Thousands without power as crews clear downed trees from deadly storm

SEATTLE -- Thousands of people are still without power Monday morning a day after a fierce wind storm whipped through Western Washington.

Strong winds toppled trees and power lines, temporarily closed major roads and knocked out power to stoplights, complicating the Monday morning commute.

One man died Sunday afternoon when a massive evergreen tree fell on his car in Seward Park in south Seattle.  He was later identified as 42-year-old Eric Medalle of Seattle. A toddler in the vehicle was taken to a Seattle hospital with minor injuries.

    Passenger train service between Seattle and Everett has been temporarily suspended after a mudslide south of Mukilteo covered railroad tracks.

    The State Route 520 bridge across Lake Washington reopened Monday morning after being closed overnight so that crews could repair damage from high winds.

    Utilities in the region say crews are working to repair down power lines and remove downed trees and other debris.

    Power outages

    At least  250,000 customers were without power at the height of the storm.

    Crews from Seattle City Light, Puget Sound Energy and Snohomish PUD were working as quickly and safely as possible to restore service.

    By Monday morning PSE estimated roughly 40,000 of its customers remained without power. Seattle City Light: 3,800.


    Wind gusts crested 50 and even 60 mph for much of the region early Sunday afternoon.

    By 5 p.m., the National Weather Service in Seattle said winds remained strong, but had started to decrease for much of the region.

    Deadly storm

    There was at least one death in Sunday's storm.

    A man and a toddler inside a vehicle hit by a tree early Sunday afternoon in Seattle's Seward Park.

    Seattle Fire officials said the man died, but a passerby was able to rescue the little girl from the backseat of the vehicle. She had minor injuries, and was taken to Harborview Medical Center to be checked out.

    The tree came down in the 8500 block of Seward Park Road a little after 1:30 pm. It's unclear whether the vehicle was driving or parked at the time.

    Dangerous driving

    An overturned semi-truck temporarily blocked eastbound traffic on the Tacoma Narrows Bridge Sunday.

    Washington State Patrol says winds, which topped 50mph at the time, contributed to the crash.

    Fortunately no one was hurt and no other cars were hit.

    Shortly before 5 p.m. the semi was back on its wheels, but crews needed to assess the bridge for damage before lanes could be reopened.

    The SR 520 bridge was closed due to high winds. Video from the scene showed dangerous conditions as water crashed over the floating bridge.

    WSDOT said it was the first time since October of 2014 that the floating bridge had been closed due to high winds.

    The storm damaged the bridge and it remained closed through early Monday morning when it was reopened to traffic around 2:35am.

    A mudslide forced the closure of passenger service between Everett and Seattle through at least Tuesday, officials said.

    Fallen trees blocked several lanes of SB Interstate 405 at Filbert Road around 5 p.m. Crews were on scene working to quickly reopen the freeway.

    Better weather ahead

    The National Weather Service said a High Wind Warning remained in effect until 11 p.m.

    Follow Q13 FOX on Facebook for live updates from our Weather Alert team, including Walter Kelley, David Rose and Marni Hughes:

    Here's Walter's forecast for the week:

    Big Storm blows through. Gusts have been well over 50mph. The strongest gusts recorded were up in the 60mph range. A few peak winds 65 at West Point near downtown Seattle. This storm dies down by midnight. It will be windy through the Monday morning commute but not as severe as today. Morning commute gusts will be around 30 mph. Monday will have passing squalls and thunderstorms. There will be some sun breaks too. Tuesday has just a few passing showers. Wednesday through Sunday will be nice. Sunny with mild weather and NO rain.

    Widespread damage

    Here are some photos/videos of damage shared with us by Q13 News viewers: