September 30, 2013 at 6:25 AM
Tornado does damage in Pierce County, mountain snow on way
UPDATE 12:10 pm.: One of the businesses hit by the tornado is FPS EnCon, which produces semi-circular concrete liners for the Highway 99 tunnel project in Seattle.
Matt Delp, who works as a fabricator at EnCon where rebar cages are assembled, said that just before the tornado hit, “Everything went silent, then it went boom.”
He said he could barely move under the pressure of the tornado and when he could, he got down low.
UPDATE 11:45: A Boeing spokesman said one of the company’s buildings at Frederickson received slight damage, and workers had been told to ”shelter in place” during the peak of the winds.
That order was lifted by late this morning. Workers at the plant were being advised to report for their regular shifts, but to use caution because branches and other debris was still being cleared from the road near the building,
UPDATE 9 a.m. : The tornado ripped a hole of 10 to 12 feet across at a Northwest Door manufacturing plant on Canyon Road in Frederickson. An employee in the company’s Tacoma office said power was out at the Frederickson location and debris was scattered over a wide area. There were no immediate reports of injuries.
UPDATE 8:30 A.M.: A tornado that damaged roofs and rail cars was reported about 7 a.m. in the Frederickson, Pierce
County, area. Steve Reedy of the National Weather Service said the tornado appears to have been isolated, and not part of widespread wind and rain crossing over the Puget Sound area. The area impacted by the tornado is southeast of Tacoma.
The tornado was reported to have damaged a Boeing manufacturing site. A Boeing spokesman who did not know the extent of damage said the facility produces aluminum wing components for a variety of aircraft models, as well as composite parts for the 777 and 787.
PREVIOUS POST: Strong winds that ripped through Western Washington overnight, including gusts of up to 85 mph on Hurricane Ridge, had eased by this morning, but windy conditions are still expected through the day, and the season’s first serious snowstorm is taking shape in the mountains.
One of the windiest spots in the Seattle area, Alki Point, had a gust of 47 mph between 3 a.m. and. 4 a,m. today, and 44 mph an hour later. Through the day, winds of 15 to 25 mph are expected around the Seattle area.
Other gusts reported overnight included 67 mph at Destruction Island off the Washington coast and 51 mph at Hoquiam.
As of 8:10 a.m. today, Puget Sound Energy reported 4,000 customers without power as a result of the storm. Schools were closed in the Pierce County town of Orting after a transmission line was knocked down in high winds about 4:30 a.m., cutting power to 7,500 customers, including local schools.
The National Weather Service early today issued a “Winter Storm Warning” for the Cascades, with 10 to 20 inches of snow expected above 4,000 feet, and up to five inches of snow at Stevens Pass by Tuesday morning.
The heaviest snow is expected in the Mount Baker and Mount Rainier areas. Motorists and back-country travelers are advised to expect wintry conditions.
After a soggy weekend that produced more than 2.3 inches of rain at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, the area is closing in on what could be its rainiest September ever. As of 5 a.m. today, 5.6 inches of rain had fallen this month at Sea-Tac. The record of 5.95 inches for September was set in 1978.
Normal precipitation for September is about 1.5 inches. Saturday was by far the wettest day of the month, with 1.71 inches of rain that more than doubled the previous record for that date, set in 1948.
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The Today File is a general news blog featuring real-time coverage of Seattle and the Northwest. It is reported by the news staff of The Seattle Times and edited by Assistant Metro Editor Nick Provenza.
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