Windstorm knocks out power to thousands

Associated Press

SEATTLE – Winds gusting to more than 60 mph inland and 90 mph on the coast caused widespread power outages in Western Washington and snow snarled traffic in parts of the state late Thursday and early today.

About 100,000 people were without electricity early today. At the height of the storm, more than 200,000 residents were blacked out.

Dorothy Bracken, spokeswoman for Puget Sound Energy, said outages hit 125,000 of the utility’s 940,000 customers in nine Western Washington counties.

About 17,000 homes and businesses on Whidbey Island – about half the total – were among the 45,000 utility customers still without power by midday. Winds were clocked at more than 60 mph at the Whidbey Island Naval Air Station.

“We’re hoping most … will be back on by dusk,” Bracken said.

About 38,000 Snohomish Public Utility District customers also were without power early today.

Seattle City Light reported about 2,500 outages at midmorning today, down from about 5,500 overnight. The company hoped to have most of its customers back on line by midday.

Eastbound lanes of Interstate 90 were reopened late this morning after two closures between Milepost 33 and Snoqualmie Pass – one caused by accidents and the other by downed trees and tree limbs. Westbound lanes remained open.

Blowing snow and poor visibility hampered drivers on the icy interstate and traction tires were required.

Stormy weather also was blamed by Portland General Electric and Pacificorp for about 45,000 outages in Oregon, and snow and sleet brought the Thursday evening commute to a crawl in and around Vancouver, British Columbia.

The National Weather Service blamed the blustery weather on a rapidly moving cold front that followed a brief warming spell.

At Ocean Shores on the Washington coast, winds as high as 90 mph toppled trees, ripped roofs off houses and rolled a 30-foot traffic trailer late Thursday, police said. No injuries were reported.

The Ocean Shores Elementary School gym was evacuated when the roof was damaged and began leaking.

Much of the east side of the state got snow in Thursday’s storm – 4 inches in Yakima and 5 in Spokane – though temperatures warmed from the low 20s to the mid-30s by this morning and much of the region had sunshine. The weather service issued a winter storm watch for late today and early Saturday with the possibility of more snow or freezing rain.

Snow also slowed traffic on Interstate 5 in Whatcom and northern Skagit counties, but no major accidents were reported.

Fallen trees temporarily blocked U.S. 101 on the coast near Raymond and trees also fell on Washington 109 north and south of Copalis Beach. State Transportation Department crews were dispatched to clear them.

Copyright ©2000 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Talk to us

> Give us your news tips.

> Send us a letter to the editor.

> More Herald contact information.

More in Local News

Snohomish residents Barbara Bailey, right, and Beth Jarvis sit on a gate atop a levee on Bailey’s property on Monday, May 13, 2024, at Bailey Farm in Snohomish, Washington. Bailey is concerned the expansion of nearby Harvey Field Airport will lead to levee failures during future flood events due to a reduction of space for floodwater to safely go. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Harvey Field seeks to reroute runway in floodplain, faces new pushback

Snohomish farmers and neighbors worry the project will be disruptive and worsen flooding. Ownership advised people to “read the science.”

IAM District 751 machinists join the picket line to support Boeing firefighters during their lockout from the company on Thursday, May 16, 2024, in Everett, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Amid lockout, Boeing, union firefighters return to bargaining table

The firefighters and the planemaker held limited negotiations this week: They plan to meet again Monday, but a lockout continues.

Bothell
2 injured in Bothell Everett Highway crash

The highway was briefly reduced to one northbound lane while police investigated the three-car crash Saturday afternoon.

Heavy traffic northbound on 1-5 in Everett, Washington on August 31, 2022.  (Kevin Clark / The Herald)
On I-5 in Everett, traffic nightmare is reminder we’re ‘very vulnerable’

After a police shooting shut down the freeway, commutes turned into all-night affairs. It was just a hint of what could be in a widespread disaster.

Anthony Brock performs at Artisans PNW during the first day of the Fisherman’s Village Music Fest on Thursday, May 16, 2024 in Everett, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
At downtown Everett musical festival: ‘Be weird and dance with us’

In its first night, Fisherman’s Village brought together people who “might not normally be in the same room together” — with big acts still to come.

Two troopers place a photo of slain Washington State Patrol trooper Chris Gadd outside District 7 Headquarters about twelve hours after Gadd was struck and killed on southbound I-5 about a mile from the headquarters on Saturday, March 2, 2024, in Marysville, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Judge reduces bail for driver accused of killing Marysville trooper

After hearing from Raul Benitez Santana’s family, a judge decreased bail to $100,000. A deputy prosecutor said he was “very disappointed.”

Pet detective Jim Branson stops to poke through some fur that Raphael the dog found while searching on Saturday, March 2, 2024, in Everett, Washington. Branson determined the fur in question was likely from a rabbit, and not a missing cat.(Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Lost a pet? Pet detective James Branson and his dogs may be able to help

James Branson, founder of Three Retrievers Lost Pet Rescue, helps people in the Seattle area find their missing pets for $350.

Whidbey Renaissance Faire volunteers pose in their costumes. (Photo by Bree Eaton)
Faire thee well: Renaissance is coming to Whidbey Island

The volunteer-run fair May 25 and 26 will feature dancers, a juggler, ‘Fakespeare,’ various live music shows and lots of food.

Community Transit leaders, from left, Chief Communications Officer Geoff Patrick, Zero-Emissions Program Manager Jay Heim, PIO Monica Spain, Director of Maintenance Mike Swehla and CEO Ric Ilgenfritz stand in front of Community Transit’s hydrogen-powered bus on Monday, May 13, 2024, at the Community Transit Operations Base in Everett, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
New hydrogen, electric buses get trial run in Snohomish County

As part of a zero-emission pilot program from Community Transit, the hydrogen bus will be the first in the Puget Sound area.

Two people fight on the side of I-5 neat Marysville. (Photo provided by WSDOT)
Video: Man charged at trooper, shouting ‘Who’s the boss?’ before shooting

The deadly shooting shut down northbound I-5 near Everett for hours. Neither the trooper nor the deceased had been identified as of Friday.

Two people fight on the side of I-5 neat Marysville. (Photo provided by WSDOT)
Road rage, fatal police shooting along I-5 blocks traffic near Everett

An attack on road workers preceded a report of shots fired Thursday, snarling freeway traffic in the region for hours.

The Port of Everett and Everett Marina on Tuesday, Dec. 19, 2023 in Everett, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Is Port of Everett’s proposed expansion a ‘stealth tax?’ Judge says no

A Snohomish resident lost a battle in court this week protesting what he believes is a misleading measure from the Port of Everett.

Support local journalism

If you value local news, make a gift now to support the trusted journalism you get in The Daily Herald. Donations processed in this system are not tax deductible.