• Gov. Inslee declares state of emergency due to windstorms, heavy rainfall

    Updated:

    Governor Jay Inslee declared a state of emergency on Wednesday after a storm with winds over 50 miles per hour swept through Western Washington.

    Some may be in the dark for days -- after the storm that killed three people, caused major flooding and toppled trees onto power lines.  PSE said those in the hardest hit areas may not have power until Friday or Saturday.

    Crews from all over the northwest and Canada, along with local contractors were brought in to expedite repairs.


    What you need to know:

    Power outages:

    • About 25,000 Puget Sound Energy customers remain without power as of 11:30 p.m. Wednesday.  Here is a link to track outages near you:  Click here for map.
    • Snohomish County PUD estimates 37,500 outages remain.
    • Only about 100 customers are without power in Mason County
    • Estimated restoration times shared by PSE on Wednesday night

    On Wednesday night, Puget Sound Energy released their estimated times of restoration for power to affected Washington counties. 

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    • Thurston Co.: Most customers will be restored by Wednesday, 11/18. West Olympia, SW Tumwater & remaining by Thursday, 11/19.
    • North King Co.: Most customers by Wednesday, 11/18. Hyak & remaining individual outages by Saturday, 11/21.
    • South King Co.: Most customers by Thursday, 11/19. Greenwater/White River/Cascade & remaining by Friday, 11/20.
    • Whatcom Co.: Remaining customers by Thursday, 11/19
    • Skagit Co.: Concrete & most customers by Thursday, 11/19. Remaining individual outages by Friday, 11/20.
    • Island Co.: Remaining N Whidbey by Friday, 11/20: Langley, Clinton & remaining S Whidbey by Saturday, 11/21.

    <hr>

    Cleanup crews took to the streets Wednesday in Washington state, after a powerful storm killed three people, cut power to more than 350,000 residents and flooded rivers.

    The worst of the storm has passed, but has left a mess in its wake.  

    Lingering power outages on Wednesday caused confusion for parents of students at Redmond Middle School, which closed at 10:45 a.m.

    A spokeswoman for the Lake Washington School District says administrators opened the school for the day, thinking it would have power all day. But soon after students arrived, a power loss led the district to close early for the day.

    "We had to scramble to get here," said parent Deb Murphy, one of many parents lining up in vehicles for the hasty pickup.

    Nearby, power crews worked on a big line along 166th Avenue Northeast.

    Gardener Greg Barcus cleaned up storm debris from a front yard and worried about his client inside, huddled beneath six blankets.

    "The lady in the house is 100 years old and [has had] no electricity since yesterday," Barcus said. 

    Snohomish County

    A man was crushed when a tree fell on his car in Monroe yesterday.

    In Arlington, roads and fields are underwater.  As reporter Nick McGurk drove into Arlington on Wednesday morning, heavy rain turned into a blast of hail. 

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    Most rivers around Snohomish County are now receding but they've left quite a mess.

    >> Read previous storm coverage here

    >> See a log of storm damage below

    "It appears right now the weather is working on our side,” Stanwood Fire Chief John Cermak told KIRO 7 News.

    He is overseeing a group of student volunteers and emergency personnel preparing for when the weather is on the other side; they’re filling and piling 3,500 sandbags eight feet high to keep out the Stillaguamish.

    "The water is receding at this point,” the chief explained. “The river gauge is down at Arlington to 10 feet, and the tide is going out so we see everything is reducing in size right now."

    But it topped 20 feet Tuesday night, flooding cars in Stanwood and Arlington.

     "When I tried last night, there was a guy stuck out in the middle of the water in his truck,” said Jason Olsen, who told us he was attempting to drive his truck home in Arlington.  “And when I tried he came out with a flashlight saying ‘don't come across’ so I backed up.”

    Houses took on water in both cities too. 

    Fire crews used hovercrafts to check on houses on the other side of a flooded field.  Those who decided to stay were OK.

    Tuesday night in Sultan, some who didn't want to go eventually had to. KIRO 7's news crew recruited a volunteer with a raft to pull a woman from her home downtown where the Skykomish and Sultan Rivers converge.

