THURSTON COUNTY, Wash. - Parts of Thurston County are experiencing a double dose of severe weather: enough rain is falling to call a flood watch until Saturday evening and the area is also under a wind advisory until late Friday night.
Winds gusting to 45 miles an hour were strong enough to pull down trees and limbs into power lines. Drivers traveling throughout the county used caution as heavy rain fell steadily all day. Some people in downtown Olympia covered themselves in rain jackets and umbrellas bracing for the worst of the storm and the season.
"I already prepared our well and got everything warmed up. We’re sure there’s going to be snow sooner than later this year. So taking the precautions right away," said resident Marie Seguin.
Crews with Puget Sound Energy were chasing and repairing several down power lines that were wiped out by trees and limbs in some neighborhoods. Though only a few customers were affected, stronger winds and heavy rain were in the forecast. Thurston County Public Works anticipates more will come toppling down.
"I definitely don’t think we’re finished with that activity for the day. I think that’s going to be top on our list today for sure," said Mike Lowman, Road Operations Manager for Thurston County Public Works.
Lowman said, so far, most of the damages from down trees seemed to be on the west side of the county. There were at least four cases near Olympia alone. As members of the utility company prepared for a long day’s work, Lowman said crews with public works were also planning for overtime.
"As soon as this wind and all of that impact is done, we start focusing on the cold weather that looks like it’s coming next week. So, just another event that we have prepared for and that we’ll be ready for," said Lowman.
As all workers prepare for more inclement weather and response, they ask the community for patience.
"Try to give us a little bit of grace, give us some time, give us some space to go duct our work. If you see a road closed sign, please adhere to that. There might be something on the other side that we’re trying to intentionally keep you away of," said Lowman.
Public Works said crews were also responding to flooding in the county. Managers asked people to make plans at home for their safety and for the safety of crews working in the weather conditions.