Prepare now for storms expected Thursday night and Saturday

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    The scene at 8th and Main in Edmonds after a wind storm last year.
    The scene at 8th and Main in Edmonds after a wind storm last year.

    Prepare now for downed trees and power outages as a one-two weekend weather punch hits Western Washington.

    The National Weather Service is warning residents of Western Washington to prepare for significant rain and high winds as back-to-back weather systems move into our area beginning Thursday afternoon.

    As the first significant windstorms of the season, these are expected to take a heavy toll on trees, especially those still in leaf.

    During a 2015 storm, power lines were taken down by falling branches on Hindley Lane in Edmonds. (File photos by Larry Vogel)
    During a 2015 storm, power lines were taken down by falling branches on Hindley Lane in Edmonds. (File photos by Larry Vogel)

    According to the Weather Service, the first system will hit late Thursday afternoon and continue into Friday morning bringing sustained winds of 20-30 mph and gusts up to 55 mph to the south county area. Conditions in the north county will be worse, with 30-40 mph winds and 60 mph gusts.

    The second storm is expected to hit on Saturday, and according to the Weather Service has the potential to be historic.

    “What we’re looking at is an incredibly deep, intense low-pressure system,” said NWS meteorologist Andy Haner. “It’s impressive even for us meteorologists.”

    At this point it is uncertain exactly where this storm will hit the coast. But according to Haner, if Washington sustains a direct hit it could be “something we haven’t seen in years.” Check the situation as it develops here.

    Snohomish County PUD is warning customers to expect “widespread power outages” from both systems.

    Last year, street trees by the James Village shopping center at 196th Street and Highway 99 were uprooted and blown over.
    Last year, street trees by the James Village shopping center at 196th Street and Highway 99 were uprooted and blown over.

    Some tips on what to do when the power goes out:

    • Never approach a downed power line
    • Never use outdoor barbecues or grills for indoor heating or cooking. They deplete oxygen while creating highly toxic carbon monoxide.
    • Unplug computers and other sensitive electronic equipment
    • Learn how to use the manual over-ride on your garage door

    More tips and information are available on the PUD website here.

    The PUD will post storm and power outage restoration updates on its main page and both its Facebook and Twitter sites.

    –By Larry Vogel

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