Utility crews, residents across Western Washington, prepare for heavy rain, windstorms

TACOMA -- Utility crews in the South Sound are doing what they can to prepare for two strong storms moving into Western Washington.

The crews are ready to work overtime, if needed, to restore power.

"The crews themselves are mentally prepared to possibly have to work several days in a row and go on long shifts with short rest periods in between," said Mike Snyder of Tacoma Power.

The strong storms moving in could test the endurance of the power lines and their crews.

And residents across the region are preparing for the worst, too.

Much of Snohomish and Whatcom counties are under a flood watch, and parts of Snohomis, Whatcom and Skagit counties are under a high wind warning.

Danielle Barber, a Marysville mother of three small children, says she is ready for the storms -- and that preparation is key.

"It's predicted to be worse, if not as bad, as things from like 40-plus years ago. I'm like OK, I should probably prepare a little bit more and when you got kids, you have to be prepared for it," she said.

Neil Neroutsos, of Snohomish County PUD, says all hands are on deck for the severe winds and heavy rain over the next few days.

"We may have up to 500 people in the field at any one time this weekend," he said.

The National Weather Service in Seattle has these tips for how to prepare before windstorms:

  • Trim tree branches away from your house and power lines
  • Secure loose gutters and shutters
  • Identify an interior room of your house, such as a basement or interior bathroom, that you can take shelter in during high winds.
  • If you live in a mobile home, identify a sturdy building you can go to if NWS issues a high wind or severe thunderstorm warning
  • Update your emergency kit and be sure to include enough food and water to last for 3 days for each person in your home
  • Make a list of items outside your home you will need to tie down or put away so that they don't blow away or fly through a window. When NWS issues a high wind or severe thunderstorm watch, immediately secure those items to avoid damage or injury once the wind starts picking up.


  • Download the free Q13 FOX Weather app for Apple/Android to track the storm using future radar