High wind, heavy rains, lightning strikes in Oso, thousands lose power

As the hours of the final Friday of 2017 drew into the evening we were beginning to consider ourselves pretty fortunate as we monitored many of the severe weather events that were going on to the north, west, and south of us.

The National Weather Service had posted warnings related to snow, wind, heavy rains, and ice just hours before, and like clockwork and as predicted, these warnings became a reality for many of us here in the Pacific Northwest.

The warnings and watches came pouring in on Wednesday Dec 27:

SSIT Emergency‏ @ss_emergency

“NWS ALERT FOR SKAGIT AND SNOHOMISH COUNTIES WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY IN EFFECT FROM 4 AM THURSDAY TO MIDNIGHT PST THURSDAY NIGHT. WINTER STORM WATCH IN EFFECT FROM LATE THURSDAY NIGHT THROUGH FRIDAY EVENING.”

NWS Seattle‏ @NWSSeattle

“Update for W #Whatcom county: 1-3″ of #snow still possible 2nite thru Thu morn before changing to #FreezingRain. #Ice accumulations up to 1/3″ possible, with heaviest amounts in areas near #Canadian border, including #Sumas. Roads will be #slippery and travel #hazardous. #WAwx”

The warnings and watches continued coming into Thursday Dec 28:

NWS Seattle‏ @NWSSeattle

“Western Whatcom County- Including Bellingham, Blaine, Ferndale, Lynden, WINTER STORM WARNING REMAINS IN EFFECT UNTIL 1 PM THIS AFTERNOON. Heavy mixed precipitation is occurring. Plan on difficult travel conditions. Ice accumulations of up to one tenth of an inch are expected.”

WA Emergency Mgmt‏ @waEMD

“Flood Watch issued from 10 tonight through Friday evening for Clark, Cowlitz, Pacific, Skamania & Wahkiakum counties. Periods of heavy rain will result in sharp rises on many rivers and creeks in SW Washington #wawx #orwx #vanwa”

On Friday, Dec 29 it got worse:

 

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Trooper Brian Moore‏ @wspd6pio

“Freezing rain & heavy snow across NCWA making travel difficult. Please #SlowDown & drive for conditions. More snow expected!”

WSDOT North Traffic‏ @wsdot_north

“Heading north across the border any time soon?

The freezing rain has knocked out power to border traffic cameras & the instruments that measure border wait times to SR 9 & SR 539. Sorry for the inconvenience.”

 

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Trooper H. Axtman‏ @wspd7pio

“Whatcom County extremely icy conditions. Trees and power lines are down all over the county. Please only drive in this weather if you absolutely have to! Be safe!!”

 

 

 

As the evening progressed it got even worse as thunderstorms started their march up the Stillaguamish valley:

Morgan Palmer of KIRO News had this to report nearly immediately:

 

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Morgan Palmer‏ @MorganKIRO7

“Three lightning strikes near Oso. Now we’ve really had just about everything! #snoho #wawx”

 

 

 

Ice storms in the north, heavy wind, rain, and landslides in the south and high winds on the coast —

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WSDOT – Southwest‏ @wsdot_sw

“UPDATE: Geotechs have assessed the slide on SR 4 – between Bunker Hill Rd & German Creek Rd (MP 49-50), west of Longview, and determined that crews can begin cleanup efforts. During cleanup, traffic will continue to use the detour via HWY 30 in OR, to get to and from WA. #SR4”

 

We here in the Stillaguamish valley didn’t quite have everything, though the surrounding Puget Sound area did and we got more than our fair share of it.

PUD reported that over 10,000 lost power in Snohomish County from Mountlake Terrace to Sultan to Darrington and every place else in between.

SnoCoScannerReport‏ @SnoCoScannerRep

“Crews worked hard overnight to get power restored to most of the ~10,000 customers who lost power during last night’s stormy weather. Crews continue to work this morning to restore power to the remaining 950 customers without power. If your power is out, call 425-783-1001.”

There are still spotty outages across the county this morning as crews scramble to repair the damage caused by the winds, heavy rains, and fallen trees.

 

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NWS Seattle @NWSSeattle

“Here are some 24 hour #wind reports around Western Washington. A map of some of the wind #gusts was included below. #WAwx”

 

 

 

 

 

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