Windy conditions cause 20,000+ to lose power across Puget Sound

Jan 9, 2023, 6:22 AM | Updated: 12:22 pm
(Photo by Thomas A. Ferrara/Newsday RM via Getty Images)
(Photo by Thomas A. Ferrara/Newsday RM via Getty Images)

Windy conditions are battering parts of Western Washington Monday morning, with a reported 20,000 power outages currently impacting residents.

Downed trees are already causing power outages, multiple road closures, and at least one person who was struck by a downed tree.

Person killed by fallen tree during windstorm east of Seattle

As of 12:00 p.m., Puget Sound Energy is reporting 19,312 customers without power, mainly in the Cascade foothills and Enumclaw Plateau.

This morning, Seattle City Light has 2,361 customers without power, primarily in the Ravenna, View Ridge, Sand Point, and Burien areas.

About 400 customers in South Seattle are now without power Monday after a car smashed into a power line pole shortly before 2:30 a.m.

At one point, nearly 5,500 people were in the dark from Bryn Mawr Skyway all the way north to Seward park, but Seattle City Light says that that number is now down to 400 clustered in the area just south of Rainier Valley.

All lanes in both directions of State Route 18 between Issaquah-Hobart Road Southeast and Interstate 90 were closed Monday morning due to fallen trees which have since been cleared.

Multiple fallen trees in the region closed other roads, including a crash in the Pacific that blocked the right lane of northbound SR 167 at Stewart Road SE. Fallen trees also blocked both directions of State Route 706, and trees are blocking State Route 410 at milepost 41.

The NWS issued a Wind Advisory for the east Puget Sound lowlands and parts of Snohomish, King, Pierce, and Mascon counties until Monday afternoon. A Wind Advisory is also in effect for the north and central Washington coast until Monday evening.

The weather service said southeast winds between 15-25 mph were expected in the Puget Sound region, with gusts up to 50 mph possible. Winds between 25 to 35 mph with gusts up to 50 mph were possible along the Washington coast.

According to KIRO Newsradio meteorologist Ted Buehner, there is an area of low pressure offshore that is increasing air pressure inland and is starting up stronger winds to the east of the Cascade foothills and at the coast Monday morning.

“A strong Pacific weather system approaching the west coast has once again strengthened pressure differences across the Cascades, resulting in another burst of strong winds surging out of the Cascade passes,” Buehner said. “For areas in the Cascade foothills to as far as the I-5 corridor, wind gusts up to 50 mph will likely trim tree limbs and possibly blow down a few trees sitting in saturated soils.”

This morning through noon, the NWS says that wind will be around 25 to 35 mph with gusts around 40 to 45 mph.

There is a Wind Advisory for the east Puget Sound lowlands until noon, with continued breezy to windy weather this afternoon. The advisory includes the cities of Covington-Sawyer, Maple Valley, Monroe, Prairie Ridge, Enumclaw, Bonney Lake, and Woodinville.

The wind advisory was later extended to areas along the I-5 corridor including Tacoma, Seattle, and Everett.

“The strong winds are expected to gradually ease by this evening,” Buehner said. “Until the wind dies down, avoid being outdoors including driving. Most wind-related injuries and fatalities occur outdoors during periods of strong gusty winds.”

Local News

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Windy conditions cause 20,000+ to lose power across Puget Sound