Thousands still without power in W. Wash. after thunderstorms

Thousands still without power in W. Wash. after thunderstorms
Thousands of homes around the Puget Sound region remained without power Tuesday as crews continued to clean up from Monday's thunderstorms.

The main campus of Green River Community College in Auburn remained without power as of 5 a.m., and all classes that begin before noon were cancelled. Employees were told to report to work at 11 a.m.

Officials said crews were working to replace damaged wires and equipment at the Green River campus caused when a large tree fell into power lines on Monday. The tree also landed on parked cars in a student lot.

Classes at Green River's Enumclaw and Kent campuses are on schedule.

About 5,000 Puget Sound Energy customers remained without electrical service in King and Kitsap counties. Power was expected to be restored to all customers by noon.

The outages were caused by a line of thunderstorms and strong winds that plowed through Western Washington on Monday afternoon, ripping down power lines and toppling trees into homes, injuring at least one person.

The active weather was short-lived but intense in many areas, as thunder crashed and flashes of lightning lit the dark clouds. Wind gusted to 30-40 mph in many spots, with stronger gusts likely in southeastern Pierce County as the squall moved through there.

Initially, about 22,300 Puget Sound Energy customers were without power across nearly 300 locations, including Poulsbo, Fall City, Sumner, Auburn, Renton, Maple Valley and Issaquah. Another 5,700 Peninsula Light customers were also without power for a while.

In Silverdale, a woman got a rude awakening when a tree crashed into her home in the 1300 block of Lakeridge Circle Drive. The woman sustained minor leg injuries.

In Auburn, a woman was trapped inside her car for hours when a large tree ripped down power lines onto 20 cars at Green River Community College.

She was freed 2 1/2 hours later once her safety was assured and she was not hurt. Classes at the college were canceled due to lack of electricity.

Another tree toppled into a home in Edgewood at the 12700 block of 53rd Street Court East, according to East Pierce Fire & Rescue. The impact knocked out windows and one branch pierced through a wall.