Thousands spend another night in the dark after wind storm


by KING 5 News

Posted on November 16, 2010 at 6:15 PM

Updated Wednesday, Nov 17 at 7:47 AM

SEATTLE – The impact of Monday night's windstorm was still being felt nearly 24-hours later.

As of 10 p.m. Tuesday, at least 17,500 customers were without power, down from a total of over 200,000. The vast majority of those still in the dark were Puget Sound Energy customers. PSE said it hoped to have most of the power back on by early Wednesday morning, but some outlying areas might not have electricity restored until Thursday.

Snohomish PUD reported 5,500 still in the dark.

In addition to the lack of power were the trees which littered roads and came down on buildings.

In Bonney Lake, a 120-foot fir tree punched a hole in the roof of Creator Lutheran Church and severed the sprinkler line. The whole church flooded, doing more than $100,000 in damage. High-powered fans and an army of volunteers are drying the place out.

The church's preschool was hit the hardest. It will be closed for the time-being. Church services will still be held there on Sunday.

Ronald Smith got a wake-up call Monday night – a tree smashing into his Steilacoom home.

"It was like a bomb going off," said Smith. "I have been in combat before that's what it sounded like when it hit roof. Artillery."

At the Port of Tacoma, dozens of empty cargo containers flipped over. One container fell onto another, creating a Domino effect. Officials say it's not unusual for shipping containers to blow over during a wind storm.

The winds also picked up a 50-foot boathouse at the Tacoma Narrows Marina. The structure landed a few hundred feet away, damaging boats and a home.

In Oso, a man and his granddaughter were trapped after a falling tree brought down a live power line on top of their truck. They were able to get out safely with the help of firefighters.