Roof collapse, landslide as heavy rains hit Wash.

By Doug Esser

Associated Press

Published: Tuesday, Nov. 22 2011 10:31 p.m. MST

A pedestrian sips coffee under the protection of an umbrella in a steady rain and in view of the Pike Place Market Tuesday, Nov. 22, 2011, in Seattle. Hold on for Thanksgiving, when another strong storm will like bring more high winds Thursday to parts of Western Washington, the National Weather Service said. The coast and northwest interior could have 30 mph winds with gusts to 60 mph. The weather service also issued a special weather statement Tuesday saying that travel will be impacted Thanksgiving Day through Friday morning in the Cascade passes. Another shot of snow could leave eight to 12 inches by Friday morning.

Elaine Thompson, Associated Press

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SEATTLE — A November storm that brought heavy rain to the Washington lowlands and snow to the mountains was blamed for the collapse of part of a roof on a Tacoma building and a landslide that temporarily closed part of an east King County highway.

No one was hurt when part of the roof on a downtown Tacoma Public Works building collapsed on Tuesday afternoon. Fire Battalion Chief Jeff Chandler said heavy rain was the likely culprit.

A landslide Tuesday evening blocked westbound State Highway 202 in east King County southwest of Carnation. The Washington Transportation Department said all lanes would remain closed for as long as 12 hours while crews cleared the debris and drained a storm water retention pond that threatened to destabilize a nearby embankment. No one was caught in the slide.

If you like stormy weather, hold on for Thanksgiving.

Another strong storm will likely bring more high winds Thursday to parts of Western Washington, the National Weather Service said. The coast and northwest interior could have 30 mph winds with gusts to 60 mph.

The weather service also issued a special weather statement Tuesday saying that travel will be affected Thanksgiving Day through Friday morning in the Cascade Mountain passes. Another shot of snow could leave eight to 12 inches by Friday morning.

Thousands of customers temporarily lost power in Tuesday's storm.

Minor flooding was reported on Western Washington's Skokomish River. Flood warnings were in effect for a handful of other rivers, including the Chehalis, Deschutes and Newaukum.

By late Tuesday, the Weather Service said 24-hour rainfall totals topped 5 inches near Hood Canal. Tacoma reported 1.82 inches while Shelton had 3.29 inches and Castle Rock in southwest Washington tallied 2.72 inches.

Winds from this storm peaked early Tuesday with a 70 mph gust at Bellingham, said Weather Service meteorologist Dennis D'Amico. On Tuesday night, winds gusting to nearly 60 mph were reported along the southwest Washington coast from Hoquiam southward, meteorologist Carl Cerniglia said.

Crossing Snoqualmie Pass was an iffy proposition Tuesday as the Transportation Department shut down Interstate 90 at times for avalanche control and to clear multiple accidents.

"This is November and we can expect to see storms of this magnitude," D'Amico said. "Maybe a little contrast because it's been a relatively easy fall, so far."

During a high wind warning on the coast, about 1,200 Grays Harbor Public Utility District customers lost power at Tokeland, Moclips and Taholah, KBKW reported.

At the peak, Puget Sound Energy had about 10,000 customers out of service, scattered in Whatcom, Skagit and Island counties. Spokeswoman Dorothy Bracken said repair crews responded to about 100 locations.

Twenty-three inches of snow fell in a 24-hour period at Mount Baker, D'Amico said.

Poor weather for traveling led Gov. Chris Gregoire to cancel plans for news conferences in Vancouver, Yakima and Spokane on her sales tax proposals. She made a Tuesday afternoon appearance at South Seattle Community College.

Several school districts in northeast Washington canceled classes Tuesday because of treacherous driving conditions, The Spokesman-Review reported.

For Thanksgiving, forecasters expect wind and rain in Western Washington, snow in the mountains and a chance of rain or snow showers in Eastern Washington.