Wind causes power outages, some school closures

Nov 16, 2010

The strong windstorm that blew through western Washington yesterday has left more than 200,000 homes without power. Line crews are on the job this morning throughout the south and central Puget Sound.

As of 8 am. more than 76,000 Puget Sound Energy customers are waiting to have their power restored. It may take many hours yet to get everyone back online. Thurston County reported outages to 20,000 customers this morning. 

The storm knocked trees over roadways from Skagit County to Grays Harbor County.  There's no word of any injuries caused by the winds, which gusted up to 60 mph in places, including Oak Harbor and North Bend.  West Seattle had a gust of 53 mph, according to the National Weather Service.

Numerous school closures and late starts were caused by ongoing power outages (see the list below the video).

So why did this storm catch forecasters by surprise? Here's an explanation this morning from KOMO meteorologist Paul Deanno.

School Districts Closed

Power outages have forced some school districts to close. As of 7:00 am:

  • Clover Park
  • Darrington
  • Dieringer
  • North Thurston
  • South Whidbey
  • Tahoma

Schools Opening Late:

  • Tacoma
  • University Place
  • Peninsula
  • Puyallup
  • Steilacoom
  • Fife

Also, Foothills Elementary in the White River School District is closed. The rest of the district is operating as normal.

Private Schools:

Closed: Rainier Christian Schools (south King County)

Opening late: Olympia Waldorf School