Western Wash. storms to pack a one-two punch


by Associated Press and KING5.com


Posted on November 16, 2009 at 7:40 AM

Updated Tuesday, Nov 17 at 8:32 AM

SEATTLE - People all over Western Washington are cleaning up after strong winds blew through Monday morning, bringing down tree limbs and knocking out power. And after an early evening lull, winds picked up across the Northwest interior again at night, bringing down trees and power lines.

Flood warnings were issued for the Stillaguamish at Arlington, S. Fork of the Stillaguamish at Granite Falls, Chehalis at Doty, Skokomish at Bogachiel, Bogachiel at La Push, Elwha at McDonald Bridge, Dungeness at Sequim, Satsop at Satsop, Grays River at Wahkiamum Co. and Willapa at Willapa, as well as all small streams in Clallam, Jefferson, Mason and Grays Harbor counties.

There were scattered power outages in Grays Harbor, Skagit and Whatcom counties early Monday and about 4,000 homes and businesses lost power in Burien and unincorporated King County at about noon. Then Monday evening, about 9,000 Grays Harbor PUD customers were without power and 10,000 around Sumner.

No school bus service will be provided in the Skokomish Valley on Tuesday due to flooded roads.

On Mount Vernon's south side, a shed was picked up by the wind and carried down the street, the twisted metal ending up in a front yard.

In downtown Mount Vernon some awnings blew down, along with some holiday banners.

"It’s crazy," said one woman helping to wrangle wayward shopping carts at a local Safeway. "I think it's worse now," said another, referring to the buffeting this part of Western Washington has been taking since Sunday night.

The weather service has hoisted a high wind warning for parts of Skagit and Whatcom and island counties.

Sporadic power outages have been reported, and are likely to continue until the winds subside Tuesday morning. Until then, people are battening down the hatches, and holding on as Mother Nature takes the region on another wild ride.

Overnight Sunday to Monday, a tree fell on two homes in Seattle's Greenwood neighborhood. Everyone in both homes got out safely.

Wind gusts of 55 mph were recorded at the Bellingham Airport and Westport early Monday, while 47 mph wind gusts were recorded in Bellevue.

The strongest gusts hit 59 mph in Mount Vernon and 56 mph along Whidbey Island.

Anacortes resident Joe Lheureux said he watched from his living room as not one, but several large branches crashed down outside his house.

"Actually our door almost blew off on the front of our house," he said. "It was pretty crazy. It was blowing from the south, it's when we really get it, especially in these trees."

Heavy rain continues to fill the rivers that flow off the Olympics and North Cascades.

The National Weather Service has issued flood warnings for the Skokomish, Bogachiel, Satsop, Elwha and Dungeness Rivers.

There's a flood watch for the Chehalis and Nooksack rivers.

KING 5 Meteorologist Jeff Renner says the next system is moving over or near the north end of Vancouver Island overnight.

"Newer computer models are easing back a bit on the strength of this low; that, plus some disagreement between the models tends to raise the acid layer of our collective forecast staff intestinal tract," said Renner.

Renner said after winds eased Monday evening, but are starting up again after 9 p.m. Winds 20-35 mph south of Everett and 25-45 mph from Everett north are expected, with gusts a bit higher.

"Given the fact we've had several wind storms this season, widespread damage and outages are less likely," said Renner.

The heaviest rain will occur over the Olympic Peninsula, Hood Canal, the North Cascades and parts of Whatcom and Skagit Counties.

"Rainfall of up to 10 inches is possible in this area; much less is likely over the Puget Sound area, generally 1 to 2 inches, possibly a bit more over/near the foothills," said Renner.

The snow level will rise to about 6,000 feet tonight before dropping back down to 2,000 feet by Tuesday afternoon.

Eastern Washington is relatively calm by comparison, with a chance of valley rain and mountain snow through Tuesday.

Storm batters Oregon Coast

Steady rain sloshed across highways and strong winds pounded the Oregon coast as a powerful November storm blows through.

National Weather Service meteorologist Jonathan Wolfe in Portland said Monday night that a 95 mph gust was reported about 5:15 p.m. at Cape Foulweather between Newport and Lincoln City. Sustained winds of 55 mph have been reported at Clatsop Spit near Astoria. Wolfe says even stronger winds are expected before this storm is over.

A gust of 89 mph was reported at Garibaldi.
Wolfe says one to two inches of rain have fallen in about 12 hours on the Oregon coast.

Some sporadic power outages have been reported.
The Oregon Department of Transportation said Monday evening that about a foot of water covered U.S. Highway 101 just south of Seaside and traffic was being temporarily restricted to "high-profile" vehicles.

The Oregonian reports that wind advisories have also been issued for inland areas of northwest Oregon and southwest Washington through midmorning Tuesday. And the weather service has issued a flood watch for nearly all of northwest Oregon.