80,000 Seattle-area homes still lack power

December 5, 2003

Associated Press and KING5.com Staff

SEATTLE Puget Sound Energy crews managed to restore power to 100,000 customers after working all night, but some 80,000 customers were still out of service as of early Friday morning following Thursday's widespread windstorm southeast of Seattle.

With help coming from Eastern Washington, Oregon and British Columbia, Puget will have 100 crews working through the weekend.

Trees came down all over the Seattle area.
Winds gusting as high as 80 mph cut power to 187,000 people and businesses Thursday in Western Washington.

"Because of the amount of damage and the trees in the roadways, it's probably going to be days before we get the lights back on to all of our customers," said Puget Sound Energy spokesperson Dorothy Bracken.

The King County sheriff's office said a tree fell on a car in Maple Valley, southeast of Seattle, trapping two people inside.

Spokesman John Urquhart said at least one person was taken to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle with serious injuries.

Winds gusted to 80 mph at Enumclaw and Buckley, southeast of Seattle, while in North Bend, east of Seattle, gusts topped 60 mph.

Most of the power outages were south and east of Seattle. The hardest-hit areas included Enumclaw, Fall City, Black Diamond, Snoqualmie and North Bend, Bracken said. Elsewhere, 6,000 Snohomish County Public Utility District customers - mostly in the eastern part of the county - lost power Thursday, as did 800 Tacoma Power customers.

Many trees fell on homes.
High winds early Thursday also caused a substation in suburban Des Moines to catch fire. No injuries were reported. Bracken said the precise cause and the extent of equipment damage had not been determined. Schools were closed for the day for lack of power in the Issaquah, Snoqualmie, Monroe, White River and Enumclaw school districts.

A power outage also closed the Factoria Mall in Bellevue. There were many fallen trees and some downed power lines on the roads in these areas, especially south of Issaquah.


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