Storm brings strong winds and rain to western Washington



By Emily Fitzgerald / [email protected]

A strong storm off the Washington coast began sending strong winds and heavy rain to western Washington over the weekend, and as the winds were expected to start to weaken Monday night, heavy rains came in. scheduled for the rest of the week.

The coast is expected to bear the brunt of the storm’s impact, with winds of 50 to 60 miles per hour and waves of 25 to 30 feet in the National Weather Service (NWS) forecast on Monday morning. The southwest interior, which includes the Lewis County area, was expected to see winds between 25 and 35 mph with a chance of winds of up to 45 mph; while the Olympia, Tacoma and Seattle area are expected to see winds between 30 and 40 mph with a chance of winds of up to 50 mph.

Residents of the Lewis County area communities of Toledo, Ashford, Onalaska, Salkum, Morton, Mossyrock, Elbe and Adna suffered weather-related power outages on Sunday, with additional outages in parts of Napavine and around of the Centralia service territory. reported Sunday evening. As of 8:15 a.m. Monday morning, the Lewis County Utility District had restored power to all areas except Mineral, Vader, south of Winlock and areas east and south of Toledo. .

The Toledo School District closed all of its campuses on Monday due to the power outage, and the Winlock School District was two hours late, with the Early Childhood Education and Assistance program in the morning preschool and all transport outside the district canceled.

The Lewis County Public Utility District could not be reached for comment before press time.

Winds were expected to abate between 5 and 8 p.m. Monday night, according to the NWS, but winds between 10 and 20 mph are forecast for the southwest interior through Wednesday, with rain forecast for the remainder of the month. week.

While heavy rains are expected to raise river levels in western Washington this week, the Chehalis, Skookumchuck and Newaukum rivers are not expected to flood, according to NWS forecasts. The Chehalis River is expected to rise by about 5 feet at Centralia, Grand Mound and Porter by Friday before returning to previous levels, NWS forecast, while the Skookumchuck River is expected to rise by about 1 foot at Centralia and Bucoda by Friday before returning to current levels and the Newaukum River is expected to rise about 2 feet near Chehalis by Friday before returning to previous levels.

Heavy rains over the southern Olympic Mountains are expected to push the Skokomish River above flood level near Potlatch on Monday afternoon, according to the NWS.

Despite calming storm conditions Monday evening, the NWS warned those planning clam digs on the coast after Monday sunset to beware of a possible 2-2.5 foot storm surge that could cause minor tidal overflow, flooding and erosion of Port Townsend and Whidbey Island. north to the Canadian border.

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