Weather doesn't cooperate but storm cleanup makes progress
Western Washington could get a short break from nasty weather Monday, but another shot of wind and rain is expected Tuesday and Wednesday.
Seattle Times staff reporters
Another strong weather front moved across Western Washington on Sunday afternoon, bringing wind gusts of up to 40 mph to the Seattle area, causing a smattering of new power outages even as utility crews worked to restore service from last week's snow and ice storms.
In Bellevue, a mudslide and water-main break forced the shutdown of West Lake Sammamish Parkway Southeast for several days.
And the Kent School District canceled school for Monday, citing power outages, poor road conditions, downed trees and disrupted supply deliveries. Neighboring Auburn School District will start two hours late.
As of Sunday night, no other districts had reported plans to close on SchoolReport.org, the emergency communications system for Western Washington public schools, though a couple in the hard-hit Olympia area planned to start late Monday.
Western Washington is expected to get a bit of a break from the steady rain Monday. But another shot of wind and rain is on tap for Tuesday and Wednesday, although the bulk of that storm is currently aimed at the southern half of Western Washington.
The system is expected to bring 15- to 25-mph winds to the area and more rainfall, said meteorologist Johnny Burg of the National Weather Service, though "it will not be more wind than what we had today (Sunday)."
Flooding could occur along the Chehalis and Skokomish rivers, Burg said.
About 80,000 Puget Sound Energy customers were still without power Sunday from last week's storm, and the gusty winds and rain-saturated soils brought down more branches and trees in the Cascade foothills, creating a few new outages.
"We're all holding our breaths in hopes that we don't see those 50- to 60-mph gusts that had been forecast," said a PSE spokesman, Roger Thompson. "We're kind of superstitious. We don't even like talking about it at this point."
On Sunday, PSE had 900 people in 250 crews in the field and about a thousand people, from interns to the CEO, working in the office and in the company's emergency-operations center and call center, said Andy Wappler, a spokesman for the utility.
Between midnight and about 5 p.m. Sunday, the utility had brought power back to about 50,000 homes, he said.
He said PSE was now doing the most time-consuming work: finding and fixing localized smaller problems that took out power not to entire towns or areas but to individual homes or clusters of residences.
About 2,600 customers in the Ridgecrest/North City neighborhoods of Shoreline lost power around 9 p.m. Sunday, Seattle City Light officials said. The cause of the outage was not known.
On West Lake Sammamish Parkway in Bellevue, a water-main break and mudslide undermined the roadway, closing a stretch between Northeast Second Place at Northup Way and Southeast 26th Street. Bellevue utility crews said the road would be closed for several days, with only those residents living on either side of the slide allowed access, while city soil engineers work to stabilize the soil.
Four homes were evacuated. Mud entered three of the homes, and a fourth was threatened with mud. Thirty homes lost water service.
"We don't know if the mudslide caused the water-main break or if the water-main break caused the mudslide," said Bellevue Utilities Deputy Director Mike Jackman. A small section of a gas line also was ruptured, he said.
Directly below the slide, a garage was filled with mud, and a car, barely visible, was pressed against the ceiling.
Rick Crinzi, who lives in the 500 block of West Lake Sammamish Parkway Southeast, said he called 911 after he heard the mudslide.
"There was a huge crash, and all of a sudden you could see all the mud come sliding down," he said. "The gas line was flailing around like a snake."
As rain continued to fall Sunday afternoon, PSE was working to turn off the gas to a minor line that serves two homes.
Sunday's system brought the highest winds to coastal areas, said Burg, with 67-mph gusts clocked at Destruction Island. Seattle-Tacoma International Airport recorded a gust of 43 mph.
The wind caused Mount Si High School and Snoqualmie Elementary to lose power Sunday afternoon, concerning parents whose children had spent most of the past week out of school.
PSE spokesman Wappler called the latest outages fairly small.
Seattle Public Utility officials said over the weekend that food and yard waste, garbage and recycling collections would resume a normal schedule beginning Monday.
Residential customers who missed a pickup can set out double the normal amount of garbage, recycling and yard waste on their regular collection day and will not be charged extra. Customers who have extra recycling materials that don't fit in their city container should place the materials in sturdy bins or boxes and put them next to the recycling cart.
Extra garbage should be put in plastic bags or a garbage can, up to 32 gallons in size, and placed next to regular garbage. Extra yard waste should go into cans labeled "yard waste," kraft paper bags or reusable yard-waste bags, or should be tied into bundles.
Katherine Long: 206-464-2219 or email@example.com. On Twitter @katherinelong.