PORT TOWNSEND, Wash. - Blustery weather swept through communities across western Washington on Thursday. Port Townsend saw wind gusts up to 60 miles per hour, the highest in the state. A High Wind Warning was issued in the Admiralty Inlet area from 10 a.m. Thursday to 10 a.m. Friday.
Directors with Jefferson County Department of Emergency Management said their Storm Team is closely monitoring the forecast through Friday morning. Should the winds cause severe damages, the team will activate an Emergency Operations Center. Officials with National Weather Service are encouraging the public to be prepared for downed trees, power lines and widespread power outages.
"Because of everything that’s been going on, we have a lot of the emergency stuff set up already," said Tiburcio Brennan, a Port Townsend resident.
Several people spent the windy day watching the waves crash at North Beach Park, one of the windiest spots in the city.
"Where we are at, North Beach, it comes in right off of the straight. And so, this is where a lot of the wind is. So, if you’re into windy weather like me, this is a great place to hang out," said Brennan.
"Lately it’s been blowing the sand down the beach and so you feel like you’re in the artic or something fighting against really intense wind," said Lily Angell, while visiting the beach.
Josh Porter, who has been kitesurfing for seven years, said he waited all week for the high winds.
"I was up at 6 a.m. I thought it was [windy] all day, but you know, you get what you get," said Porter.
He figured Thursday would have been be perfect for kitesurfing, but said the wind was not as ideal as he hoped. He was still able to catch a few waves.
"This has been a challenging day. We really thought we were going to have strong consistent winds all day and it’s just been twisting around," said Porter. "It’s just been changing about every half hour."
Changing winds can be dangerous at top speeds. Emergency management said high winds are not uncommon this time of year, and most people in the community know how to prepare for severe storms. While some residents brace themselves for what could be a damaging windstorm, Porter said kite surfers like him just want to catch enough air to enjoy the waves.
"We really hope for 25 knots of wind and hopefully chest-high waves. But, half the time we’re dreaming," said Porter.