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Update: Storm Causing Outages, Downed Trees on Mercer Island

We'll keep you posted about the latest strom developments here on Patch. Please send news tips to kendall.watson@patch.com. Readers can also follow up on Facebook and on Twitter at @MercerISePatch.

Update, Monday, 5 p.m.: Puget Sound Energy announced on its Facebook page that all power was restored to Mercer Island customers.

At its peak, over 27,500 customers were without power, the utility said.

Here's the latest press release from PSE:

Puget Sound Energy recognizes the inconvenience to our customers and is committed to restoring service as soon as possible and providing updates to enable our customers to take necessary steps. We appreciate our customers’ patience as we work to repair power as quickly as possible, with safety our top priority.

PSE crews Monday afternoon are responding to outages caused by heavy rain and strong winds that have knocked down trees and tree limbs into power lines this morning.

As of 3:30 p.m., 62 PSE crews are responding to 68 outage locations in Western Washington. Crews have restored power to more than 27,500 customers. There currently are 3,300 customers without power, primarily in South King County with scattered outages in Island, Skagit, Whatcom, North King, Kitsap and Thurston counties.

There are 62 four-person power line crews, 35 two-person tree crews and 78 servicemen available and assisting with restoration efforts.

Update, Monday 12:20 p.m.: Puget Sound Energy announced that all power will be restored to Mercer Island by 1:30 p.m. (track updates at PSE's Outage Alert Map, here).

Update, Monday, 11:20 a.m.: Roger Thompson, a spokesman for PSE, said there are still 5,000 homes and businesses without power across the PSE service area as of 10 a.m. Wind gusts were reported at near 60 miles per hour by the National Weather Service

"With that kind of gale, that can cause issues with falling branches and trees," he said. "But the winds didn't seem as sustained as suggested by earlier forecasts."

Thompson said 400 line workers out in the field and an additional tree crews were assisting in the power restoration effort.

"The primary cause of the outages are wind-blown branches or in some cases whole trees that are falling into power lines."

Mercer Island Police confirmed earlier this morning that the wind had accidentally set off nearly a dozen motion detector alarms in the area, but little to no damage had been reported as a result of the storm.

"So far, no major trees down or property damage that I'm aware of," said MIPD Cmdr. Leslie Burns. "Hopefully the worst is behind us."

Original Story: An early Monday morning storm with high winds is knocking out power to homes across the Puget Sound and has knocked out power to several dozen homes on Mercer Island, according to utility provider Puget Sound Energy.

As of 9:30 a.m. Monday, PSE is reporting up to 17,000 customers are currently without power across its service area in the Puget Sound. On Mercer Island, at least 63 customers are without power, mostly on the west side of the Island most exposed to the high winds. No estimated time for service restoration has been provided (track updates at PSE's Outage Alert Map, here).

The Mercer Island School District and all other private schools reported no disruption and are continuing with a normal schedule.

Anecdotal reports from residents indicate the intensity of the storm began to cause residential security alarms to activate at around 4:45 a.m., dispatching Mercer Island Police patrol units to dozens of homes in the area.

We'll keep you posted about the latest strom developments here on Patch. Please send news tips to kendall.watson@patch.com. Readers can also follow up on Facebook and on Twitter at @MercerIsePatch.

Who to Contact For Storm-Related Emergencies:

  • To report a problem with stormwater drainage and blocked catch basins, call the city's Maintenance Department at 206-275-7800, or report it online here.
  • To report a landslide or potential landslide, call the city's Development Services Group at 206-275-7728.
  • If you're experiencing an outage or suspect a natural gas leak, call Puget Sound Energy 1-888-225-5773. Click here for real-time updates, or check Twitter.com/PSETalk.
  • For more information on how to be prepared for emergencies and how to get information in an emergency, please visit the city's emergency preparedness webpage. For more tips on dealing with heavy rain and potential flooding, see this checklist on the web pages of Take Winter by Storm, a group formed by public and private utilities of Western Washington.

If you rely on public transit, check the status of your ride on Metro Transit Alert Center’s websiteClick here for metro's flood routes.

Puget Sound Energy also posted this notice to its web site this morning:

The National Weather Service has forecast a significant weather storm to hit the region Sunday evening. In addition to strong winds, coastal flooding and mountain blizzard conditions are in the forecast. Strong winds are expected to begin near midnight, with the most severe winds — up to 70 mph — reaching our area around 4 a.m. 

Kendall Watson December 17, 2012 at 08:51 PM
Power will be back on for all Mercer Island homes by 1:30 p.m.

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