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Winter storms leave thousands without power; crews work to restore

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CARNATION, Wash. — Thousands of people are still in the dark after the latest winter storm toppled trees and took down power lines. Power crews have been busy working through the night trying to restore power.

Gary Brown and his wife Kristin lost power at their home in Carnation around 1 a.m. Monday.

“We just moved all of our food outside into the snow because the refrigerator was off long enough, but we felt it necessary; the ice cream was starting to melt,” said Brown.

Being without a generator like his neighbors do, means they’re keeping food cold in the snow and using a gas fireplace to stay warm.

Power crews have been working to restore power to thousands of people like the Browns.

“What we’re seeing here, we’re seeing everywhere- wet and heavy snow weighing down trees,” said Andy Wappler, Vice President of Puget Sound Energy. “They’ll knock out the power and then they’ll knock out the power again.”

Puget Sound Energy reports its crews have restored power to nearly 200,000 people since the storms as of Monday evening, with 34,000 people still without power.

Crews say it gets harder to restore power once the sun goes down. Accessing the roads is difficult.\

“When it’s daylight we can go a little faster but when it’s night, these crews have been out for well over 16 hours now so fatigue and making sure we’re doing things right, safe is kind of an obstacle we’re encountering as the days wears on,” said James Anderson with Tanner Electric Cooperative.

“It’s tough for everybody to probably get everybody into work to service so yes, I believe they are doing everything the best they can,” said Brown. Puget Sound Energy says the best way to keep track of the power outages is through its outage maps at www.pse.com/outagemap.

 

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