High winds, power outages, mountain snow hit the area

December 18, 2012 by  
Filed under Wind Energy Tips

The Associated Press

The strongest storm of the season so far in Washington has brought high winds, heavy mountain snow and power outages in south King and Thurston counties.

Wind gusts early this morning hit 60 mph on the coast and 55 mph in the south Puget Sound area, said meteorologist Ted Buehner in Seattle.

Winds of 35 mph and heavy snow are creating blizzard-like conditions in the Cascades. Snow accumulations from the storm that started Sunday are likely to total 2 to 3 feet by tomorrow morning.

The strong winds knocked out power for about 8,000 Puget Sound Energy customers in south King County and Thurston County.

Spokeswoman Julia Hughes says the outages in the area including Auburn, Federal Way and Olympia.

The Bellevue-based utility has dispatched 100 crews and hopes to have customers back on line later Monday, depending on the extent of the damage.

Seattle City Light encourages people to prepare for power outages. If you experience an outage, call 206-684-7400 to report it. You can all go to City Light’s System Status Map or its mobile site for outage information. Additional preparedness tips are available at the Take Winter by Storm site.

Be aware that if sustained winds reach 40 miles per hours for one minute, the 520 bridge could be closed due to the danger it would pose.

Things are expected to get colder in the area, dropping the snow level under 1,000 feet today night and that could leave snow on the higher hills in the Puget Sound area.

Snow is already on the ground in parts of Eastern Washington, including Spokane, where another inch or two is forecast Monday.

Portions of this report were provided by KING5 News.

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