High winds knock out power across Whatcom County

The Bellingham Herald

Gusty winds knocked down trees and sent limbs into power lines Saturday, Aug. 29, knocking out power in areas across Whatcom County.

Puget Sound Energy was responding to dozens of outages. Several thousand county residents and businesses were without power as of noon. With outages scattered across the county, PSE crews were scrambling to make fixes. Some people can expect a long wait for return of electricity.

The outages and their status can be tracked on the PSE outage map.

More power outages are expected as a high wind warning remains in effect until 6 p.m. Saturday. Expect sustained south winds of 20 to 30 mph with gusts to more than 50 mph.

At Bellingham International Airport, sustained winds were close to 30 mph with gusts as strong as 53 mph as of noon.

Drivers also were struggling with wind issues. A tree fell on a car at Lakeway and Woburn streets in Bellingham. In Lynden, one of the oak trees lining Front Street came down across the road. Some roads have been blocked by downed trees while others are strewn with leaves and branches.

Winds this strong usually come later, in fall when trees have lost their leaves. The fact most trees still are full of leaves, combined with trees weakened by drought, is causing extra damage in this storm. Branches and debris are striking power lines in many areas.