UPDATED: Power outages reported during ice storm

power outages in northern ferndale during freezing rain event 2017-12-29 1700
Power outages reported in northern Ferndale impacting nearly 4,000 about 5pm during a freezing rain event (December 29, 2017). Courtesy of Puget Sound Energy

Unlike the Lynden and Sumas area with over 4,000 without power, Ferndale had been spared from power outages most of the day as freezing rain had been falling since this morning weighing down tree branches and wires with a coating of ice.

After 4pm this afternoon, several outages had been reported in the north Ferndale area. One large outage reportedly left 738 Puget Sound Energy (PSE) customers without power. Two others occurring after 4:30pm involved close to 3,000. Nearly 1,000 4,000 Ferndale area PSE customers were reported to be without power due to several outages (see map). Outages are primarily in heavily wooded outlying areas (updated at 5pm).

Due to the higher number of outages than usual in the area, PSE is not providing updated information as soon as they otherwise would regarding estimations of when power may be restored. Instead 2-hour estimates have been given.

The National Weather Service replaced their Winter Weather Advisory with an Ice Storm Warning this afternoon that would be in effect until midnight. The alert warned freezing rain was expected into the evening but that a shift to westerly wind would bring warming that would move temperatures around the area to well above freezing.

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6pm Update
PSE has been notifying those impacted that power restoration is taking longer than normal given the large number of outages. According to PSE, there are approximately 90 outages in the north Whatcom County area that have left approximately 11,110 PSE customers without power. For some perspective, there are only 25 PSE customers across the rest of the Puget Sound area who are reportedly without power.

8:45pm Update
PSE is now reporting nearly 12,500 without power due to over 100 outages in Whatcom County. Neighbors are reporting trees and branches continue going down under the weight of the ice build up.

Forecasters expect a low pressure system will moving east later tonight bringing west-southwest winds that will push temperatures up into the upper 30s to near 40° and bring an end to the freezing rain.

 

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