avenue SE was closed for about two hours Monday afternoon after a tree fell and knocked down a traffic signal. A county public works crew was able to get a temporary signal up around 5 p.m.
The strong, wet storm front brought gale-force winds to the lowlands between Everett and Bellingham.
A man was awakened early Monday when a falling tree crushed the back of a motorhome where he was sleeping. His injuries were not life-threatening, said Kristin Banfield, a spokeswoman with the Arlington Fire Department. The vehicle was parked outside a home along 91st Avenue NE.
The rest of the week in Everett calls for rain, showers and wind. Tuesday’s precipitation could be between a tenth and quarter of an inch.
For a while on Monday, the National Weather Service posted a flood advisory in southwest Snohomish County. Heavy rain was falling at up to an inch per hour. But Snohomish County rivers were not expected to reach flood stage.
Precipitation in the mountains, however, could bring more than a foot of snow before the end of Tuesday. The Weather Service warned people to be prepared for difficult driving conditions.
Monday was challenging for the PUD.
Part of the reason is that weak, heavy limbs tend to fall on power lines in late fall and early winter storms.
Some of the hardest-hit local areas Sunday night and Monday morning included Lake Stevens, Granite Falls, Camano Island and south county.
In Lake Stevens, four schools and the district office lost power.
Lake Stevens High School and North Lake Middle School began Monday without electricity.
“It was a little bit dark and cold,” school district spokeswoman Jayme Taylor said. “It sounded like our teachers had to be quite creative.”
At the high school, that meant some classes were taught in the cafeteria and an adjacent commons area.
The school district announced late in the day that the high school would be closed Tuesday.
Monday’s power outages caused electric system failures, the district said on its website. All other schools in Lake Stevens were expected to be on normal schedule.
Meanwhile the South Whidbey School District canceled classes Monday because of power outages.
Several Port Townsend-Coupeville ferry sailings also were canceled Monday because of high winds and rough seas.
A tree fell on a car in the Seattle suburb of Renton, killing the woman, who was in her 30s, and critically injuring her sister, according to the King County Sheriff’s Office. A 2-year-old child who was in the backseat was OK, the sheriff’s office said.
And 15-year-old girl was seriously injured after a tree came through the roof of her bedroom and trapped her under debris inside a mobile home in Port Orchard, the Kitsap County Sheriff’s Office said.
The Associated Press contributed.