Editor’s note: This is a live account of weather updates from Monday, Oct. 25, as the day unfolded. It is no longer being updated.
About 16,000 customers remained without power Monday evening after a windstorm downed power lines and trees throughout the region on Sunday.
Two people died after a tree collapsed onto their car outside Issaquah on Sunday, according to the King County Sheriff’s Office. More than 100,000 customers lost power Sunday in the Puget Sound region.
With active weather expected to continue through Tuesday, power companies said they expect to continue to respond to outages as they occur. We’re updating this page with the latest news about the weather and its effects on the Seattle area.
Temporary business park damaged by winds
Dozens of small vendors in South Park face an uncertain future after Sunday’s stormy weather swept through a temporary business park in the South Seattle community.
High winds damaged tents that had been set up in South Park Plaza, a gravel lot near the South Park Bridge, for small businesses displaced earlier in the pandemic, said Jose Lopez, a co-founder of the South Park Merchants Association, which set up the tents.
“Everything went off,” Lopez said a day after the storm, which ripped the top off the plaza’s main tent and left nearly a dozen merchants scrambling to cover their tables from the heavy winds and rain. No one was hurt.
16,000 remain without power
By 6:30 p.m. Sunday evening, the number of power outages statewide had dropped to about 16,000.
Residents and business owners who lost power found ways to occupy their time: Northgate resident Shawn Graham told The Seattle Times he spent the day and evening Sunday playing board games and talking to neighbors.
“Even during peak COVID times, I’ve never seen so many people just outside walking,” he said.
Sandra Andrews, a manager at the Leschi location of shipping and private mailbox business Park Postal, kept the doors open because she knew customers would still be expecting to deliver and pick up packages.
“When power is down I just bring lanterns and sit here and guard the fort,” she said.
Be aware of scams targeting utility consumers, PSE warns
Puget Sound Energy tweeted Monday to remind utility customers of tips and things to know to protect themselves from scams. The alert included the following:
- PSE never asks or requires customers who have delinquent accounts to purchase a prepaid debit card to avoid disconnection.
- Customers who have delinquent accounts receive multiple notifications from us by mail and over the phone for several weeks prior to disconnection.
- Customers with concerns about a call to pay their bill should hang up and call us directly at 1-888-225-5773 by looking up the phone number on PSE.com or on their PSE bill.
- We encourage you to report suspicious, fraudulent calls and emails. These agencies have taken the lead on investigating utility scams: Washington Attorney General’s Office (1-800-551-4636 atg.wa.gov/FileAComplaint.aspx#Online), Federal Trade Commission (1-877-FTC-HELP www.ftc.gov/complaint).
PSE urges people to contact them and local authorities if you suspect or experience fraudulent activity. View the full alert on fraudulent activity here.
How to prepare for Seattle-area storms
Here’s a list of resources to monitor how the stormy weather impacts the region including information on live forecasts, school schedule changes and service changes for drivers and commuters.
About 23,000 in Washington still without power
About 23,000 customers across Washington were still without power by shortly around 4:30 p.m. Monday, down from 60,000 outages first thing in the morning.
As of 5:24 p.m. Monday, Seattle City Light reported that 1,739 customers were without power.
Puget Sound Energy reported 413 remaining outages with 17,114 customers still in the dark, as of 5:25 p.m.
Tacoma Public Utilities reported 316 customers without power as of 4:36 p.m.
South of the metro area, Lewis County PUD was reporting 3 customers without power as of 4:36 p.m. Monday.
All the utility companies said crews were out in the region working to restore power.
Road to Paradise closed Monday night
Mount Rainier National Park posted on Twitter that the road to Paradise will close Monday night.
About 36,000 in Washington still without power
About 36,000 customers across Washington were still without power shortly before 3 p.m. Monday, down from 60,000 outages earlier this morning.
As of 2:50 p.m. Monday, Seattle City Light reported that 2,243 customers were without power.
Puget Sound Energy reported 445 remaining outages with 28,919 customers still in the dark, as of 2:48 p.m.
Tacoma Public Utilities reported no customers without power as of 12:57 p.m.
The Snohomish Public Utility District said 3,214 in its district were without power as of 2:52 p.m.
South of the metro area, Lewis County PUD was reporting 2 customers without power as of 2:47 p.m. Monday.
When a traffic-light outage is mixed with trains
When the power goes out, the tension increases on roads like Seattle's Martin Luther King Jr. Way South, where the city's traffic lights are integrated with Sound Transit's light rail trains.
Signals there were dark Monday afternoon, as Naomi Ishisaka drove east on South Othello Street near Othello Station, about to cross MLK Way around 1:30 p.m. She stopped, and noticed a northbound train stopped to her right, instead of entering the station.
State law requires drivers to treat a dark traffic signal as a four-way stop, unless police or traffic flaggers direct otherwise.
Ishisaka, a Seattle Times columnist and assistant managing editor for diversity, inclusion and staff development, wasn't sure how to proceed. After stopping, she rolled through the intersection at low speed, she said.
Train service resumed. Sound Transit didn't issue a rider alert about service slowdowns, or report a signal failure, said spokesperson John Gallagher just before 2 p.m.
