Crews work to clean up debris, restore power after Washington state storm


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SEATTLE — Crews worked Friday to clean up fallen trees and restore electrical power knocked out by the stormy weather that blew through Washington.

The region's largest utility, Puget Sound Energy, said more than 260,000 of the customers in its 6,000-square-mile service area were affected by outages from Thursday's storm. By Friday evening, power had been restored to all but about 27,000.

The utility said it had more than 90 repair crews, including 15 brought in from Canada.

Storm winds reached 49 mph at Sea-Tac Airport, 62 mph at Paine Field in Everett and 69 mph at the Whidbey Island Naval Air Station, the National Weather Service said.

A dry spell forecast for this weekend after several days of heavy rain should lower the risk of landslides in Western Washington, the Weather Service said.

Thursday's winds brought down scaffolding at a six-story apartment building under construction in the Seattle suburb of Redmond.

A falling tree hit a propane tank and started a fire at the Red Wind Casino near Olympia. Firefighters kept the tank from exploding, and there was minimal damage to the casino.

A mudslide hit Burlington Northern Santa Fe rail tracks at 12:30 a.m. Friday near Edmonds, north of Seattle. The tracks were cleared and freight trains resumed running at 3 a.m., spokesman Gus Melonas said. But a 48-hour safety moratorium will prevent passenger trains from rolling between Seattle and Everett this weekend. Buses will bridge the service.

Amtrak said passenger service between Seattle and Everett will resume Sunday. Sound Transit said Sounder commuter train service will resume Monday if no other events occur.

Pounding waves on the Washington coast have taken huge chunks of land at the aptly named Washaway Beach near Grayland. Three houses have succumbed to the surf this week.

Associated Press writer Rachel La Corte in Olympia contributed to this report.

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