Soaking rain downs trees, snarls commute

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SEATTLE - After months of bone-dry weather, a weekend of rain and wind caused trees to come crashing down and contributed to a number of crashes and spinouts.

 

KIRO 7 Eyewitness News Chief Meteorologist Sam Argier said that on Sunday, more than two and a half inches of rain fell along the coast, setting a daily record for Forks.  Seattle picked up over a half-inch of rain.

 

Winds were also gusty.  Wind gusts topped 50 mph on Whidbey Island, with gusts 30 to 35 mph at Paine Field in Everett.  Gusts around Seattle were around 20 mph.

 

The combination of wind and soaking rain caused a tree to crash down in Seattle's Queen Anne neighborhood around 8 p.m. Sunday.

 

It barely missed hitting a car on Third Avenue West at Barrett Street.

 

Instead, the tree fell onto wires that power the trolley buses in the area.

 

Third Avenue on Queen Anne was shut down for hours Sunday night but reopened Monday morning.

 

Another tree went down early Monday in East King County on West Snoqualmie Valley Road near Redmond.

 

Crews were able to respond quickly to cut it up and move it out of the way.

 

Also Monday, emergency dispatchers confirmed that a tree went down in the 1500 block of Northeast 32nd Street in Bellevue.

 

The wet weekend turned out to be a dangerous one for drivers.

 

A crash on southbound Interstate 5 at Spokane Street backed up traffic for miles.

 

Another crash on State Route 99 involved multiple vehicles and a transit bus.   The passengers on that bus had to be moved to another one.

 

Argier said another strong storm is gearing up offshore and moving in Monday afternoon. 

 

“Much like Sunday’s storm, this system will pack a healthy dose of wind and rain.  Rain will increase throughout the afternoon, and will be very heavy for the evening commute.  If you can get out of work early, it might be helpful to beat the traffic,” said Argier.

 

Argier said 0.25 to 0.75 inches of rainfall is expected around Puget Sound in the next storm.  Winds will also pick up with 25 to 35 mph gusts.  Areas north of Everett and along the coast are expecting gusts to exceed 50 mph once again. 

 

Temperatures will be in the upper 50s.

 

The National Weather Service issued a wind advisory across the Puget Sound region and the coast starting late Monday afternoon until early Tuesday.  A wind advisory is issued when sustained winds of 30 to 39 mph  or gusts of 45 to 57 mph are likely.