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Strong winds down trees, cause power outages around Puget Sound

Snohomish, King and Pierce counties were under a Wind Advisory until 4 p.m. Tuesday.

SEATTLE — Blustering winds that moved through western Washington Monday night through Tuesday caused power outages, downed trees, downed electrical wires and even a bridge closure have been reported around the Puget Sound region. 

The severe weather system prompted brief tornado warnings for parts of Kitsap County. 

The Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) briefly closed the State Route 104 Hood Canal Bridge Tuesday morning due to strong winds and large waves. The bridge was reopened shortly before noon. 

The department tweeted a photo showing waves going onto the bridge deck "about 30 feet in the air."

WSDOT said crews consider closing the bridge when winds reach or exceed 40 mph for 15 minutes or longer and opening the draw span helps relieve “intense pressure” on the bridge.

Tens of thousands of customers were without power throughout the region. However, that number quickly dwindled into Tuesday night.

Puget Sound Energy was reporting fewer than 5,000 customers without power by 10 p.m.. Earlier in the day, that number reached nearly 20,000. Many of those outages were in Kitsap County and near the Cascade foothills.

Even Seattle City Light customers were hit hard. Though the number of customers without power by 10 p.m. Tuesday was below 1,000.

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Multiple schools in the region were forced to cancel class Tuesday. For a full list of school closures, click here

A power outage at the Ballard Locks (or Chittenden Locks) damaged some electrical equipment that controls the locks gates. The Army Corps of Engineers (ACE) was forced to order parts for the repair but said it may not receive them until Wednesday. 

The ACE said that it would begin manual lockages until it is dark out. 

Downed trees and power pole caused road closures throughout the morning, too. 

Just before 2 p.m., a power pole went down at E Madison Street and 29th Avenue E. Both directions of traffic on Madison Street are blocked. 

A downed tree across Lake City Way NE closed lanes between NE 95th and 98th for several hours. Traffic has since reopened, according to the Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT).

In Renton, multiple trees were brought down at Bremerton Avenue NE and NE 4th Street. One tree even fell on the roof of a nearby apartment complex. Bremerton Avenue NE is closed while crews work to remove the fallen trees.

Power lines are also being brought down, which is expected to cause further outages throughout the day.

The Seattle Fire Department responded to a residential fire after wires came down and smoke was observed in the area of 40th Avenue NE and NE 70th Street.

Crews were able to put water on the fire before another fire in a nearby residential building was reported. Firefighters were able to knock down the flames a short time later.

Investigators said that the house fire was accidental and likely caused by the downed wires. There were no injuries, and the home was not occupied at the time of the fire.

SCL is responding to secure the wires.

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