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Edmonds ferry struck by lightning Saturday, route down to one boat

A vessel headed to Kingston from Edmonds. (KIRO Radio, Chris Sullivan)

A lightning strike on a state ferry caused major delays this weekend in Edmonds.

Washington State Ferries tweeted Saturday that the M/V Puyallup’s navigation system had been hit, temporarily knocking the ferry out of service.

The Puyallup was near the dock in Edmonds during a run between Edmonds and Kingston when it was hit by lightning Saturday evening.

No one was injured but Coast Guard officials said the ferry would have to stay docked until the navigation system was repaired. Ferry officials say the route will be down to one boat until further notice. The wait time reached 3 hours Sunday afternoon with just one boat in service.

After losing most of its riders in the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic, state ferry ridership has been rising again. As a result, the state ferries are adding more boats to some runs and hiring more staff. For example, the Mukilteo route was down to one vessel on the weekend but is now back to two. For the first time since March, two boats are sailing between Seattle and Bainbridge Island.

Washington state ferry service begins to climb back toward pre-COVID levels 

The lightning strike in Edmonds capped an afternoon of wild weather in the North Sound with heavy rain, hail, and lightning from southern Snohomish County into northern King County, and localized flooding in Shoreline and Bothell.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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