50 mph gusts knock out power to over 20,000 around region
SEATTLE -- The first of two storms to roll through Western Washington this weekend packed a bit of a wallop in the wind department Saturday evening.
Winds gusted over 50 mph in the Puget Sound region, reaching as high as 54 mph in Everett and 52 mph in Seattle. Tacoma hit 45 mph.
Outside the Puget Sound region, Bellingham hit 56 mph, Hoquiam hit 54 mph and Westport hit a gust of 60.
On or near the water, it was a bit harrowing. The 520 Bridge reported a gust to 46 mph while the Edmonds ferry had a gust to 48 mph while in the middle of Puget Sound. Sounds like the Port Towsnend to Coupeville run was also a bit... rocky:
@ScottSKOMO PT--Coupeville ferry cancelled for high wind. Friend just arrived said San Juan run was, uh, very exciting.Christopher Hodgkin (@Everyman98250) February 16, 2014
The winds knocked out power to about 3,900 Seattle City Light customers when a tree branch fell into a power line. Peninsula Light reported 1,100 in the dark on Fox Island, and Puget Sound Energy had just over 1,000 without power. But the largest outage was in Snohomish County where over 15,000 lost power -- mainly in the Lake Stevens area.
The winds had peaked as of late evening and were to slowly decrease through the evening.
Up in the mountains, the first of what will be several inches of snow to fall through the end of the week pummeled the passes. Snoqualmie and Stevens Passes reported 8 inches of new snow in about 8 hours with more on the way.
Speaking of more on the way, a second storm expected to be on par with this one will roll in Sunday afternoon and evening with another round of rain, wind and mountain snow. A High Wind Watch is in effect for the coast and Northwest Interior for gusts to 60 mph again Sunday evening. Flood Watches are also up for all rivers in Mason, Grays Harbor, Lewis and Thurston Counties.
And up in the mountains, a fresh Winter Storm Warning will be issued for Sunday night's storm for as much as 1-3 feet of new snow.