High winds caused power outages and toppled trees Wednesday as a winter storm system moved through Central Washington.
The National Weather Service’s Pendleton Office forecast gusts of 35-50 mph in the area, with moderate snow on the north and eastern slopes of the Cascades. Yakima and Ellensburg could see as much as an inch on the ground, the weather service said.
Pacific Power is reporting outages from Naches to Outlook, with about 154 customers affected, according to its website. The website said power could be restored to some areas by 2:30 p.m.
Falling trees knocked down power lines in the 9000 block of Duffield Road and the 500 block of Fourth Street in Selah, authorities said.
Solar panels and bricks were also blown off buildings near North First and West Lincoln Avenue, Yakima County sheriff’s spokesman Casey Schilperoort said. The “Bins of Light” art installation nearby did not suffer any damage, according to the city of Yakima. The solar panels were removed from the roadway and sidewalk and the two northern-most lanes of Lincoln Avenue through the underpass were reopened after a brief closure.
Commercial flights were still landing at Yakima Air Terminal, where winds were coming from the north at 25 mph, said Jaime Vera, airport operations and maintenance manager.
A wind advisory is in effect in the Yakima and Kittitas valleys through 1 a.m. Thursday. North winds of 25 to 35 mph with gusts up to 50 mph are expected, according to the National Weather Service.
A power outage was reported north of Selah around 9 a.m. Wednesday, according to Pacific Power.
U.S. Highway 97 over Blewett Pass was closed in both directions for a while this morning, according to the Washington State Department of Transportation. It reopened about 10 a.m.
The closure from the junction of State Route 970 to milepost 178, seven miles south of the junction with U.S. Highway 2, was due to heavy snow, poor visibility and multiple spinouts.
Meanwhile, multiple roads were closed in southern Oregon due to downed trees and power lines and blizzard-like driving conditions, and others were reduced to a single lane, the Oregon Department of Transportation said.
A bomb cyclone — a rapid drop in air pressure — is approaching the southern Oregon and Northern California coast and could hit on Tuesday afternoon, bringing waves of up to 35 feet, wind gusts of up to 75 mph and heavy snow in the mountains.