The signal was still dead as of 2:55 p.m., Seattle police tweeted. "Triple check before crossing light-rail tracks," the department suggests.
Seattle's traffic-flow map showed a one-mile southbound traffic jam, and no authorities directing traffic, along MLK Way as of 3 p.m. Live video showed a Sound Transit train moving through the intersection at low speed.
Agencies haven't confirmed the outage was wind related, but Seattle transportation staff have cautioned travelers to expect citywide weather problems.
Why it seems like Seattleites are terrible at driving in the rain
You’d think Western Washingtonians would be good at driving in the rain, given all the practice we get. So why does it seem like we’re so bad at it?
Nearly every time precipitation hits, whether its a drizzle or a deluge, there seem to be traffic catastrophes all over the place.
More collisions happen when roads are wet, the Washington State Patrol confirms. In particular, the first rain after it’s been dry for a while can bring all the leaked oils and fluids from cars to the surface, and it’s hard to get traction on a road that slick.
But if we’re being honest with ourselves, the answer might be simpler: We’re not that good at driving in the first place.
How to stay warm and safe during a power outage
It’s bound to happen sooner or later: A winter storm blows through (or an earthquake hits) and knocks out the power in your neighborhood. More often than not, it’s back on in a few hours, but sometimes, it can be out for days — or even weeks.
That’s what recently happened in Texas when about 3 million people went days without power and/or water after an unusually severe winter storm overwhelmed the region’s power grid. The blackouts sent residents scrambling to contend with the record-setting freeze, resorting to extreme measures such as boiling snow for clean water and sleeping in front of their fireplaces until they ran out of wood. (Hardware stores quickly sold out.)
But some DIY heating solutions can be deadly. Emergency operators across the South reported dramatic spikes in calls about carbon monoxide poisoning as people attempted to use combustible energy — largely from barbecue grills and generators — inside their homes for heat. In one tragic incident, a mother and child in Houston died after attempting to funnel heat from their car.
Nearly 40,000 in Washington still without power
About 40,000 customers across Washington were still without power by midday Monday, down from 60,000 outages first thing in the morning.
As of 11:38 a.m. Monday, Seattle City Light reported that 10,253 customers were without power.
Puget Sound Energy reported 335 remaining outages with 25,372 customers still in the dark, as of 11:37 a.m.
Tacoma Public Utilities reported 19 customers without power as of 11:30 a.m.
The Snohomish Public Utility District said 1,612 in its district were without power as of 11:40 a.m.
South of the metro area, Lewis County PUD was reporting 224 outages as of 11:30 a.m. Monday.
Multiple roads closed in Pierce County
More than six roads are closed in Pierce County due to downed trees or utility lines. The county is updating information on Twitter.
More rain and wind expected in Seattle area Monday
Hang tight, Seattle. More rain and wind are expected throughout the day Monday.
Due to a strong low-pressure system offshore, the winds will blow between 15 and 25 miles per hour with gusts near 35 miles per hour, said Maddie Kristell, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Seattle.
Is your ‘go bag’ ready?
Emergencies are often unpredictable. But you can still plan for them.
No matter where you live, every home should have a ‘go bag’ and a ‘stay bin.’ The go bag is what you grab when you have to leave the house in a hurry, whether it’s to get to the emergency room or to evacuate. The stay bin is a two-week stash in the event you have to hunker down at home without power, water or heat.
National Weather Service in Seattle warns of strong winds and high surf
The risk from winds and surf remains high today, the National Weather Service in Seattle said on Facebook, along with this graphic sharing safety tips.
How to get through a power outage safely
Review tips to help get through a power outage, as well as our guide to staying safe if you don't have electricity. The guide, available here, includes Spanish, Russian, Vietnamese, Punjabi, Somali, Chinese, Korean and Ukrainian translations.
Medina Elementary in Bellevue closed Monday due to power outage
Belleveue School District said on its website that there would be no school Monday, October 25, 2021, for students at Medina Elementary School due to a power outage. Classroom instruction, transportation and meal service are not available.
Parts of East Marginal Way closed
Seattle City Light crews were still working Monday to remove wind-toppled utility poles that closed East Marginal Way South between 14th Ave South and South 86th Place Sunday. The closure has blocked all access to the South Park Bridge.
The utility company said it expects the work to be finished by Monday evening at the latest.
More than 60,000 in Washington without power Monday morning
More than 60,000 customers remained without power Monday morning after a windstorm downed power lines and trees throughout the region on Sunday.
As of Monday morning at 7:10 a.m., Seattle City Light reported that 12,822 customers were without power.
Puget Sound Energy reported 344 remaining outages with 25,427 customers still in the dark, as of 7:12 a.m.
Tacoma Public Utilities reported more than 14,000 customers without power as of 7:27 a.m.
The Snohomish Public Utility District said 2,493 in its district were without power as of 7:19 a.m.
South of the metro area, Lewis County PUD was reporting more than 4,000 outages as of 7:15 a.m. Monday.
All the utility companies said crews were out in the region working to restore power.
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