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Wind gusts knock out power across Whatcom County

A large tree was knocked down in the 2700 block of McLeod Road in Bellingham during a windstorm late Thursday, Oct. 11, 2014.
A large tree was knocked down in the 2700 block of McLeod Road in Bellingham during a windstorm late Thursday, Oct. 11, 2014. The Bellingham Herald

A windstorm with gusts reaching 56 mph toppled trees and downed power lines across Whatcom County on Thursday night, Dec. 11, knocking out power to thousands of customers.

Crews worked throughout the day Friday, Dec. 12, to restore power to customers, and by 5 p.m. around 500 customers across Whatcom County remained without power, down from at least 1,200 earlier in the day, according to Puget Sound Energy.

Only scattered outages remained in Bellingham. Around 170 customers were still without power in Blaine late Friday afternoon, and more than 150 customers were still without power in Everson.

The National Weather Service recorded wind gusts over 50 mph every hour from 8 p.m. until midnight Thursday.

The peak number of outages happened around 1 a.m. Friday, PSE said, when nearly 105,000 customers in the company’s entire service area lost power.

Fallen trees on power lines were responsible for many outages. Bellingham city workers were cleaning up downed trees for most of Friday, said city grounds supervisor Steve Nordeen.

One tree that fell hit multiple other trees at an entrance to Whatcom Falls Park between St. Clair and Erie streets, he said. Workers planned to clean up that site on Monday. Most of the other trees that fell in the city were cleaned up Friday, Nordeen said.

A few trees fell onto houses in Bellingham. Nordeen said a tree brushed up against a house on Lindsay Avenue, and a Sudden Valley resident, John Ramsay, said a 150-foot tree snapped and fell onto his house at 3 Hawks Hill Place around midnight. Ramsay said the inside ceiling cracked where the tree fell. It also smashed a deck.

“It sounded like a freight train or something,” Ramsay said.

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