Heavy winds put thousands back in the dark

MAPLE VALLEY, Wash. -- For thousands of people in western Washington, getting power back after a week in the cold was just a cruel tease.

Still reeling from last week's historic snow and ice storm, many residents had their power knocked out once again Tuesday night after howling wind barreled through the Cascade Foothills, taking out trees and bringing down hillsides.

Power crews were out in full force in Preston on Wednesday, trying to help residents like Hank Greenwald get back on the grid.

Greenwald got to enjoy electricity for a day and a half before a falling tree again put him in the dark.

"I guess the fire department just came in and closed it off and nobody worked on it until this morning," he said.

In the Auburn/Black Diamond area, King County Fire District 44's power was knocked out for the second time, making communication difficult and adding to the stress of the emergencies outside the building.

"With the trees down and lines down, we couldn't access a lot of our districts. We had to take back routes. We had to cut trees just so we could respond to 911 calls," Said the district's Tim Perciful.

In Maple Valley, Jones Road is clogged with nearly 100 debris piles from the windstorm.

"We have another crew that's going to start on the other end tomorrow. So they'll give us some help. Hopefully, they'll meet you in the middle? Hopefully, somewhere," said Victor Martinez, who's working to remove the debris.

Puget Sound Energy says Tuesday's storm caused 40,000 new outages, but crews were able to get all but 5,000 back online by Wednesday evening.