BI withers in wild, windy, wet weather

A photo posted to Bainbridge Island Fire Department's Facebook page shows downed power lines and explains the danger they pose. Courtesy photo

Landslides, downed trees on lines and power outages caused by windy weather kept emergency crews busy this week.

Several areas of North Kitsap lost power. Puget Sound Energy took to its Facebook and Twitter accounts to assure customers that they were aware of the outages and doing their best to turn the lights back on.

“We’re experiencing power outages across our service area as a result of the wind coupled with trees falling due to saturated soil from days of rain,” the post reads. “The process takes time and crews may be delayed, as unsafe weather remains an issue. We understand how difficult it is to be without power – especially with so many of our customers working from home and/or navigating remote learning.”

The city of Bainbridge Island sent out alerts beginning at 5 a.m. Wednesday telling commuters about road closures and areas to avoid on their commutes.

The following intersections and roads were impacted by downed trees and powerlines: the intersection of Old Mill Road and Taylor Avenue due to a tree caught in some powerlines; the intersection of Agate Point Road and North Street due to downed wires; and the intersections of Agate Point, Pass Road and Mariner Ave due to low hanging power lines.

The same was true for Sportsman Club Road, Olallie Lane, Eagle Harbor Drive and Lynwood Center Drive going into the early afternoon hours of Jan. 13. Road closures included a block of Moran Road, as well as Pleasant Beach Road between Blakely and Fort streets, both due to downed trees and power lines.

Bainbridge Island Fire Department posted a photo on its Facebook page of some of the downed wires to explain the dangers to commuters.

“If you come across a downed utility wire of any kind, always do the following: Assume it’s energized and stay as far away as you can. Energized lines can charge the ground near the point of contact and may electrocute you. If you come upon a downed line of any kind, stay at least 35 feet away. Do not attempt to rescue a person or pet. Leave everything to utility professionals and emergency personnel,” the post says.

“Do not drive over downed power lines. Stay in your car. If a power line falls on your vehicle while you’re driving, do not exit until you know for sure that the line is de-energized. If you must evacuate, jump away and land with both feet together. Do not touch the vehicle while stepping on the ground, as this can create a path for electricity to run through you. Keep your feet together and take small, shuffling steps until you’re at least 35 feet away.”

Due to heavy rains over the last few days, many roads were closed due to landslides as well.

At 6:25 a.m. a landslide closed both lanes of Pleasant Beach Road between Blakely and Fort streets. At 11:50 a.m. a second landslide, at the south end of Fort Ward Hill Road, closed off access to Pleasant Beach Drive. A landslide on Point White Drive seemed to kick it all off Tuesday. That closed one lane to traffic, and it wasn’t expected to be repaired until the end of the week. Then a second one hit there by the next day, likely delaying reopening even longer.

Other parts of North Kitsap were impacted as well. At around 11 p.m. Jan. 12 Lincoln Road in Poulsbo between Stottlemeyer and Widme was closed due to a landslide. The following morning commuters were asked to avoid the intersection of Bond and Big Valley Road due to downed wires.

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