North Olympic Peninsula crews had reduced electrical outages from more than 10,000 at the peak of Thursday’s wind storm to less than 400 by late Saturday afternoon.
Clallam County Public Utility District (PUD) reported 334 customers still without power, while Jefferson County PUD noted 51 customers still in the dark at 4 p.m. Saturday.
Customers in Neah Bay and south of Forks had had power restored, said Nicole Clark, Clallam County PUD spokeswoman.
“We’re hoping to get the rest back on line as soon as possible.”
The largest number of outages remaining late Saturday were in the Sekiu area with the rest scattered throughout the county, she said.
More trees downed
However, more more trees had come down on power lines, creating additional outages at Lake Pleasant and on Baskins Road in Port Angeles, on Saturday, Clark said.
Some crew members worked throughout Friday night/Saturday morning after Thursday’s wind storm. Others had to rest after having worked 40-hour shifts, Clark said.
“This is Day Nine,” she said, referring to the wind storm of Dec. 14 that knocked out power to 90 percent of the county.
Clark said the hope was that all customers would be back on line by Saturday evening, but not necessarily if “trees continue to come down.”
Jefferson County crews were working to restore power to all customers, said Will O’Donnell, PUD spokesman.
“But these last outages are some of the most difficult to repair quickly,” he said Saturday morning.
“Some customers may be out until Sunday evening.”
Outages from Thursday’s wind storm were concentrated in Neah Bay, Quilcene, Port Ludlow and Port Townsend.
About 5,000 customers each lost power in Clallam and Jefferson counties on Thursday.
Winds are not expected to exceed 24 mph through Christmas Day in Clallam and Jefferson counties, according to the National Weather Service.
A slight chance of rain is forecast for Port Angeles, Forks, Neah Bay and Port Townsend on Christmas Day, with Sequim partly sunny.
Lars Lovik, manager of Washburn General Store in Neah Bay, on the Makah Tribe’s reservation, said Friday before power was restored that the store was remaining open with help from a generator, which provided enough power to run a few lights and the checkout stands.
“It’s cold and dark, but we’re open,” he said.
Washburn had not run out of goods, including batteries and bread, Lovik said.
“A few people lost some roofs, and there’s definitely been some damage, but everyone is staying pretty positive about it.”
A few people had gas cans stolen, he added.
Executive Editor Leah Leach can be reached at 360-417-3530 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Senior Staff Writer Paul Gottlieb contributed to this story.