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Thousands of Puget Sound residents without power, school districts report closures

Hundreds of thousands of people are without power Wednesday after strong winds overnight. Schools are also reporting power outages, which is causing delays.

Downed power lines in Kent. (City of Kent, Twitter)

Hundreds of thousands of people across the Puget Sound region are without power Wednesday after strong winds overnight knocked over trees, power lines, and the wet weather continued. The wind and rain is expected to decrease throughout Wednesday as crews work to restore power.

Puget Sound Energy Outage Map – 184,036 customers without powerSeattle City Light – 11,027 customersSnohomish County PUD – 69,473 customersTacoma Power – 15,000 customers

Seattle City Light initially reported over 70,000 customers without power early Wednesday morning. Shortly after 12 p.m., over 41,000 people had their power restored. Outages were largely driven by high winds and saturated soil, causing heavy trees and branches to come down on power lines.

School districts reported power outages across the region, leading some to shut down for the day. In King County, closures include Mercer Island, Kent, Seattle, and Enumclaw. Lake Stevens in Snohomish is closed. In Pierce County, Puyallup and Dieringer canceled in-person learning.

Check school closures and delays

Seattle Public Schools announced all live instruction Wednesday is canceled due to widespread city power outages. Meal sites will remain open.

Important update: Due to a citywide power outage, there won’t be live instruction today, Jan. 13. Please have your student work on independent assignments. Meal sites will remain open. Please check the website for updates: https://t.co/cIZ8MbA0Cm #SPSConnects

— Seattle Public Schools (@SeaPubSchools) January 13, 2021

For those without power, NWS Seattle has a reminder of what to do during a power outage:

Hang in there everyone! We're trying to keep up with everything as the situation rapidly evolves. The worst winds will be over the next few hours & then gradually decrease. Power outages are mounting & the flashes you may be seeing are transformers and power lines blowing. #wawx pic.twitter.com/zjk7fL5Rqp

— NWS Seattle (@NWSSeattle) January 13, 2021

If you must drive, watch out for debris, dark intersections, water on roadways, and road crews. NWS Seattle suggested staying home if you can.

Things to watch out for if you must travel this morning:▪️ Debris on the roads (trees, powerlines, mud, rocks)▪️ Dark intersections – treat as 4 way stop▪️ Water on roadways – never drive around barricades▪️ Crews out working – give them space#wawx

— NWS Seattle (@NWSSeattle) January 13, 2021

Early morning damage

KIRO 7 TV reports that a tree came down on a house in the 600 block of South Mason Avenue Tacoma overnight, shearing off nearly a quarter of the home, trapping a woman inside. A Tacoma fire technical rescue team was able to rescue the victim from her bedroom.

The State Route 20 Deception Pass bridge was closed early today due to a truck that tipped on the bridge in the wind. The bridge has since been reopened to traffic. KIRO 7 TV says the driver made it out safely.

Rain forecast, flood warnings

Flooding is expected for local rivers. The National Weather Service has issued a flood warning for Satsop River Near Satsop affecting Grays Harbor County. The NWS is also keeping an eye on the Skagit and Snohomish Rivers, which may near flood stage today. Urban and small stream issues may also linger.

North line Sounder service has been canceled “due to the continuing inclement weather and soil conditions” for the rest of the week, according to Sound Transit on Tuesday. There will be buses in place to get Sounder North commuters back and forth this week.

Due to avalanche dangers, the King County Sheriff’s Office has asked hikers not to travel in avalanche terrain. The National Weather Service said there’s an increased threat of landslides throughout the region until at least Thursday morning. Several landslides have already been reported.

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