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    That’s exactly what Stanwood is sandbagging to prevent.

    "We're just preparing for this to become a larger incident,” concludes Cermak.

    KIRO 7 News talked with the Washington State Patrol -- just their agency alone in Snohomish County had more than 50 crashes and nearly 150 calls for service in a 24-hour period.

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    Sultan has not seen such severe flooding since 2006.

    King County

    Puget Sound Energy said King County had the largest number of customers without power, specifically in the northern part of the county. PSE said its transmission and distribution networks were impacted by the storm, including some substations. Because of widespread damage, some may be without power for days.  

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    PSE  has brought in crews from other utility companies to help after trees fell across Western Washington.   

    The utility said that at daybreak, helicopters will fly over hard to access transmission lines. As of 5 a.m., there were more than 600 locations that needed repair.

    One of the biggest power outages was caused by a tree that hit power lines in Sammamish that took crews several hours to clear.

    A massive tree in Redmond struck power lines, cutting power to residents in the area.  The tree on 166th Avenue Northeast that fell at about 5 p.m.

    By Tuesday, crews have not been able to get it cleared.  The road remained closed in the 9200 block. 

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    Bear Creek Elementary School in Woodinville was hit by trees during the storm. Four trees fell on the roof over the gym, music room and main office. There was no major damage.

    Eastern Washington

    Two people died as strong winds blew through Eastern Washington.

    A man in Cheney died when his car crashed into a fallen tree. 

    A woman, identified by authorities as Carolyn M. Wilford, 70, died of head injuries after a tree landed on her car on Highway 904 about 15 miles southwest of Spokane.

    Avista Corp. was trying to restore power to more than 142,000 customers, mostly in Spokane County and northern Idaho.

    The utility said customers who lost power Tuesday should be prepared to go three to five days without electricity. Crews were expected to work around the clock until service was restored.

    "This is the largest crisis Avista has experienced in the company's 126-year history," Avista said in a news release.

    Updates across Western Washington:  

    KIRO 7 News logged post-storm updates on power restoration and storm damage this morning. See time-stamped updates below.

    [12:12 p.m.]  US 2 has reopened from Gold Bar to Skykomish. It is still closed at Skykomish.

    [11:45 a.m.] Redmond: 166th NE Update: One lane will soon be open, flaggers will alternate traffic.  Power line work will continue throughout day.

    [10:23 a.m.] Puget Sound Energy says most of their outages are in King County.

    [9:30 a.m.] King County Flood Warning Center has issued a Phase 3 alert for the Green River

    [8:48 a.m.] PSE: At least 25 of our transmission lines need to be repaired. They're a priority since they provide power to tens of thousands of customers.

    [8 a.m.] The Stillaguamish River at Arlington has dropped below flood stage as of 4:30 a.m.

    [7:55 a.m.] Snohomish County damage reporting hotline opens at noon today. Call 425-388-5088 to report home or business damage.

    [7:50 a.m.] PSE says because of widespread damage, some customers may be without power for days.

    [7:50 a.m.] Puget Sound Energy says its transmission and distribution networks were impacted by the storm,  including some substations.

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    [7:36 a.m.] Puyallup police: We still have dark intersections due to no power at 7 AV & 9 AV at S Meridian and 7 AV SE & 3 ST SE. 

    [7:30 a.m.] Mason PUD 3 making great strides in restoring power.

    [7:25 a.m.] Lewis County dealing with potential floods and had a 2.8 quake 23 miles Southeast of Ashford. No reports of shaking felt.

    [7:20 a.m.] Snohomish River near Monroe and Snohomish at major flooding stage with warnings for streams in urban areas.

    [7:10 a.m.]  Stevens Pass remains closed by heavy snow.

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    [7 a.m.] Ten school districts closed because of power outage

    [5:30 a.m.] Six crashes reported on southbound I-5 near SR 530. Hail, standing water made roads slick.

    [5 a.m.] Hail storm hits Arlington.

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