Windstorm impacts linger into Monday

About 26,000 still without power in the region.

Sunny Hills Elementary School in Sammamish was closed Monday, after a weekend windstorm hit the central Puget Sound area overnight Saturday and into Sunday morning.

Schools in the Issaquah School District had a two-hour delayed start on Monday because of road debris and closures, the district website states. Sunny Hills remained closed all day due to a power outage. Power was expected to be restored at the school Monday afternoon.

Some storm gusts reached an estimated 60 mph at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport at 3 a.m. Sunday, according to accuweather.com. Most areas were hit with winds of 45-55 mph.

The weather system — which originated from inland southern Oregon — was first forecasted to move south toward California, said Jeff Michalski, meteorologist with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. By Friday, the storm began to take a different path north. And on Saturday morning officials had enough confidence to issue a wind advisory for Eastside cities.

When new weather models predicted higher speed gusts, that warning was upgraded to a high-wind warning early Saturday evening, just ahead of the storm, Michalski said.

This storm, unlike others to pass through, was a quick burst of winds for one to two hours.

“And then it was gone,” Michalski said. “Opposed to some long-duration storms we’ve seen in the past, there was still significant damage with power outages across the region.”

Electrical crews were still working Monday to restore power to customers impacted by the storm. As of 2:30 p.m., there were 836 outages in the Seattle and surrounding area, affecting an estimated 26,607 customers, the Puget Sound Energy (PSE) outage map shows. Power had been restored to more than 250,000 customers as of 1 p.m. Damage was heaviest in Pierce and King counties, a PSE advisory states.

There is another wind advisory in effect now that could bring gust of 30-40 mph to the Seattle and Eastside areas Tuesday. Michalski doesn’t anticipate damage, but rather impacts on local cleanup efforts.

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