YAKIMA, Wash. — Thunderstorms rocked portions of the West Valley on Saturday afternoon, sending huge trees down on at least one car and nearly missing a house on Wide Hollow Road.
Lee and Lorraine Smith said a blue spruce crashed down about 2:30 p.m., shearing off a nearby birch tree.
“It was really something,” said Lorraine Smith.
The damage, however, was limited, according to West Valley fire officials.
The storm brought pebble-sized hail and rain that briefly flooded Smith’s pasture, she said. The water was receding by 5 p.m.
She said friends and neighbors reported similar damage, including one woman whose car was smashed by a falling tree.
“Everybody’s got troubles,” Smith said.
Many residents in the area reported they were without power that authorities expected to be restored within hours.
Despite a number of thunderstorms up and down the Valley, fire officials said the damage was not extensive.
Capt. Jim Lange of the West Valley Fire Department said they did not receive any reports of incidents related to the storm.
A dispatcher for Fire District No. 5 said the main damage from the storm was a few downed power lines and trees.
The high temperature on Saturday was 95 degrees, according to Accuweather, a private forecasting firm that supplies weather information for the Yakima Herald-Republic.
Accuweather is predicting temperatures will reach 99 degrees today, 103 on Monday and 105 on Tuesday and Wednesday. The Weather Channel is predicting 104 degrees on Monday, 103 Tuesday and 100 degrees Wednesday.
A heat advisory is in effect for several days this week across a broad swath of Eastern Washington and Northeast Oregon, the National Weather Service said.
The advisory will be in effect from noon Monday to 10 p.m. Tuesday. A high pressure system is pumping hot air into the region from the Southwest United States.
Nighttime low temperatures also will remain warm, offering little in the way of relief.
The advisory covers the Yakima and Kittitas valleys as well as the Columbia Basin, Walla Walla Valley, the foothills of the Blue Mountains and the Columbia River Gorge.
The weather service also warned that thunderstorms would be possible in the early evening this week because of the extreme heat.
Heat-related illnesses are very common in such warm temperatures. The elderly are especially susceptible to heat stroke and heat exhaustion.
The Yakima Health District advises all residents to avoid outdoor activity during the early to mid-afternoon on such warm days.
• Yakima Herald-Republic reporter David Lester contributed this report.