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The Today File

Your guide to the latest news from around the Northwest

August 16, 2012 at 6:56 AM

Morning Memo / Thursday: Smokin’ hot … cooling centers … power outage

UPDATED: Includes latest number of customers affected by power outage.

Weather:  Seattle-area weather wimps are bracing for extra hot weather Thursday and Friday. How hot? The National Weather Service has issued an excessive heat warning that will remain in effect from noon Thursday until Friday night. The forecast calls for temperatures in the 90s the next two days, with Friday potentially being the hotter day of the two. One report said temperatures in Olympia, for example, could reach 98 degrees by Friday.

Regional cooling centers: KING 5 reports that the weather will be so warm that several cooling centers around the Puget Sound will open around the region Thursday and Friday to help people keep cool. It’s not just hot weather that will be affecting seniors, pets and those with respiratory conditions. Higher levels of smog are expected to hang over the region, and it is possible that some of the smoke from the Taylor Bridge wildfire might be a factor.

Seattle City Light crews work to remove one of two toppled power poles in the 16700 block of State Route 522 in Lake Forest Park on Thursday morning. A large tree fell overnight knocking out power and snarling the Thursday morning commute. (Photo by Mike Siegel / The Seattle Times)

Traffic: It’s going to be a tough day for some commuters.  This morning there’s traffic blockage on Highway 522 where a large tree fell across the highway, blocking the major commuter route. The state patrol says the tree is blocking all lanes, with traffic detouring on Ballinger Way.

Additional closures: Construction closures are happening on I-90 westbound at Sunset Way, with the left lane closed due to roadwork. Same goes for I-90 eastbound at Sunset Way; left lane closed. The I-5 southbound on-ramp from NE 85th St. and I-5 southbound off-ramp to NE 85th St and the right lane of the I-5 northbound off-ramp are closed due to roadwork. The map and cams.

A transformer fire turned off power for more than 4,500 customers in Lake Forest Park and Shoreline this morning in the same area as the traffic blockage mentioned above. As of 8:30 a.m., Seattle City Light reported that only 1,100 residences in its customer area remain without power. At one point, the outage affected as many as 7.500 customers.

A new round of evacuations in under way in Eastern Washington near Cle Elum due to the Taylor Bridge fire, which is 25 percent contained this morning.

Speaking of fires, a fire near Vernon, B.C. is largely contained. But crews are warning that hot temperatures could lead to more trouble.

Most-read stories this morning on seattletimes.com:

Comments | Topics: cooling centers, heat waves, Morning Memo

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