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Thousands lose power as storm plows into Northwest

By Mike Baker

Associated Press

Published: Saturday, Nov. 2 2013 1:13 p.m. MDT

SEATTLE — Thousands of residents in the Northwest lost power Saturday as a blustery November storm rolled through the region.

Puget Sound Energy said Saturday morning that more than 10,000 customers were without power in various parts of western Washington. The utility said strong winds were taking down branches and trees, triggering the outages. Seattle City Light reported outages affecting about 36,000 customers.

High winds also closed the state Route 520 bridge that links Seattle to its eastern suburbs, the Washington state Department of Transportation said.

The National Weather Service issued a wind warning for much of Saturday covering coastal areas in Washington and Oregon. Forecasters said wind gusts could be up to 65 mph. Slightly weaker winds were expected in areas like Seattle to the mountains.

Johnny Burg, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service, said equipment on Destruction Island off the western Washington coast recorded a peak gust of 72 mph on Saturday morning. Burg said the storm was not unusual for this time of year in the Northwest.

"We're getting some pretty good winds, but nothing catastrophic right now," Burg said. "We're not looking for any big, widespread destruction."

Burg said forecasters had been watching for a slight risk of flooding, but they don't expect that to be an issue anymore. About half an inch of rain was expected at lower elevations.

As the storm moves through, elevations above 2,500 feet were expected to get more than half an inch of snow.

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