Power lost in Alderbrook area this morningHigh winds buffeted the North Coast again today as the heavy storm continued unabated. Emergency services agencies reported few major problems, but were coping with small power outages and reports of downed trees.

The U.S. Coast Guard warned boaters that winds could be 35 mph and 35 knots. Petty Officer 1st Class Jamie DeSanno said the warning indicated steady wind speed.

"It's gusting higher than that," he said.

A high wind warning from the National Weather Service was in effect through 11 a.m. today, with the possibility it might be extended.

More than 100 people in Astoria lost power this morning, when a loose branch toppled a power line. The outage took place at 6:45 a.m. in the Alderbrook area on Birch Street, Pacific Power officials reported. Power would be restored by late morning.

At 6:15 a.m. Thursday, Seaside police responded to a downed power line at the intersection of 24th Avenue and Roosevelt Drive. The line did not block traffic.

At approximately 10:45 a.m. Thursday, Seaside police dispatched Hamlet Volunteer Fire Department to U.S. Highway 26, near the north fork of the Necanicum River. A tree and power line had fallen across the road and traffic was stopped in both directions. West Oregon Electric Cooperative Inc. also responded to the site and the road was cleared by 11:10 a.m.

Seaside police also responded to many calls of discharged alarms and wayward garbage cans because of the strong winds.

The storm continued as big events on the North Coast high school sports calendar loomed tonight. Seaside was to host Astoria in the Clatsop Clash football game at 7 p.m. The Seaside girls soccer team also was to play the Fishermen at the Warrenton Soccer Complex at 6 p.m., preceded by a ceremony honoring seniors and their parents. Warrenton football team's seniors and their parents were also being highlighted during the home matchup against Clatskanie, set to start at 7 p.m.

The zone forecast for the North Oregon Coast and much of southwest Washington, including Astoria., Cannon Beach, Tilla-mook and Pacific City as well as Long Beach, Naselle and Raymond, Wash., was for decreasing rain through the day with temperatures perhaps reaching 70 degrees. The south wind was expected to continue to blow at 25 to 35 mph with gusts up to 60 mph decreasing this afternoon. Tonight the forecast was for mostly cloudy with a chance of rain, windy, with temperatures dropping to the mid-50s. Winds may continue to gust to around 45 mph.

Saturday's forecast calls for cloud with a chance of rain and continued winds with the temperature around 65. Rain is likely Sunday and it may continue Monday and Tuesday, forecasters say. Longer forecasts suggest the weather will continue well into next week.

The winds are from a storm in the Pacific west of Vancouver Island, with Western Washington suffering most from the gale-force winds. The winds cut electricity to more than 50,000 homes and businesses and figured in the death of a man who stepped on a blown-down power line.

The principal highway on the west side of the Olympic Peninsula was closed after a mudslide triggered by heavy rain knocked a logging truck into Lake Crescent, and falling trees damaged houses and at least one car in the Puget Sound area Thursday.

A Coast Guard lifeboat was dispatched after a 75-foot fishing boat ran aground on Sinclair Island near Bellingham. No injuries were reported and the four-member crew expected to get the vessel afloat on the rising tide, officials said.

Flood warnings were issued for several rivers with the biggest overflows anticipated along the Skagit about 60 miles north of Seattle and the Elwha near Port Angeles on the north end of the Olympic Peninsula.

Rainfall in the 24 hours ending at 8:30 a.m. Thursday amounted to more than three inches at a number of gauges on the west side of the peninsula and two inches in Bremerton, across Puget Sound from Seattle.

The blustery weather resulted from a strong storm front that passed through the northwest quadrant of the state Thursday. Winds gusted to 46 mph in Everett, 50 mph in Bellingham and 60 mph at Brinnon on the west side of Hood Canal, officials said.

More than 15,000 electricity customers remained in the dark early Friday.

A man was electrocuted and died when he stomped on a downed power line on Washington 9, about 30 miles north of Seattle, Snohomish County sheriff's spokeswoman Jan Jorgensen said.

As the driver went to get a fire extinguisher, the 32-year-old passenger stomped on a downed 7,200-volt line in the road, believing it was a burning flare, Jorgensen said. The accident was witnessed by several motorists, she added.

"He was being a Good Samaritan and trying to put out the fire, but it was a downed wire," Jorgensen said.

The line is maintained by the Snohomish County Public Utility District, which had about 11,000 customers without power at various times, utility spokesman Mike Thorne said.

"It's important for all people to know that if you see downed lines, just stay away from them because it could be dangerous," Thorne said. "This is a terrible tragedy, and it's always real dangerous when we have these kinds of winds and downed lines."

Puget Sound Energy had 30,000 customers without power at various times Thursday and 15,000 were still without electricity Friday morning, mostly in Skagit and Whatcom counties, just south of the Canadian border, spokesman Tim Bader said.

Seattle City Light officials reported electricity out to 9,100 customers in the city before power was restored by 10 p.m. Thursday.

A mudslide on U.S. 101 west of Port Angeles knocked a logging truck into Lake Crescent, but the driver escaped through a window and was uninjured. The highway was likely to remain closed through midday Friday, transportation officials said.

A slide near Pysht closed Washington 112, cutting road access to Clallam Bay, Sekiu, Neah Bay and the Makah Indian Reservation at the northwest tip of the Olympic Peninsula.

In Federal Way, Robin Oleson was awakened Thursday by the sound of a 50-foot tree crashing into her house. She escaped injury, although some of the branches penetrated her bedroom ceiling.

Falling trees also damaged some homes in the Bremerton area, hit a car in the north end of Seattle and narrowly missed two children playing outside in Marysville, officials reported.


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