Strong winds blew down trees, knocked out power and even caused a boating accident Saturday in Thurston County. A high wind warning issued by the National Weather Service was in effect for most of the day, and first responders said there were more calls than usual.
“I’d say we’re responding to about twice the average number of calls (in Lacey) for a Saturday,” said Battalion Chief Tim Hulse of the Lacey Fire Department.
Hulse said he and his crew responded to several reports of weather related incidents — mainly trees falling on homes, cars and power lines. High winds also caused a sailboat to capsize on Long Lake, and two people were rescued from the water.
“Basically, the winds were too strong for the sailboat,” Hulse said. “When we arrived, two people were in the water.”
Both people were wearing life jackets, he said, and no one was injured. Crews used personal watercraft to rescue the sailors and tow in the boat.
Lacey Fire and the Lacey Police Department also responded to a tree that fell onto a car at about 11 a.m. Lacey police reported that no one was injured, but the car and fallen tree did block the road.
Meanwhile, hundreds of Thurston County residents were without power. Puget Sound Energy spokeswoman Mandy Hill said she was unsure how many customers were without power in Thurston County on Saturday afternoon. But statewide, about 138,000 Puget Sound Energy customers were without power.
“Our crews are out taking each outage as it comes, trying to get service restored,” Hill said.
To report a power outage to Puget Sound Energy, contact 1-888-225-5773. Outages may also be tracked using Puget Sound Energy’s online outage map.
In Gig Harbor, a 36-year-old man died after a tree fell on his moving car. His three 3-year-old child traveling in the car with him was uninjured.
The tree hit the station wagon just before 10:45 a.m. on Gig Harbor’s Borgen Boulevard, Gig Harbor Police Chief Kelly Busey said.
A 10-year-old girl who was playing outside at a birthday party in Federal Way died when a falling branch hit her.
The names of the two who died were not released.
At Joint Base Lewis-McChord, four people were injured about 10 a.m. when multiple trees and limbs fell near a parking lot at Shoreline Park and along a triathlon course, the Northwest Guardian reported.
All four of the injured were transported to Madigan Army Medical Center and are in good condition, according to Jay Ebbeson, chief of public affairs for Madigan.
Ebbeson said two of the injured would remain at the hospital overnight, and the others would be released sometime Saturday.
The four injured people had been at the Deuces Wild Triathlon at Shoreline Park on Lewis North. A tree fell onto a parked car, injuring three people who were standing nearby. The fourth injury was the result of trees and limbs falling on the course.
Ryan Engledow was less than a mile from the finish line when he got word that the race had been stopped.
“There were pine needles hitting me in the face at about 20 miles per hour and that really hurt,” he told the NW Guardian.
Northwest Guardian reporter Veronica Sandate Craker and News Tribune reporter Jordan Schrader contributed to this article.