EVERETT — About 200,000 people lost power early Saturday morning after blackouts winter storm Winds of about 50 miles per hour hit Snohomish County.
Social media abounded with reports of uprooted trees, dark downtown intersections, and howling gusts of wind, keeping some residents up all night. A woman was seriously injured after a tree fell on her home, the Marysville Fire Department said in a statement. According to the release, firefighters took her 20-year-old Marysville resident to her regional Providence Medical Center in critical condition.
“This is one of more than 80 emergency calls received over 10 hours by Marysville firefighters during the peak and aftermath of severe weather on Friday,” the agency wrote. “Firefighters provided mutual aid in response to another tree that fell on the Port Susan Camp Club residence. We have also responded to a number of other reports of the emergency.”
The department advised residents to avoid traveling on Saturday because professional crews were working to clear the debris. Trees should be avoided.
Snohomish County PUD has sent 14 line crews and 21 support crews to remove fallen trees and branches across the county and restore portions of the power grid, said spokesman Aaron Swaney. They worked all day and were joined in the evenings by Mutual Aid crews from other parts of the state and the Oregon utility district.
“We are all on deck. …This is a big storm for us,” Swaney said. “A lot of trees fell down. What we found at this time of year is… that the branches have more leaves, so the wind can actually grab those limbs and drive them into lines.” is.”
At least 190,000 customers, or about half of PUD’s customers, lost power during the peak blackout around midnight, he said. About 94,000 customers remain without power as of 5pm Saturday.
This is one of the largest storms the authorities have responded to in at least five years, Swaney said.
Another PUD spokesperson, Kellie Stickney, said 2015 was the last time a storm with similar blackouts occurred.
“We were probably pretty close to the November 25, 2015 rainstorm when about 60% of our customers were out of power,” she said.
Shortly after midnight, Debra King and her family were lighting candles in a pitch-black kitchen when they heard the sound of breaking glass in the bedroom of their Bayside apartment. They ran into the bathroom to take refuge. A 100-year-old weeping willow tree in the neighbor’s yard had been blown down by a storm, destroying the side of the building. No one was hurt, King said.
“It was very scary all night,” she said.
On Saturday, King stood outside his home on Rucker Avenue to watch crew members remove and chop up a fallen tree.
A crew showed up this afternoon to clean up this fallen 100-year-old weeping willow.
Around midnight, Debra King and her family heard the sound of breaking glass in the bedroom of their apartment. No one was hurt.
The old tree on the corner of Rucker and 23rd Streets was a favorite in the Bayside neighborhood. King said he has an Everett history book with a photograph of the willow shortly after it was planted as a small sapling 100 years ago.
“I am grateful to be alive,” she said. “But that tree. It’s so heartbreaking. I feel like I’ve lost my mother or something.
King said trees are appreciated by both humans and animal wildlife.
“So many birds, squirrels, raccoons – everyone loved that tree,” she said.
Weeping willows, among dozens of trees around North Everett, were blown down by storms, destroying homes and fences, blocking streets and cutting power lines.
Scenery such as fallen trees on the north side #everett Today due to last night’s storm. It’s been 14 hours since he turned on the block. #wawx pic.twitter.com/LUaYUvRgfI— Ellen Dennis (@reporterellen) November 5, 2022
Most of the outage occurred at home, but some non-residents were affected, including Providence Regional Medical Center, Kaiser Permanente in Everett and Swedish in Edmonds, Swaney said.
Both Providence locations were back online by about 7:20 am, nearly seven hours after the outage began. Meanwhile, they were on backup power, Swaney said.Stickney said other hospitals were back up by 5 p.m.
PUD crews are prioritizing restoring power to “critical infrastructure” such as hospitals, water pumping stations and schools, Swaney said. is also focused on
“It will take several days to clean up and restore power for all customers,” says Swaney. “The damage is enormous.”
Swaney recommends that households with electric heating designate one or two rooms to keep warm until power is restored. Those who live in more rural areas may want to consider a “Plan B” of staying with friends or booking a hotel.
Anyone using a backup generator should follow the safety tips outlined on the PUD website, Stickney said. Do not use generators, heaters or cooking appliances that emit carbon dioxide indoors.
The power outage also darkened many of downtown Everett’s traffic lights. Drivers who find an intersection without work lights should treat the intersection like a four-way stop.
Wind speeds on land peaked between 9 and 11 p.m., reaching 49 mph in Painefield, said Dustin Guy, a meteorologist at the National Weather Service’s Seattle office. He said gusts as high as 65 mph occurred in areas closer to the water.
One reason for this is that the Strait of Juan de Fuca acts as a funnel that increases wind speed. Guy said the wind “blew through the strait as the front passed”, like liquid moving quickly through a straw.
The storm also caused some minor flooding in the Snohomish River, but forecasts predicted that water levels would recede all day Saturday and be below the flood stage by evening.
Guy also expected the winds to calm down over the weekend.
“There could be localized breezes until noon, but nothing like what we saw last night,” he told a Herald reporter Saturday morning.
The weather forecast calls for rain and cooler temperatures for the next three days.
Guy said rain and snow can mix in Everett’s higher elevations.
“Don’t be surprised if you wake up on Monday morning and it’s 30 degrees and it’s raining,” he said.
Mallory Gruben is a member of the Report for America corps and writes about education for The Daily Herald.
Mallory Pitt: 425-339-3035; firstname.lastname@example.org; Twitter: @Mallory Gruben.
Ellen Dennis: 425-339-3486; email@example.com; Twitter: @Reporter Leren.