A Port Ludlow woman and her passenger were injured when a large madrona tree limb fell on their vehicle on state Highway 20 during Monday afternoon’s wind storm. (East Jefferson Fire-Rescue)

A Port Ludlow woman and her passenger were injured when a large madrona tree limb fell on their vehicle on state Highway 20 during Monday afternoon’s wind storm. (East Jefferson Fire-Rescue)

High winds knock out power, cause wreck on North Olympic Peninsula

A low pressure system that moved across Vancouver Island on Monday brought power outages to the North Olympic Peninsula and likely caused a wreck near Port Townsend, authorities said.

The National Weather Service reported peak gusts of 52 mph at the Hood Canal Bridge, 43 mph at Quillayute Airport near Forks and 40 mph in Port Townsend as of 4 p.m. Monday.

Multiple power outages were reported on the West End and in East Jefferson County, public utility district officials said.

Two Port Ludlow residents were injured Monday when the 2007 Toyota RAV4 they were traveling in was struck by a large madrona tree limb on state Highway 20 near Fredericks Street south of Port Townsend, East Jefferson Fire-Rescue officials said.

Driver Veronica Heath, 72, and her passenger, 81-year-old Charles King, were traveling toward the city when the limb fell during the wind storm at about 2:30 p.m., according to a State Patrol report issued Monday night.

The vehicle veered off the west wide of the road and climbed an embankment before coming to a rest, East Jefferson Fire-Rescue said in a news release.

Firefighters stabilized King and took him to Jefferson Healthcare with unknown injuries.

Heath was taken to Harborview Medical Center with head and neck injuries, according to East Jefferson Fire-Rescue spokesman Bill Beezley.

Both were wearing seat belts, and the vehicle was totaled.

The Clallam County Public Utility District reported outages affecting 742 customers in Neah Bay, 123 customers west of Joyce and 22 customers in Oil City in West Jefferson County at 9:30 a.m. Monday.

Power had been restored to most of those customers by 12:30 p.m., officials said.

Jefferson County PUD called in additional crews to help restore power to more than 700 customers who went dark countywide.

Winds were relatively calm along the central Strait of Juan de Fuca. It had gusted to 21 mph at William R. Fairchild Memorial Airport in Port Angeles and to 28 mph at an unofficial weather station near Sequim.

A high wind warning was scheduled to expire at 9 p.m. Monday.

As of 4 p.m. Monday, the National Weather Service reported daily rain totals of 2.46 inches in Quilcene, 1.71 inches in Brinnon, 1.13 inches in Forks, 0.96 inches in Port Angeles, 0.77 inches in Sequim and 0.76 inches in Port Townsend.

More rain was forecast for the North Olympic Peninsula lowlands today and Wednesday with showers expected Thursday, the National Weather Service said.

Olympic National Park reported gusts of 53 mph and 21 inches of snow at Hurricane Ridge.

Hurricane Ridge Road was closed at the Heart o’ the Hills entrance station five miles south of Port Angeles due to snow and high winds.


Reporter Rob Ollikainen can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 56450, or at [email protected] dailynews.com.

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