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Freeland power outage caused by fallen tree limb

Freeland was hit with back-to-back power outages Tuesday evening.

Approximately 3,100 customers of Puget Sound Energy were left without electricity, said PSE spokeswoman Allison Stanford.

The first outage happened just before 4:30 p.m. Nov. 15.

Stanford said crews started work to restore power at 6 p.m. and wrapped up work before 7:30 p.m.

The lights didn't stay on for long, however.

"Surprisingly just a few hours later, we had a tree limb come down and affect the same two circuits," she said.

The same 3,100 customers lost power.

"Double whammy there," Stanford noted.

All power was restored before 10 p.m.

Freeland businesses struggled to deal with the outages.

Payless Foods still had a good crowd shopping during the dinner-hour outage, but overhead lights inside the central food store were sparse, though the store's generator kept the refrigeration units going, according to an employee.

Further up the road, however, other businesses sat in the dark, including Island Athletic Club, Community Thrift and Skagit Farmers Supply.

The Shell gas station at Fish Road and Highway 525 lost power for much of the evening. The power came back on at 7 p.m., then went out again just after 9 p.m., said employee Alison Tabach.

Tabach said employees went home went the lights went out, but came back to work after power was restored.

Stanford said the wind-related outages are typical for this time of year.

The blackouts in Freeland came during the latest day of strong winds on Whidbey Island.

High winds on Whidbey Island over the weekend led to small but scattered power outages across the island.

Temporary outages were reported in Clinton, Langley, Freeland, Greenbank and Oak Harbor.

One of the larger outages was just before 5 p.m. Friday, Nov. 11 on Highway 525 near Langley. Roughly 400 customers lost power after a tree limb fell onto a power line. Power was restored early Saturday morning, Stanford said.

High winds that knocked down trees and lines also prompted road closures across the South End. Access to Scatchet Head was limited to Cultus Bay Road after Bailey and Swede Hill roads were closed late Friday.

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