More than 237,000 homes, businesses without power after storm slams into Washington state
One person was killed and more than 237,000 homes and businesses lost power on Tuesday as a storm packing wind gusts up to 49 miles per hour (79 kph) hit the Puget Sound area, closing roads and triggering mudslides, local authorities said.
There were 215,031 customers without power in the Puget Sound area, largely in Seattle and in Everett, 30 miles (48 km)to the north, according to Puget Sound Energy, which supplies gas and electricity in the region.
Seattle City Light, which provides electricity in the city, said that some 2,900 customers were affected.
To the north, in Snohomish County, the public utility district reported roughly 20,000 customers without power.
Merlin Halverson, a county fire chief, said a motorist had been killed on Tuesday near the town of Monroe when a rain-soaked tree fell from a cliff onto the driver’s car.
“Many roads are closed from downed trees, active power lines, flood waters,” Halverson said. “It’s a hell of mess here.”
The wind knocked down trees and closed a bridge over the Hood Canal, northwest of Seattle, and gusts up to 49 mph were recorded on the SR 520 bridge over Lake Washington, which links Seattle to suburbs such as Redmond, according to the Washington State Department of Transportation.
“Gusts 50 to 60 mph (80-97 kph) possible. Downed trees & lines likely,” the National Weather Service said on Twitter.
North of Seattle, along roads that traverse the Cascade mountains, a mudslide blocked State Route 20 and downed trees and flooding closed parts of U.S. Route 2, the Department of Transportation said.
King County, in which Seattle is located, reported moderate flooding for the Snoqualmie River, which runs through the county.
The National Weather Service has forecast rain and wind for much of the week.
(Reporting by Eric M. Johnson in Seattle; Editing by Daniel Wallis, Bill Rigby, Toni Reinhold and Diane Craft)