Deadly windstorm hits Washington and B.C., knocks out power to 180 000


A strong low pressure system swept through western Washington and British Columbia on Monday, November 13, 2017, killing at least 1 person and seriously injuring several others. It was the most powerful storm to hit the region so far this fall.

The National Weather Service issued a high wind warning for the region ahead of the storm, expecting 40 to 65 km/h (25 to 40 mph) sustained winds and gusts to 105 km/h (65 mph).

The storm downed numerous trees and power lines, leaving more than 180 000 customers in the Northwest without power, and produced waves as high as 9.5 m (31 feet).

A 33-year-old woman was killed Monday evening when a tree fell onto a vehicle she was driving in Renton. A passenger, also a 33-year-old-woman, was seriously injured and a child in the back seat had minor injuries, King County Sheriff's Office said. 

In a separate incident, a 15-year-old girl suffered “very serious injuries” after she was trapped in a mobile home under a fallen tree in Port Orchard, according to Kitsap County Sheriff’s Office. A tree fell onto a corner of a mobile home in the 1200 block of Arnold Avenue East, tearing through the roof of the house and into the girl’s bedroom. She was pinned under the roof debris and tree. The girl’s father and a neighbor worked to free the girl before emergency crews arrived, local media reported.

Across the border, in the neighboring British Columbia, Canada, winds forced cancellation of all ferry sailings on major routes between 11:00 and 14:00 local time and delayed many others. More than 2 000 customers were without power on the Vancouver Island's South Island and more than 5 000 on the North Island.

"With nearly continuous onshore flow, heavy rain is expected at lower elevations west of the Cascades across the Pacific Northwest and northern California on Tuesday, November 14," NWS forecasters said. "High winds and heavy mountain snows will also accompany this system."

An extensive area of the offshore and coastal waters of Washington and Oregon have Storm and Gale warnings. Winter Weather Advisories are in effect for portion of the Olympics, Cascades, and Northern Rockies – with a Winter Storm Watch for the Sierra Nevadas.

Some of the moisture will reach the northern Rockies by Tuesday as a surface low tracks inland. Temperatures will moderate across much of the Western U.S. ahead of the deep upper trough and will see temperatures rise above normal across the central and southern Plains by Tuesday.

Featured image credit: Snohomish County Fire Department


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