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Winds leave island dark again -- New Roundup
For the second time in a week, high winds left islanders in the dark.
They were in good company trees downed transmission lines in the Poulsbo area, leaving an estimated 37,000 customers without power on Bainbridge and in North Kitsap.
The outage followed gusts and rain squalls late Thursday night, with service not yet restored on Friday afternoon.
We have both tree crews and line crews out on the roads, said Don McDaniel, spokesman for Puget Sound Energy, who attributed the bulk of the outages to the toppling of large trees, one of which cut power to substations feeding all of Bainbridge.
Police reported no incidents related to the outage, although highway traffic was slowed as all signalized intersections became four-way stops. All officers patrolled the streets throughout the day to help manage traffic.
People are actually being very courteous at the intersections, Bainbridge Police Chief Bill Cooper said.
City maintenance crews were busy throughout the night and into the morning, maintenance and operations supervisor Lance Newkirk said.
We had downed trees, some minor flooding and tidal action that caused us to put up barricades on roads at Manitou Beach and Point White, he said.
The city water utility and sewage treatment plant functioned on generator power without incident, Newkirk said.
Although parking places were readily available on Winslow Way, it was hardly deserted. A handful of stores were open, as was the clinic.
A standing-room-only crowd lined up at Town & Countrys front-porch coffee bar for a free coffee-like beverage a substitute made from hot water and coffee grounds in teabags.
The Village looked normal, other than the absence of interior lights, with most stores keeping their doors open.
M&M Market, one of the few outlets for both hot and cold food and beverages, was jammed. Its generator wasnt up to operating the fuel pumps, so no gas was available there, nor were pumps operating at the Village Chevron or the Island Center Texaco.
As an official emergency operations center, City Hall was open and running on generator power, which kept the kitchen fully functional.
Some people here wanted to unplug the soda machine and plug in their computer, said Public Works Director Randy Witt, who said he had enough reading and filing to do to keep him busy on a computer-free day.
Although PSE anticipated restoring power to most affected areas Friday, McDaniel said the weekend weather forecast didnt bode well for the lights in North Kitsap staying on.
Weve been put on a high wind watch, with winds up to 65-70 mph possible, he said. If that happens, there will be more outages.
This may not be the end of it.
***Brawl rocks ferry terminal
A woman was badly beaten in a late-night fight aboard the ferry that spilled over to the terminal on New Years Eve.
A Bainbridge officer responded to the incoming ferry sometime after 1 a.m., after a report of a fistfight. As a crowd estimated at 200 persons departed the vessel, a half-dozen persons in the middle of the throng were fighting, and witnesses yelled that a young woman was being beaten.
The officer attempted to disperse the crowd and break up the fight, but the combatants continued to brawl, according to reports. The officer then used pepper spray, causing the crowd to turn briefly on the officer.
Order was restored when additional officers came from Poulsbo, Suquamish, the county and the Washington State Patrol.
Alcohol was a contributing factor in the fracas, police said.
Three young men were arrested a 16-year-old and a 23-year-old from Bainbridge, and a 17-year-old from Poulsbo on charges ranging from assault to obstruction of officers. The cases were sent to the prosecutor for review.
The victim, a 21-year-old Poulsbo woman, was treated at the scene for injuries suffered in the beating.
Police reported few other incidents over the New Years holiday, and just one alcohol-related traffic arrest.
A 16-year-old Bainbridge male was arrested on suspicion of drunk driving after a one-car accident on Fort Ward Hill Road, reported at about 8:50 a.m. on New Years Day.
Police say the youth was behind the wheel of a 1988 GMC pickup that went off the road on the winding portion on Fort Ward Hill Road north of the sewer plant.
The vehicle went down an embankment and sustained extensive front-end damage when it struck a fallen tree at the bottom.
The driver, who was uninjured, admitted having consumed five or six beers prior to the accident, police said, and the case remains under investigation.
In a second accident involving a juvenile driver, a Bainbridge girl escaped injury in a one-car accident at 305 and Hidden Cove Road.
Police say the driver lost control and went into a skid when she attempted a last-second turn from the highway. The vehicle wound up across the guard rail. Alcohol was not a factor, and no citations were issued.