Rain, warmer temps coming for Whatcom County

Posted by SAMANTHA WOHLFEIL on March 3, 2014 

PSE spokesman: 200 without power near Lynden Sunday night

Slick driving conditions made for a slippery morning commute in some areas of Whatcom County Monday, March 3, as freezing rain continued to fall before turning to heavy rain overnight. 

The National Weather Service issued a winter weather advisory for the western parts of the county, calling for freezing rain and sleet through 11 p.m. Sunday. The freezing rain turned to heavy rain overnight, but many roads in northern Whatcom County still had ice in spots.

Drivers experienced hazardous driving conditions in some places, and fire personnel and law enforcement responded to several reports of car accidents throughout Sunday morning.

One car crashed into a utility pole in the 2200 block of East Pole Road around 5 a.m., knocking out power to 167 customers in that area, according to a Puget Sound Energy spokesperson.

Crews were on scene replacing the pole throughout Sunday and restored power to those customers by 4:45 p.m., PSE spokesman Ray Lane said.

However, within 15 minutes of when that pole was restored, three separate incidents throughout the county, including power lines down near Northwood and Timon roads outside of Lynden, left 200 different customers without power. 

Because PSE crews were already in the area, and the incidents only involved line damage, those customers should have power restored shortly, Lane said just before 5 p.m.

The weather service issued a winter storm warning for the western slopes of the North Cascades, predicting heavy snow through 4 a.m. Monday, with the potential for 10 to 16 inches to accumulate above 3,000 feet. The warning also called for freezing rain and sleet in the lower valleys. 

The Northwest Avalanche Center also issued an avalanche warning for the backcountry terrain on the western slopes of the North Cascades through 4 a.m. Monday. 

The hills around Bellingham were foggy well into Sunday afternoon while the temperature hovered around 33 degrees.

Reach Samantha Wohlfeil at Samantha.Wohlfeil@bellinghamherald.com

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