10/21/2014

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Injuries, destruction kick off first November storm

Injuries, destruction kick off first November storm
SEATTLE - It was a gusty, blustery, destructive day that gave way to a dark, cold and frustrating night on Saturday. Cleanup is underway Sunday, and power is still out across Puget Sound after the first big storm of the season.

Strong winds kicked off the morning trouble, and a blast of early November snow made for a treacherous night in the mountain passes.

On State Route 203 near Monroe, a massive tree nearly killed a 48-year-old man from Granite Falls. Police say he has serious injuries to his head and legs. Emergency crews tried to take him to Harborview, but all the down trees and power lines made it impossible, so he was taken to Providence in Everett instead.

In Seattle's University District, a 2-year-old child was struck by a tree branch and taken to Harborview Medical Center I the 4200 block of Roosevelt Way NE, Seattle Fire officials said. The child's injuries were said to be not life threatening.

Reports came of trees down in Seattle's Maple Leaf neighborhood, North Tacoma, Kingsgate and across several areas of Kitsap County.

Strong winds gusting over 45 mph also forced the DOT to close the 520 Floating Bridge. Troopers said there was a 4-5 foot sway in the bridge at the high-rises and that drivers in 50 cars abandoned their vehicles and walked off the bridge. They later got a trooper escort to remove their cars and the bridge opened about two hours later as the winds subsided a bit.

The wind only caused more problems on Highway 2 near Gold Bar. A massive tree came down, bringing power lines with it.

One couple in Bellevue got quite a scare after a tree came crashing down into their house. It happened just past noon Saturday as they were watching TV.

Meanwhile, it looks a lot like winter on Steven's Pass. Compact snow and ice on the roadways is putting restrictions on drivers. Traction tires are advised and all oversize vehicles prohibited.

Power outages across the region were well over 100,000 as the storm raged. Puget Sound Energy reported 95,000 customers without power while Seattle City Light reported 44,000 in the dark. Peninsula Light had over 1,000 while scattered outages were also reported in Snohomish County around Lynnwood and Mill Creek.

By Sunday morning, 1,900 customers were without power, with over 100 smaller outages remaining, says Seattle City Light. Puget Sound Energy says the have roughly 4,400 customers in 310 locations that remain without power. The hardest hit areas were North King County, and Kitsap County.

Crews will work on restoration through the day, and hope to have everything restored by 10 p.m. Sunday.
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