Wind speeds reached 40 mph at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport on Friday night, but surged as high as 54 mph and 51 mph on the Highway 520 and Interstate 90 bridges, respectively.
Crews had restored power to most customers in the Puget Sound region by Saturday morning, after a windstorm caused more than 200,000 outages in the immediate area Friday night and left one entire county in the dark for several hours.
Though National Weather Service meteorologist Mike McFarland called the storm fairly “run of the mill,” the gusts were enough to keep utility crews busy throughout the night.
Wind speeds reached 40 mph at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport on Friday night, McFarland said, but surged as high as 54 mph and 51 mph on the Highway 520 and Interstate 90 bridges, respectively.
Clallam County, north of the Olympic Mountains, was particularly hard hit, with the county of more than 73,000 people losing power Friday afternoon. At least one house was destroyed by a fallen tree, said Clallam County Undersheriff Ron Cameron. In Port Angeles, the largest community and county seat, the power would remain off for roughly eight hours, creating what Cameron described as an eerie scene — only vehicle headlights illuminating streets, and, for the most part, no fuel available, because most gas stations didn’t have backup generators.
“My god, WalMart closed, can you imagine?” Cameron said. Restoring electricity was delayed because two major lines that feed power into the county were damaged and had to be repaired first. By Saturday midday, about 80 percent of the county had the lights back on.
In the Seattle area, about 47,000 Seattle City Light customers lost power at the peak of the storm, said communications director Scott Thomsen. By 10 a.m. Saturday, about 5,000 customers remained without power, a number he expected to be cut in half by noon.
About 90 percent of the 100,000 Puget Sound Energy customers who experienced outages had their power restored by Saturday morning, said spokesman Andrew Padula. Portions of Kitsap and northern King County were among some of the hardest hit parts of the PSE service area.
The Snohomish County Public Utility District reported on Twitter that 60,000 customers were without power during the storm, but that was down to 4,000 by Saturday morning.