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Fierce winds pummeling the North Sound

BLAINE, Wash. — Fierce winds are already pummeling the North Sound and are expected to keep getting worse overnight Tuesday.

The weather took a dramatic turn Monday evening with the rain coming down harder - right on time, according to the forecasts.

And this could be just the beginning.

It is easy to see the impact the wind is having on the boats tied up here at the Semiahmoo Resort Marina in Blaine.

“I put two lines on each of the cleats on the dock,” said Graham Hunter. “And I doubled up all the, what they call ‘spring lines,’ the ones that pull the boat from going back and forth.”

Hunter was at the marina to make sure the sailboat he has moored for 35 years at Semiahmoo comes through the storm intact.

“You want to be at the dock, tied up before the wind starts to blow,” said Hunter. “That’s the nature of being careful about boating, knowing when to quit having fun and come in to tie up.”

“We added another bow line and readjusted everything,” said Joe Rambo.

He and his wife, Jennifer, found themselves out over the weekend as the storm began coming ashore.

“Yeah, we knew there was a gale coming,” said Jennifer. “So, yeah, we headed back in. It was quite adventurous.”

“The forecast, I think, called for 14 knots and it was 28 knots coming across Bellingham Bay,” said Joe. “So, it was choppy, a little more of a boat ride than we were anticipating.”

And those who are keeping an eye on the weather expect the conditions to get worse over the next several hours, like John Gargett, head of Whatcom County Emergency Management.

“We anticipate winds in the 40 to 50 mile-an-hour range,” said Gargett, acknowledging that the wind often blows hard in the North South. “It is on the upper end of usual, yes. It’s the gusts that can cause us problems.”

Right now, power is out for just a handful of customers.

But there is concern that as the winds and rain increase, trees will begin to come down, and more people will be in the dark.

The hope is that the storm passes with minimal impact.