Bitter blast of winter hits Western Washington

Bitter blast of winter hits Western Washington »Play Video
Cold temperatures in Yelm caused the Red Wind Casino fountain to ice over, Dec. 7, 2013. Photo: Kate Horning

SEATTLE-- A bitter blast has brought more arctic air into Western Washington Saturday as temperatures dropped to 19 degrees overnight in some locations.

Freezing temperatures didn't stop shoppers from lining up outside the Nike store on Seattle's 6th Avenue. Approximately 20 people waited outside in the cold weather awaiting the release of Gary Paton sneakers. One shopper said he'd been waiting 26 hours.

"I'm actually going to head out soon and get into the warmth, but it's too cold out here," said a shopper who only wanted to be identified at Rylan.

Outside Nordstrom at Westlake Center a long line with a three hour wait stretched around the downtown department store as families waited to see Santa Claus.

"Even though it's freezing cold they're still passing out hot cider and cookie to the kids," said Jacqlyn Jackson who was waiting with her nephew to visit with Santa.  "It's just fantastic."

Around Westlake Center the frigid temperatures didn't stop bundle up shoppers from getting their holiday shopping done.

"It's freezing but it's Christmas, so it's wonderful," said Jackson.

The cold weather brought some challenges for a family in Renton whose house caught on fire early this afternoon.

"I think it's because the weather is so cold," said Jennifer Lee who has lived in the house on 1318 Redmond Place NE in Renton for 10 years with her husband and 9-year-old daughter.

Le believes the cause relates to an electrical issue inside their home's heater.  It took fire officials a couple hours to locate where the fire was burning because it was burning slowly inside the walls.

"Such bad luck," said Le. Why is it the same time with the holiday days? It's a problem."

The Le's have been displaced from their home until repairs can be made.

Fire officials want the public to make sure their heating devices are safe and not against combustibles. Also, they say to make sure chimney's have been checked to prevent a fire.