After major winds knocked down trees and power poles, thousands of Pierce County residents suffered from large power outages over the weekend on Jan. 5.

According to Puget Sound Energy, over 200,000 customers went without electricity for hours due to fallen power lines.

According to power company’s outage map, which is available on its website, areas in South Sound that were most affected by the storm included east Pierce County, northeast Thurston County and south and southeast Thurston County.

About 171,000 were without power about noon Sunday, according to Puget Sound Energy.

Tacoma Power customers also experienced power outages during and after Saturday night’s storm. The Tacoma Power news release stated just about 11,000 customers went without power, including everyone who was served by the Graham power station. 

The windstorm began around 10 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 5, and after 12 a.m. on Sunday winds picked up to 60 miles per hour. Another storm was expected between Tuesday, Jan. 8, and Wednesday, Jan. 9, but winds were not expected to be as extreme as they were over the weekend.

On Monday, Puget Sound Energy released a statement on the widespread outages.

“As of 6 a.m. Monday, approximately 55,000 customers are without power,” the news release stated. “Our crews will work until all power is restored. As crews finish work in one area, they are assigned to repair damage in another.”

Damage is heaviest in Pierce and King counties, the news release stated. High winds and resulting tree damage have downed local power lines and poles, and have also caused substation outages. Fallen trees impacted road access in some areas, and made damage assessment challenging in some locations.

 

Many customers were not expected to receive power until at least Jan. 10. A few customers in south King County were not expected to receive power until 6 a.m., Jan. 10. In Pierce County, wind and tree damage was significant and some customers were expected to be without power until 9 p.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 9.

“Most customers will be restored sooner, and estimated restoration times will be updated on pse.com/outagemap and the myPSE mobile app as they are available,” the Puget Sound Energy website stated.

Puget Sound Energy dispatched helicopters throughout the weekend and on Monday to assess damage in the worst areas. Between Sunday and Monday, Jan. 7, crews repaired 14 of 32 damage transmission line segments and restored 16 of 20 substations that were without power.

“We know it’s difficult for our customers to be without power,” the company’s news release stated. “Especially on cold days. As damage assessment teams complete their on-the-ground surveys, we will provide updated estimated restoration times.”

Puget Sound Energy has Emergency Coordination centers and local storm bases in the region, and kept them open throughout the week along with additional restoration crews from around the region.

Due to the number of extensive outages, Puget Sound Energy stopped releasing restoration alerts via text, email and phone. Outages can be reported to Puget Sound Energy online at www.pse.com/outagemap.