Gusts blamed for scattered power outages across Peninsula
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Lonnie Archibald/for Peninsula Daily News
Forks Fire Chief Bill Paul of Fire District No. 1 blocks one lane of Merchant Road in Forks where a tree came across both power and telephone lines Saturday morning at about 9:05.

By Jeremy Schwartz
Peninsula Daily News

Windy conditions, with gusts of more than 50 mph in some places on the North Olympic Peninsula, resulted in power outages affecting about a 1,000 Peninsula residents by Saturday afternoon.

In Clallam County, the outages mostly affected the West End and Port Angeles, while in East Jefferson County, the impact of high winds on electricity was felt mostly south of Port Townsend.

The weather station at Quillayute Airport recorded a wind gust of 52 mph, while a station at Cape Flattery near Neah Bay logged a 51 mph gust.

The station at William R. Fairchild International Airport recorded gusts as high as 38 mph.

In East Jefferson County, a weather monitoring station at Point Wilson near Port Townsend recorded a gust of 47 mph, while Quilcene saw gusts only as high as 18 mph.

Jim Klarr, Port Angeles light operations manager, said the wind likely knocked over a power line near the Eclipse Business Park in west Port Angeles, cutting electrical power to about 600 customers.

City crews were working to repair the downed pole Saturday afternoon.

Forks area

Michael Howe, Clallam County Public Utility District spokesman, said all power to roughly 600 Forks-area customers affected by power outages had been restored as of early Saturday afternoon.

Howe said the PUD's largest single outage was in Forks at about 9 a.m. Saturday when a pole-mounted transformer tripped off after a tree branch fell across nearby power lines.

Power was restored to the approximately 500 customers affected by 9:48 a.m., Howe said.

Smaller outages reported along Hoko-Ozette Road and near the Sol Duc River also were because of trees blown into power lines, Howe said.

Kevin Streett, electrical superintendent for the Jefferson County Public Utility District, said Saturday afternoon that less than a half-dozen outages reported in the Port Ludlow, Quilcene and Chimacum areas had been restored.

He could not estimate yet how many customers had been affected.

The outages were all weather-related, Streett said, adding that wind storms so far had been pretty mild in Clallam and Jefferson counties.

“We feel lucky,” he said.

Puget Sound Energy said Saturday morning that more than 10,000 customers had lost power in other areas of Western Washington.

Seattle City Light reported outages affecting about 17,000 customers.

72 mph gust off island

Johnny Burg, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service, said equipment on Destruction Island off the West End coast recorded a peak gust of 72 mph Saturday morning.

As the storm moves through, elevations above 2,500 feet were expected to get more than a half-inch of snow.

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Reporter Jeremy Schwartz can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 5074, or at jschwartz@peninsuladailynews.com.



The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Last modified: November 02. 2013 5:33PM
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