SEATTLE - Thousands of people in Western Washington lost power due to a strong windstorm. The WSDOT closed the SR 520 floating bridge for two hours because of high winds and waves. Troopers reported that they saw the bridge swaying four to five feet.
Troopers said as many as 50 cars were abandoned on the westbound lanes. Troopers on foot escorted the people back to their cars.
The Department of Transportation said criteria for closing the bridge to traffic and opening the draw span is 50 mph gusts sustained for 15 minutes. When a 40 mph gust is sustained for one minute, a warning alarm calls crews to the bridge for inspection and monitoring.
DOT says they make every attempt to reduce disruption to drivers but in an emergency they have to close the bridge quickly.
Puget Sound Energy said more than 50,000 customers are without power in various parts of Western Washington. The utility said strong winds were taking down branches and trees, triggering the outages. Seattle City Light reported outages affecting about 40,000 customers.
A 48-year-old Granite Falls man was seriously injured when a tree fell on his car on SR 203 and a 2-year-old was hurt when a branch fell from a tree at Roosevelt Way NE and NE 42nd street in Seattle.
Eastbound US 2 was closed between Zeke's Drive-In and Anderson Creek Bridge because of trees in down in the road.
The National Weather Service issued a wind warning for much of Saturday covering coastal areas in Washington and Oregon. Forecasters said wind gusts could be up to 65 mph. Slightly weaker winds are expected in areas like Seattle to the mountains.
A wind advisory is in effect until 8 p.m. for the Southwest Interior, East Puget Sound Lowlands, Seattle/Bremerton Area, Tacoma area and the Lower Chehalis Valley area.
As the storm moves through, elevations above 2,500 feet are expected to get between six and 11 inches of snow in a 12-hour period.
Check the latest weather conditions anytime with the Seattle Weather App.