Whatcom County residents should have power back by Tuesday night, Sept. 1, following a windstorm that toppled trees and power lines over the weekend.
Around 10,000 Puget Sound Energy customers in Whatcom County were still without power Monday morning. Most customers should have power again by Monday night, but all customers affected by the storm should have power by Tuesday at 6 p.m., said PSE spokesman Ray Lane.
PSE’s outage map shows varying restoration times — ranging from “9/1 11:59 p.m.” to “under investigation” — but Lane says some of that confusion relates to the high volume of work.
“We’re still in the midst of a pretty dynamic situation,” Lane said. “We’re realizing that things are moving so quickly in some areas that things are going to change.”
The Aug. 29 storm impacted nearly 238,000 customers at its peak, and Whatcom and Skagit counties were hit the hardest, according to PSE. Wind gusts reaching more than 50 mph toppled trees that were weakened by drought and still were full of leaves.
Many residents in rural areas of the county rely on electricity for water wells and septic systems. Ethelyn Stanage, who lives north of Custer, said many of her neighbors have had to go elsewhere for water since Saturday’s storm.
Stanage said her house was bombarded with limbs from two cottonwood trees across the street.
“They came hurtling across the street into our yard,” Stanage said. “Our whole lawn is covered with branches.”
Some of the branches hit her son’s car and caused some minor damage. With debris mixed in with power lines, they couldn’t clean up their yard until PSE crews came to restore power Monday.
Bellingham residents cleaning up tree limbs or branches can drop off storm debris at the Geri Field parking lot in the Civic Athletic Complex. The site at the corner of Fraser and Puget Streets will be open from 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. until Friday, Sept. 4.
Whatcom County Public Works was working Monday to reopen nearly a dozen roads that have been closed due to fallen trees or power lines. Here is a list of the closures as of 10:45 a.m. Monday:
Anderson Road — east and west of Harborview Road.
Alderson Road — west of Blaine Road.
Hillside Road — 3000 block.
Silver Lake Road — north of Mount Baker Highway.
Central Road — east of Mission Road.
Loomis Trail Road — Portal Way to Valleyview Road.
White Road — north of Loomis Trail Road.
Axlund Road — Barnhart Road to H Street Road.
Barnhart — Axling to Axlund roads.
East Prairie — Guide Meridian to Double Ditch roads.