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Strong winds could cause power outages, other damage

A potentially damaging windstorm was forecast overnight for Western Washington, including Bellingham and waters of the Salish Sea.

Meteorologists at the National Weather Service in Seattle issued a high wind warning from midnight Monday through noon Tuesday, warning of sustained south winds of 25-40 mph with gusts to 60 mph. A “warning” forecasts a high probability of damaging weather, meteorologists said.

Coastal areas and south-facing areas near the waterfront are at the highest risk, the weather service said in a statement. A gale warning is in effect from 6 p.m. Monday until 9 a.m. Tuesday for northern inland waters, including the San Juan Islands.

“Strongest winds will likely occur late overnight Monday and into early Tuesday morning,” the statement said. Falling trees and limbs and power outages are possible.

Otherwise, mostly cloudy skies with a chance of rain or showers are forecast Tuesday through Saturday. Highs are expected in the upper 40s and lows in the low 40s.

In addition, Western Washington remains under a threat of landslides as hillsides remain saturated from several days of rain. Nearly 3 inches of rain has fallen in the past week, bringing monthly rainfall totals close to normal.

Meanwhile, floodwaters continue to recede across Whatcom County as the snow level lowers in the mountains and rain subsides in the lowlands. Several roads remain closed, mostly because of water or debris over the roadway.

No serious damage was reported from several days of flooding on the Nooksack River and its tributaries. A man who drove past barricades Friday afternoon on Ferndale Road had to be rescued from atop his pickup by Whatcom County Sheriff’s deputies using the department’s armored vehicle, said Undersheriff Jeff Parks.

Some residents of Glacier were without electricity and phone service for two days as floodwaters from the Nooksack River washed out utility poles.

Robert Mittendorf: 360-756-2805, @BhamMitty

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