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Early morning windstorm sweeps Whidbey

A windy, wet cold front rapidly moving in from the west early Thursday morning caused scattered power outages and downed trees, but no reported injuries, officials said.

"Southerly winds shifted to the west and were aimed right at Whidbey Island," Jeff Michalski, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Seattle, said Thursday morning.

It was the second time in a week that turbulent weather swept the island. A storm this past Friday also felled trees and disrupted power.

Sustained winds averaging 33 miles per hour with gusts to 40 mph were recorded across Whidbey Island, Michalski said. Naval Air Station Whidbey Island in Oak Harbor recorded high gusts at 47 mph about 3 a.m., he said.

Michalski said winds were lighter across the southern end of the island. Winds from 15 to 25 mph were recorded at Langley, he said.

The wind caused small, scattered power outages early Thursday morning. About 140 customers were effected by mid-morning, and repair crews had been dispatched, said Abigail Elliott, Puget Sound Energy spokeswoman.

"They were all weather and wind related," Elliott said at mid-morning. "Crews are still working on them."

Deputy Chief Mike Cotton of Island County Fire District 3 said firefighters had responded to only three weather-related incidents by mid-morning Thursday.

A tree was blown down along Sandy Point Road, blocking half the road, Cotton said. Two other downed trees also were reported along East Harbor Road, and at Coles Road near Craw Road.

Michalski of the Weather Service said peak winds from the storm occurred early Thursday morning, and that the winds are expected to die down by Thursday evening.

The forecast is for showers Thursday night, decreasing Friday, with a dry weekend expected, Michalski said.

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