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Windstorm causes little damage on Whidbey

A flagger stops traffic on Sills Road Thursday morning after a tree fell into the northbound lane. - Brian Kelly / The Record
A flagger stops traffic on Sills Road Thursday morning after a tree fell into the northbound lane.
— image credit: Brian Kelly / The Record

A storm out of the west swept the entire Washington coast and inland Wednesday night and Thursday morning, scattering trees and limbs on Whidbey Island but causing no apparent injuries, officials said.

Remarkably, there were no power outages reported on South Whidbey, only a minor outage that affected about five customers in Coupeville and a few more limited disruptions in Oak Harbor, Puget Sound Energy reported.

"It seemed pretty quiet," Abigail Elliott, PSE spokeswoman, said Thursday morning.

Sustained winds of 39 miles per hour with gusts to 46 mph were recorded at Naval Air Station Whidbey Island between 11 p.m. Wednesday and 6 a.m. Thursday, said Jay Albrecht, a meteorologist at the National Weather Service in Seattle.

He said the path and intensity of the storm mirrored the Weather Service's alert posted Wednesday morning.

"It was pretty windy all night," he said. "But it was a reasonably well-behaved storm. Overall, we're pretty pleased with our forecast."

The storm hit the Washington Coast from the Columbia River to the tip of Vancouver Island with sustained winds of 40 mph and gusts as high as 58 mph at Grays Harbor, Albrecht said.

Gale warnings were in effect for all inland waters, he added.

The wind knocked down trees and branches around South Whidbey during the night, but no injuries or damage to buildings or vehicles was reported, Island County Fire District 3 Deputy Chief Mike Cotton said Thursday morning.

Cotton said the district responded to calls of trees and limbs on Maxwelton, Rivendell, Millman and Wilkinson roads, East Harbor Drive and the Useless Bay area.

He said most of the calls came between 2:30 and 6:30 a.m. Thursday.

"It was really pretty quiet," Cotton said. "It was an event that wasn't."

Albrecht of the Weather Service said cool air aloft may create showers and thunderstorms Thursday and Friday, but the wind will taper off by the weekend, with mild spring weather expected Sunday and Monday.

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