Crews working overnight Friday and Saturday had whittled down the massive power outage to more than 22,000 people caused by gale-force winds overnight Friday to about 3,000 public utility customers by Sunday afternoon.
But full restoration of power is not expected until today in Clallam County and perhaps as late as Tuesday in East Jefferson County, said spokespeople for public utility districts.
Clallam County outages were down to 1,100 by 4:40 p.m. Sunday. In Jefferson County, about 1,870 were without power at that time.
The county’s six crews “are working on the last major ones” — Rhoderfer and West Sequim Bay, Lost Mountain and Fish Hatchery, Laird’s Corner, north Sequim and the Deer Park area — and then will go after the smaller outages, said Nicole Hartman, spokesperson for the Clallam County PUD.
Outages are scattered all over the county but are especially concentrated in the Port Angeles-Sequim area.
“It’s odd. It’s usually the West End” that is hit hardest during a wind storm, Hartman said on Saturday, but this time only two outages were reported early Saturday morning in the western portion of the county.
In East Jefferson County, electrical power had been restored by 3 p.m. Sunday to Discovery Bay, Gardiner, Paradise Bay, Thorndyke and part of Irondale. By 5 p.m., most of Port Ludlow was back up.
But crews were still working on restoring power to Chimacum and Center Road toward Quilcene, said Will O’Donnell, spokesperson for Jefferson County PUD.
The pole broken by the fall of 100-foot-tall Douglas fir had been repaired, but so much debris remained on lines that feeders couldn’t be energized, O’Donnell said.
Crews hope to have the problem fixed later Sunday night, he said.
But they don’t expect to be completely finished until Tuesday, he said.
The continued power outages are occurring as the National Weather Service forecasts lows that dip below freezing over the next few days.
“It is going to get really cold,” Hartman said.
O’Donnell urged “those in smaller remote areas, with the temperatures dropping, take the steps necessary to stay warm, stay safe.”
Warming centers have been announced in Sequim and Port Angeles.
St. Luke’s Episcopal Church, 525 N. Fifth Ave. in Sequim, is open on nights when the temperature dips to 35 degrees Fahrenheit and colder from 9 p.m. to 7 a.m. Call 360-301-9350 for more information.
The Port Angeles Serenity House Shelter, at 2321 W. 18th Street, is open 24/7 for adults 18 and older. The pickup location is Gateway Transit Center, 125 E. Front St. Call 360-452-7221 if you are awaiting pickup.
The powerful storm that blew across the region overnight Friday had wind gusts of up to 45 mph.
Jefferson County PUD reported 12,310 customers lost power while Clallam County PUD reported about 8,000 outages at the storm’s peak.
Some 2,100 customers within the City of Port Angeles who lost power had it restored by early Saturday morning, most by about 3 a.m., said Mike Healy, interim Public Works director.
Both counties reported multiple locations with significant damage and new outages popping up on Saturday.
The state Department of Transportation reported trees falling over roads throughout the region.
The big blow was caused by a strong cold front moving through the area, according to Steve Reedy, meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Seattle.
Wind gusts ranged from 30 mph to 45 mph and were strongest in the Port Angeles-Sequim area, he said.
In East Jefferson County, gusts ranged from 30 mph to 40 mph, Reedy said.
“We’re in between systems now,” Reedy said Saturday.
Rain and cold remain in the forecast, but wind speeds are expected to stay between 5 and 15 mph.
The Seattle Times reported Saturday that some 250,000 to 300,000 customers in Western Washington lost power in the storm.