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Winds Cause Damage, Kill 1 in Washington State

October 29, 2003|From Associated Press

MUKILTEO, Wash. — Wind-driven waves seriously damaged a dockside restaurant and disrupted ferry service Tuesday while a motorist was killed by a falling tree on nearby Whidbey Island.

The storm hit the entire state, blowing dust from the fields in eastern Washington and reducing visibility to zero in some areas.

Winds gusted above 70 mph in eastern Washington and topped 50 mph in the northwest part of the state.

West of the Cascades, more than 60,000 people lost power Tuesday evening as winds blew trees over power lines.

The dining room floor at Ivar's restaurant near the ferry dock here rose and fell several feet at the height of the storm, bar manager Ed Pereira said.

Patrons and employees evacuated as the restaurant's waterfront deck was damaged and restaurant windows began to break.

No injuries were reported, but officials shut the area around the restaurant to check gas and electric lines. Mukilteo is about 25 miles north of Seattle.

Ferry service was shut down briefly Tuesday evening on the Mukilteo-Clinton and Port Townsend-Keystone runs, and was delayed on the Edmonds-Kingston run by the wind and waves, ferries spokeswoman Susan Harris said.At first the storm had Ivar's patrons "oohing and aahing at the waves," Pereira told KOMO-TV.

"Then the waves just starting coming in with such ferocity...." When the dining room floor rose and fell, "it was pretty much pandemonium," he said.

A man, who was not identified, died after a tree fell on his vehicle in South Whidbey State Park, State Patrol Lt. Jeff Sass of Marysville said.

The Coast Guard reported that three people were rescued after the 58-foot fishing boat Martle capsized on Hood Canal, west of Seattle.

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