Winds push through Whatcom County, but little damage reported

Western Washington’s first major windstorm of the season brought rain and a stiff overnight breeze as forecast, but caused only a few random power outages and little damage, officials said.

Fewer than 10 customers were without electricity in scattered outages around Whatcom County about 5 a.m., Friday, Oct. 7, according to Puget Sound Energy’s online service map.

No outages remained by 9 a.m., and little or no storm damage was noted by National Weather Service meteorologists, who had issued a high-wind warning for winds 25-35 mph with gusts to 50 mph.

“It’s a little surprising,” said Jeff Michalski at the weather service’s Seattle office. “This was our first wind event of the season, and we’ve found that some of these early events can cause damage.”

Winds began picking up about 11 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 6, and increased to sustained winds as high as 32 mph as measured at Bellingham International Airport. Instruments recorded gusts of 40 mph.

Michalski said coastal areas such as Sandy Point saw stronger winds, including a gust of 48 mph reported by an observer. Barely a quarter-inch of rain was recorded overnight as temperatures held in the high 50s. A high of 61 degrees was recorded at 1:15 a.m. Friday.

Whatcom County residents reported garbage cans knocked over and minor debris across roadways, but little significant damage. Only one wind-related event was reported all night to dispatchers, an official said. A tree was reported across a road in Kendall about 8:30 a.m Friday.

Clouds and rain are expected to return for the weekend, forecasters said. Highs will be in the high 50s to around 60. Partly sunny to sunny skies are expected Monday and Tuesday.

Robert Mittendorf: 360-756-2805, @BhamMitty