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Warmer weather is on the way after snowstorms knocked out power to thousands

After a weekend snowstorm, Thurston County cleans up just in time for round two

Using two cranes, a crew from Ron's Stump Removal & Tree Service, LLC remove several large branches from a 100-foot Red Oak tree in the 1400 block of Legion Way in Olympia Sunday after a nearby resident discovered several large cracks.
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Using two cranes, a crew from Ron's Stump Removal & Tree Service, LLC remove several large branches from a 100-foot Red Oak tree in the 1400 block of Legion Way in Olympia Sunday after a nearby resident discovered several large cracks.

Warmer weather is on its way to Thurston County, according to the National Weather Service, after a series of snowstorms knocked out power to thousands and made everyday life a challenge.

Although it snowed most of Monday in Olympia, it was 50 degrees on the Washington coast and there were reports of rain in Lewis County by Monday afternoon. That warmer air and rain was expected to reach Thurston County Monday night and put an end to the snow, said Logan Johnson with the National Weather Service.

Temperatures were expected to reach 40 degrees in Olympia by midnight.

Johnson said there’s a chance of a wintry mix of rain and snow on Wednesday, but the rest of the week will be nothing like the past week. Overnight temperatures are not expected to fall below freezing, he said.

About 18 inches of snow has fallen in the Olympia area since Friday, Johnson said. But it was not a record: Over a four-day period in January 1972, 23 inches of snow fell in the area, he said.

Puget Sound Energy announced Monday morning that about 2,600 Western Washington customers were still without power, including those in Thurston County. Some county residents have been without power for days.

“Damage has been especially severe in select areas, and additional snowfall and road conditions continue to slow restoration efforts,” PSE said in a Monday news release. “Crews are now going neighborhood by neighborhood to restore electric service from this past weekend’s storm. This process can be time consuming as power is restored in much smaller numbers, such as five, 10, or 20 customers at a time.”

The Evergreen State College was on generator power for about 15 hours over the weekend, beginning at 2:30 p.m. Saturday, spokeswoman Allison Anderson said Monday. Power was restored about 7 p.m. Sunday, she said.

Anderson couldn’t speak to why the college had specifically lost power, but she did say there were a number of outages in the area.

During the outage, the cafeteria was operational and the Community Activities Building, a student gathering spot, had lights and heat, she said.

Power outages in Olympia prompted the Red Cross to open a shelter at St. John’s Episcopal Church at 114 20th Ave SE in the South Capitol neighborhood.

The shelter is providing meals and water, and visitors are welcome to charge their phones, Red Cross spokesman Colin Downey said.

He said the shelter was going to remain open through Tuesday morning and then they would evaluate how many are still without power in the area.

Rolf has worked at The Olympian since August 2005. He covers breaking news, the city of Lacey and business for the paper. Rolf graduated from The Evergreen State College in 1990.
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