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UPDATED: Wednesday wind and rain storm update

UPDATES AT THE BOTTOM OF STORY

The wind and rain arrived as promised today but, forecasters forewarn, the worst has yet to hit.

According to a weather station located near Ferndale High School, several wind gusts have been recorded near 50mph since 11am.

At least 5 power outages have been reported in the Ferndale area impacting about 800 Puget Sound Energy customers, 790 of those residing on Lummi Island where the power outage is. Those outages began being reported after 11am today.

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Given that PSE is swamped with outages throughout the Puget Sound area (as of 2:50pm, it was reported nearly 5,000 PSE customers were without power), no estimates for restoring power are being given.

There have been several reports of trees and power lines down in the east county. One instance was reported in the Ferndale area at Brown Road and Portal Way as this story was being written. Downed wires were reported to not be blocking the roads in that instance.

According to weather forecast computer models, the strongest winds are expected to arrive after 3pm, peaking between 5pm and 6pm. An updated High Wind Warning issued by the National Weather Service increased their estimate for wind gusts from 50mph to 55mph as of 1pm. The High Wind Warning remains in effect until 9pm this evening.

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Also forecast in concerning amounts, rain has been off and on today but not in the amounts previously forecast. Earlier forecasts held that between 1 and 2 inches were likely to fall today. Revised forecasts now expect 0.25 inches.

The Nooksack River level forecast, effected more by rains in the mountains than locally, remains the same with the river expected to crest short of the 17-foot mark about 2pm Thursday. But new in the forecast is the river cresting again late Sunday night at about the same point.

No traffic impacts in the Ferndale area had been reported as of 2:30pm.

UPDATE 4pm
A power outage reported about 3:30pm in the Sandy Point Heights neighborhoods is impacting over 300 PSE customers. Due to current work volume, PSE is not providing time estimates for restoring power.

Winds have stayed relatively constant with gusts around the 40mph mark. Rain has picked up significantly with nearly 0.33 inches reported to have fallen between 2:30pm and 4pm.

UPDATE 6pm

tree dwn blocking lk terrell rd between heights and slater rd 2017-10-18 photo spw
Tree down during high winds forced the closure of Lake Terrell Road between Waldron Drive and Slater Road (October 18, 2017). Photo courtesy Sandy Point Watch

Lake Terrell Road, south of Slater Road, is closed due to a tree down across the road.

PSE reports much of Lummi Island remains without power after an outage began about noon today impacting just over 400 customers on the island. Over 300 in the Sandy Point Heights neighborhood are also reportedly still without power. 30 PSE customers are without power around Ham Road and Arnie Road.

Due to current work volume (just about 36,000 PSE customers around the Puget Sound are currently without power), PSE is not providing time estimates for restoring power.

Winds have been on the decline since 2pm with gusts staying below 40mph in the Ferndale area. Also, since 2pm, nearly an inch of rain has fallen in the Ferndale area making it a total of 1.23 inches so far today.

UPDATE 7:45pm

power outage map 2017-10-18 1950
Map of area impacted by power outage (October 18, 2017). Source: Puget Sound Energy

Almost 1900 PSE customers lost power about 7:30pm following a report of a transformer fire at Washington Street and Main Street. But neighbors in the Sandy Point Heights area have seen their power restored. Lummi Island neighbors are still without power.

Unfortunately, PSE is still dealing with a high volume of outages and are not able to provide estimates for when power will be restored. Nearly 40,000 PSE customers are without power around the Puget Sound.

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