Prepare now for downed trees and power outages as storm system approaches

The scene at 8th and Main in Edmonds following the Aug. 29, 2015 windstorm.
The scene at 8th and Main in Edmonds following the Aug. 29, 2015 windstorm.

The National Weather Service is warning Western Washington residents to prepare for significant rain and high winds as back-to-back weather systems move into our area beginning Thursday afternoon.

As the first significant windstorms of the season, these are expected to take a heavy toll on trees, especially those still in leaf.

According to the weather service, the first system was set to hit late Thursday afternoon and continue into Friday morning bringing sustained winds of 20-30 mph and gusts up to 55 mph to the south county area. Conditions in the north county will be worse, with 30-40 mph winds and 60 mph gusts.

The second storm is expected to hit on Saturday, and according to the Weather Service has the potential to be historic.

“What we’re looking at is an incredibly deep, intense low-pressure system,” said NWS meteorologist Andy Haner. “It’s impressive even for us meteorologists.”

Power lines taken down by falling branches on Edmonds' Hindley Lane in August 2015.
Power lines taken down by falling branches on Edmonds’ Hindley Lane in August 2015.

At this point it is uncertain exactly where this storm will hit the coast. But according to Haner, if Washington sustains a direct hit it could be “something we haven’t seen in years.” Check the situation as it develops here.

Snohomish County PUD is warning customers to expect “widespread power outages” from both systems.

Some tips on what to do when the power goes out:

  • Never approach a downed power line
  • Never use outdoor barbecues or grills for indoor heating or cooking. They deplete oxygen while creating highly toxic carbon monoxide.
  • Unplug computers and other sensitive electronic equipment
  • Learn how to use the manual over-ride on your garage door

More tips and information are available on the PUD website here.

The PUD will post storm and power outage restoration updates on its main page  and both its Facebook and Twitter accounts.

— Story and photos by Larry Vogel

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