Washington wind cuts power to thousands

Washington wind cuts power to thousands

Utility crews worked to restore power to thousands of homes Monday after a fierce wind storm struck eastern Washington, toppling trees and tearing down power lines.

The wind on Sunday was clocked unofficially at 130 mph at the Mission Ridge ski area, about 12 miles southwest of Wenatchee.

Chelan County Public Utility District officials reported about 15,000 customers in the dark at the height of the windstorm, and thousands of others lost electricity in neighboring Douglas County. The roof was blown off a billiard hall in East Wenatchee.

The power could be out for days in some areas, said utility district spokesman Steve Lachowicz.

Sunday’s storm east of the Cascades followed blustery weather that cut electricity to around 150,000 utility customers late Friday and early Saturday in western Washington.

Major east-west routes through the Cascade Range were also closed periodically for avalanche control. Interstate 90 at Snoqualmie Pass and U.S. 2 at Stevens Pass were closed off Sunday so explosives could be detonated to remove avalanche hazards.

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