Thursday’s windstorm brought down trees and caused power outages for more than 300,000 customers across Western Washington. While the peak of the windstorm has passed, the damage from the storm remains.
Bellingham Airport and Paine Field in Everett each got hit with gusts up to 66 mph, Mount Baker has reported a 117 mph gust, and White Pass has recorded a 107 mph gust, according to the National Weather Service.
The strong winds caused waves to crash onto the shore and clear into a parking lot along the Bellingham waterfront. Claudette Johnson brought her kids down to witness the spectacular sight.
"It was pretty exhilarating, but kinda scary at the same time," said Johnson.
There were plenty of scary moments not just in Bellingham, but across the Puget Sound area.
Strong winds caused countless trees to come down in Whatcom, Skagit, Clallam, and Snohomish counties.
Further south in Skagit County, strong wind gusts blew power lines down across I-5 near Bow Hill Road where at least three cars were hit or entangled. The highway was shut down for several hours, but there were no reports of serious injuries.
Snohomish County PUD Crews and Edmonds Firefighters closed 100th Avenue West near 244th Street West after the wind snapped a tree in half.
“The power went out and there was this big huge boom and it's been out the rest of the time,” neighbors explained.
Jim Kirk was just a few miles away when he had his close encounter on the front porch.
“I heard the crack turned around and it dropped and grazed the back of my head with this branch here,” Kirk explained.
The branch knocked off the railings and damaged some parts of the stairs, but Kirk knows he's lucky.
“I realized once it hit if that part hit up here that could have been it for me but I'm very happy to be OK,” said Kirk.
The Oak Harbor Fire Department shared video on Facebook that showed broken and snapped utility poles and downed power lines along Crescent Harbor Road on Whidbey Island Thursday afternoon.
“Be careful with power lines. Always assume they are charged/dangerous,” the post read.
Cliff Schiller said he was at work Thursday morning when he got a call that a 150-foot tree fell through the roof of his Olympia home.
“It was windy when I went to work, but it didn’t seem like it was that powerful, but I guess it picked up and caused the damage that it did,” he said.
Schiller said his wife was in bed when the tree fell through the roof and narrowly escaped injury.
“She was at the head of the bed, and the tree passed through the bottom part of the bed and lifted the mattress up, so she went up in the air a bit,” said Schiller. “Luckily someone else was home and was able to help her out of the bed and out of the room safely.”
Sounder service north of Seattle was suspended for about two hours Thursday evening after winds caused power lines to hang down over the tracks near Magnolia.
"Apparently trees aren’t all we are dealing with today," Washington State Patrol Trooper Chelsea Hodgson said in a tweet with a photo of a trampoline trapped between power lines in Grays Harbor.
Thursday's windstorm was just the latest in a series of storms that have saturated the grounds, pushed waters across roadways, and caused power outages for thousands this week.
Clallam County emergency officials warned people of possible evacuations as high waters surged toward several homes.
Boat owners in Port Townsend scrambled to secure their lines as the winds whipped up 60 mph gusts.
But through it all, people took time to help one another. When yet another tree came down across a road near the Bellingham Airport, Brooks Tarter got out of her truck and started playing traffic cop.
"I'm actually a certified flagger with Local 292 out of Everett," said Tarter. "I was in the right place at the right time. Just trying to give a little holiday cheer, so people don't get too cranky."
The Associated Press contributed to this report.