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Thousands still without power; flooding could be next major concern

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WOODINVILLE, Wash. — While people are still feeling the effects of the snowstorm that hit much of Western Washington this week, some are already bracing for the next weather event.

Many people in places like Woodinville and Carnation lost power; some are still without it Tuesday night. However, if this snowstorm wasn’t bad enough, flooding could be a major concern once the snow melts. All this as power crews continue working around the clock to restore power.

Puget Sound Energy estimates this storm took power out to more than 200,000 customers, thousands of whom are still in the dark. The company says it hasn’t seen this much damage from a storm in over a decade.

"This storm has been unique," said Puget Sound Energy Vice President Andy Wappler. "It’s done little damage street by street, neighborhood by neighborhood and, unfortunately, while that damage might be small, fixing it can be tough, especially in these conditions."

It’s why PSE estimates there are more crews working Tuesday than when the storms first hit.

"If you’re one of those last houses, you might think one of those utility guys went home. We actually have the most people in the field today. The trouble is the work they’re doing gets slow for those last houses simply because there might be several points of damage between you and the power you want to get your lights back on."

If this storm didn’t hit hard enough, the prospect of heavy rain and possible flooding won’t make their jobs any easier.

Pierce County is already bracing for flooding on roads due to melted snow, according to its Twitter account.

As of Tuesday night, Puget Sound Energy still has 12,000 customers without power. They do expect most of those customers will have power restored by Thursday.