NPI's Cascadia Advocate

Offering commentary and analysis from Washington, Oregon, and Idaho, The Cascadia Advocate is the Northwest Progressive Institute's uplifting perspective on world, national, and local politics.

Sunday, March 13th, 2016

Windstorm lashes western Pacific Northwest, felling trees and knocking out power

A pow­er­ful wind­storm rolled through the Pacif­ic North­west today, felling trees, knock­ing out pow­er, and forc­ing the clo­sure of roads and bridges.

Gusts of more than six­ty miles per hour were report­ed in many places, like Seat­tle’s Dis­cov­ery Park, which record­ed a peak gust of six­ty-six miles per hour at 4 PM.

Winds were also fierce on the Wash­ing­ton and Ore­gon coasts, where even more pow­er­ful gusts were reported.

March 13th Windstorm Gusts

March 13th Wind­storm Gusts

The Wash­ing­ton State Depart­ment of Trans­porta­tion shut down the Ever­green Point Float­ing Bridge across Lake Wash­ing­ton and the Hood Canal Bridge due to high winds. No esti­mate was giv­en for when either might reopen. Part of High­way 99/Aurora Avenue North also had to be closed due to downed pow­er lines.

A large truck tipped over on the Taco­ma Nar­rows Bridge, neces­si­tat­ing an emer­gency response and a cleanup. For­tu­nate­ly, no one was hurt.

Downed tree on Interstate 405

A downed tree on Inter­state 405 forced traf­fic to merge into a sin­gle lane (Pho­to: Wash­ing­ton State Depart­ment of Transportation)

Sev­er­al Wash­ing­ton State Fer­ry runs were can­celled or run­ning behind sched­ule.

Sound Tran­sit advised rid­ers to expect long delays.

“Please expect delays today on all Sound Tran­sit Express Sun­day routes as a result of high winds and fall­en trees caus­ing block­ages on mul­ti­ple roads ways and high­ways. Vis­it the WSDOT web­site or check media reports for updat­ed infor­ma­tion,” the agency said in an emailed alert.

A falling tree in Seat­tle’s Seward Park crushed a vehi­cle with occu­pants inside, killing a man. A tod­dler also inside the vehi­cle sur­vived and was res­cued by passers­by. The tod­dler was tak­en to Har­borview Med­ical Center.

More than 200,000 were said to be with­out pow­er in the greater Seat­tle area. More than half of those are cus­tomers of Puget Sound Ener­gy. PSE says it could be some time before every­one affect­ed gets their pow­er back. Crews can­not work when con­di­tions don’t allow, and it’s still pret­ty blus­tery out in a lot of places.

Sno­homish PUD had at least 27,000 cus­tomers with­out pow­er. Both sub­ur­ban and rur­al neigh­bor­hoods were affect­ed, accord­ing to the util­i­ty’s out­age map. Taco­ma Pow­er’s out­age map like­wise shows places all over the coun­ty with­out power.

Author­i­ties are remind­ing res­i­dents to report and stay away from downed pow­er lines, avoid grilling indoors (it can cause death due to car­bon monox­ide poi­son­ing), and delay or can­cel trips if at all pos­si­ble due to unsafe road conditions.

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One Comment

  1. That was one nasty storm. Lights were flick­er­ing in the Lake Wilder­ness Star­bucks where we were hold­ing a cau­cus train­ing meet­ing. At one point the pow­er did go off, but in a minute or more, it was back on.

    # by Mike Barer :: March 13th, 2016 at 10:34 PM
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