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Windstorm building across South Whidbey

Strong winds swept South Whidbey on Friday morning as a storm off the Washington Coast made its way inland. The storm was expected to peak in the afternoon, then subside.

Sustained winds of 40 miles per hour with gusts to 60 mph around Whidbey Island were expected by afternoon, said Brent Bower of the National Weather Service in Seattle.

Bower said the rain and windstorm were building off the coast due to an extreme low-pressure system, and are expected to sweep an area from north of Vancouver, British Columbia to Oregon.

Hardest hit was expected to be the northwest corner of Washington state, including Whidbey Island, Bower said.

Winds to 70 mph were recorded Friday morning off the Washington coast, and gale warnings were in effect for much of the Strait of Juan de Fuca, he said.

As of 9:30 a.m. Friday, the wind had caused no problems for Island County Fire District 3 headquartered in Freeland, a spokeswoman said.

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