A windstorm swept through the Puget Sound area Friday, toppling trees and downing power lines.
By Friday night, Puget Sound Energy was reporting nearly 8,000 customers were without power, including over 300 in Pierce County. Tacoma Power listed more than 50 customers still in the dark Friday night. Earlier in the day, both utilities had reported far more outages.
The National Weather Service said winds of 20-35 mph with gusts up to 55 mph were expected.
Even Tacoma’s Grand Cinema was out of power for a while Friday afternoon. But the theater reported its power returned just after 1 p.m.
A tree and power line fell across the entrance to Liberty Ridge Elementary School in Bonney Lake Friday, knocking out power to the school. Students remained in class, said Sumner School District spokeswoman Elle Warmuth.
Neither buses nor parents were able to drive into the school property. Pierce County Sheriff’s deputies blocked off entrances to the school until Puget Sound Energy could remove the hazards.
The high winds and falling limbs prompted the City of Puyallup to close its parks.
Sustained winds of 31 mph were reported at Tacoma Narrows Airport at 12:45 p.m. with gusts up to 43 mph.
A 102 mph gust was reported at Crystal Summit (elevation 6,830 feet) at 12:22 p.m.
Hoquiam was reporting winds of 40 mph with a 60 mph gust. Olympia reported a gust of 54 mph and Renton had a 47 mph gust.
Satellite images and radar show the center of the storm just off the Washington coast. Destruction Island clocked sustained winds of 66 mph.
Staff writer Debbie Cafazzo contributed to this report