Weather likely to let up a little

Renewed heavy rains and strong damaging winds were expected to blow through South Sound before relenting this morning, the National Weather Service predicted Thursday night.

It would mark the fourth in a series of powerful storms to sweep into Western Washington this week, with projected winds of 25 to 35 miles per hour and gusts up to 50 mph, according to the weather service.

Another breezy and wet weather system, but generally weaker and with colder air, is expected to hit the region this afternoon.

The likelihood of power outages from falling limbs and trees, landslides and river flooding remains high.

“The soils are saturated from all the rain, and the trees are stressed,” said National Weather Service meteorologist Dennis D’Amico. “It doesn’t take too much to knock them down.”

The gusty windstorm that blew through South Sound on Wednesday night knocked out power to about 2,000 residents in Thurston County, Puget Sound Energy officials said.

Outages were reported Wednesday night in west Olympia, Lacey and East Olympia, among other areas. Power was restored by Thursday afternoon, and crews were on standby to respond to another round of outages Thursday night, Puget Sound Energy spokeswoman Abigail Elliott said.

Numerous traffic signals were darkened during the Wednesday night outage. But they didn’t lead to an increased number of crashes, a police dispatcher said Thursday.

A wind gust of 66 miles per hour was recorded by a weather station in the Lake Lawrence area about 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, D’Amico said. Winds of up to 37 mph were recorded overnight at the Olympia Regional Airport, he said.

It was enough to send limbs flying and trees crashing down around South Sound.

Rainfall for November stood at 6.15 inches Wednesday, nearly 50 percent more than had been recorded at this time last year.

Meanwhile, a flood watch is in effect for the Chehalis River in Thurston County. The river could reach flood stage and experience minor flooding in the south county area by tonight, he said.

John Dodge: 360-754-5444