Weather

Widespread power outages in South Sound after overnight winds blast region

Overnight regional windstorm leaves thousands in the dark

A morning walker and his four-legged friend negotiate a large fallen tree across the Chehalis Western Trail near Woodard Bay as Puget Sound Energy reported more than 200,000 customers were without power throughout its service area Sunday morning.
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A morning walker and his four-legged friend negotiate a large fallen tree across the Chehalis Western Trail near Woodard Bay as Puget Sound Energy reported more than 200,000 customers were without power throughout its service area Sunday morning.

Strong overnight winds knocked out power to thousands Sunday morning, including in Pierce and Thurston counties, according to Puget Sound Energy and Tacoma Public Utilities.

PSE said that more than 200,000 were without power throughout its service area about 6 a.m.

According to PSE’s outage map, areas in South Sound most affected by the storm included east Pierce County, northeast Thurston County and south and southeast Thurston County. Trees were reported down on state Route 507 in McKenna, Pierce County, as well as along Sleater-Kinney Road Northeast in Thurston County.

About 171,000 were without power about noon Sunday, according to PSE.

“While we will be working as quickly as we safely can, we expect that some customers may be without power for multiple days,” the utility said in a statement on its website.

Alaska Airlines said it had grounded all its flights between 4:20 a.m. and 5:15 a.m. after a power outage in the Seattle area, where its operations are based, according to the Associated Press.

About 8 a.m., Tacoma Public Utilities said 11,000 were without power, including all served by a Graham substation. But that number was whittled down throughout the morning. By about 12:30 p.m., Tacoma Public Utilities said via social media that it was responding to 164 outages in its service area.

More than 9,000 Mason County PUD No. 3 customers also lost power overnight, but that number was reduced to 1,500 Sunday afternoon.

The weather was calm in South Sound until about 10 p.m. Saturday when wind speeds began to increase. They grew stronger after midnight as some wind speeds reportedly hit 60 miles per hour.

Western Washington is expected to dry out on Monday, according to the National Weather Service; however, another storm system arrives Tuesday into Wednesday but “looks nowhere near as strong as (Saturday) night,” the weather bulletin reads.

Power outages were reported throughout the region.





Several agencies also reminded residents to not approach downed power lines, or try to remove trees near power lines, and also to treat outages at intersections like four-way stops.



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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