Fall storm dumps rain, causes outages in South Sound

More than inch of rain pours, causing power outages, flooding, minor car accidents and more

Staff writerSeptember 28, 2013 

A blustery, rain-pounding fall storm rolled through the Olympia area Saturday, resulting in widespread minor urban flooding, downed trees and scattered power outages.

Olympia Regional Airport had recorded more than an inch of rain by 3 p.m. Saturday, although rain totals varied in the county, said Josh Smith of the National Weather service.

Smith said the Littlerock area near Tumwater picked up 1.27 inches of rain during a 3ß-hour period Saturday morning, according to a weather spotter working for the National Weather Service.

In other words — the rain unloaded on South Sound on Saturday. And it led to some problems.

Lacey police responded to reports of several manhole covers literally bubbling up and out of position, Sgt. Terence Brimmer said. Police also responded to malfunctioning traffic lights as well as downpours that triggered building alarms and several minor car accidents, he said.

In one instance, a small tree needed to be removed from a roadway, but it was small enough that an officer could just pull it aside, Brimmer said.

In Tumwater and Olympia, it was more of the same: Public works and maintenance crews received reports of minor flooding and clogged catch basins.

City of Olympia spokeswoman Cathie Butler reminded residents that everybody benefits if leaves are raked away from storm drains.

As for power outages, Puget Sound Energy spokeswoman MacKenzie McDowell said about 61 customers spread throughout Thurston County were without power Saturday afternoon.

Trees were reported down in the Yelm and Scott Lake areas, according to a supervisor with Thurston County dispatch. It wasn’t immediately clear whether those fallen trees had knocked out power.

Sunday’s forecast for the Olympia area is for more wind and less rain, Smith said, with sustained winds in the range of 15 to 30 miles per hour and gusts up to 40 mph.

Then things will slowly calm down, he said.

Expect a chance of showers every day this week, except for some possible clearing Thursday, Smith said.

Rolf Boone: 360-754-5403

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