Thousands still without power after strong windstorm blasts area

Thousands still without power after strong windstorm blasts area
Perhaps what will go down as the strongest storm of the fall season thus far brought another round of heavy rain and gusty winds as high as 60-90 mph in some spots around the region on Wednesday, knocking out power to thousands.

Puget Sound Energy, the state's largest utility, reported 30,000 customers still in the dark early Thursday, mostly in the northwest part of the state, and spokeswoman Dorothy Bracken said some might not get power again until Saturday. Repair crews were being summoned from as far as California and Colorado, she said.

At the peak the utility had about 135,000 customers without power as winds gusted to more than 70 mph, Bracken said.

A blown-down tree blocked the northbound lanes of Interstate 5 for a time near Bellingham, and State Route 104 was closed for several hours over the Hood Canal floating bridge between the Kitsap and Olympic peninsulas.

The far northern areas were battered for several hours Wednesday, with Bellingham reporting gusts over 50 mph for 12 consecutive hours. Over on the coast, wind gusts were well over hurricane-force strength (74 mph). Tatoosh Island along the coat hit 91 mph, while Clallam Bay hit 87 mph. There is said to be a lot of damage in the area.

Here's a list of peak gusts from the storm:

  • Tatoosh Island: 91 mph
  • Clallam Bay: 87 mph
  • Sekiu: 77 mph
  • Clallam Bay: 70 mph
  • Sequim: 70 mph
  • Hoquiam: 68 mph
  • Bangor Sub Base: 66 mph
  • Anacortes: 65 mph
  • Mount Vernon: 65 mph
  • Oak Harbor: 66 mph
  • Forks: 62 mph
  • Bellingham: 63 mph
  • Vail (Thurston Co.): 60 mph
  • Friday Harbor: 59 mph
  • Brinnon: 55 mph
  • Tacoma: 53 mph
  • Everson: 53 mph
  • Port Angeles: 52 mph
  • Olympia: 46 mph
  • Everett: 45 mph
  • Seattle: 41 mph

Those winds forced the closure of Hood Canal Bridge (twice) and suspended ferry service along the Port Townsend-Keystone run.

While the wind was very strong, the rain wasn't quite as intense as feared -- especially in the Olympics and southern Cascades. The exception being the Skokomish River, which is expected to have another round of major flooding -- perhaps on par with last week's floods. Flooding was also expected on the Bogachiel River near La Push.

A few days' break

Thursday will be a calm day with scattered showers amid some sunbreaks.

We'll keep a few more showers in the forecast Friday and Saturday before another storm comes ashore Sunday, although it doesn't look as strong as today's.

How wet has it been?

It's now officially another record. Seattle received 0.44" of rain Wednesday, good enough to make this November the wettest ever at 11.63" of rain, eclipsing the old record of 11.62" set in 1998.

With half the month left and more rain in the forecast, we're still on pace to shatter Seattle's all-time wettest month of 12.92" set in January of 1953.

Incidentally, No. 3 on that list is January 2006. This marks the first time in Seattle's recorded history that we've had two months in the same year with more than 10" of rain.

More Information:

You can see a list of news events related to the storm at this link