Winter Weather In Pacific Northwest Cuts Power To Thousands In Seattle, Dumps Snow On Cascades

SEATTLE (AP) — Winter weather brought high winds and snow to parts of the Pacific Northwest, knocking out power in some areas and dumping fresh snow across the Cascade Range.

Thousands of households were without power Saturday morning in the greater Seattle area after a night of rain and wind, the Seattle Times reported.

Seattle City Light reported 17 outages affecting more than 1,700 customers as of late morning, roughly two-thirds of them in South Seattle, according to the utility's outage map. The utility said it was investigating the cause.

Smaller outages, some caused by fallen trees, were affecting other neighborhoods throughout Seattle, according to the Seattle Times.

Communities across the region were affected. Puget Sound Energy reported 79 outages impacting more more than 4,700 customers as of about 11:30 a.m. The outages stretched from Kitsap County to as far south as the state capital Olympia, the news outlet reported.

In Oregon, more than 2,000 cusotmers in the Portland area also lost power, outage maps from Portland General Electric and Pacific Power showed.

The power cuts came as high winds swept across the region, reaching 52 mph (84 kph) at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, according to the National Weather Service's office in Seattle.

The NWS said the winds were expected to weaken in the Seattle area by the afternoon.

The high winds prompted Olympic National Park, on the Olympia Peninsula west of Seattle, to close several coastal campgrounds. It warned that wind storms can whip up life-threatening waves on the coast and cause trees to fall and block roads.

The storms also brought snow to the Cascades. As of Friday afternoon, Paradise in Mount Rainier National Park had received 14 inches of snow over 24 hours, according to preliminary reports from the National Weather Service.

In the Oregon Cascades, the Mt. Bachelor ski resort near Bend hosted its opening day Saturday after receiving roughly a foot of snow in the previous 24 hours. Timberline on Mount Hood reported similar snow fall over the same time period and had expected to open its chair lifts but had to postpone until Sunday because of high winds, the resort said in an Instagram post. Mount Bachelor said it was also experiencing high winds.

Officials in Washington and Oregon have warned drivers to be cautious while driving in the windy and snowy conditions, use tire chains if needed and have supplies in their vehicles, such as water and blankets, in case of traffic delays.