Stormy Monday

Uprooted trees, downed power lines and the expected barrage of storm-related emergency calls Monday kept emergency services personnel coated with a patina of perspiration.

And then after hours of making its grievances known, a section of corrugated metal roofing at the Oak Harbor Marina emancipated itself from the facility mid-morning.

“It was like a sail,” said Oak Harbor Fire Chief Mark Soptich, whose crews, along with the Oak Harbor Police Department, responded to the call.

As Soptich, Lt. Mike Buxton and Oak Harbor Police Deputy Jim Hogland braced themselves for flying debris, a large section flew down into the covered marina area, leaving a 10 to 15-foot opening. The trio adeptly secured the piece of metal until firefighters arrived with a ladder to use in securing the roof.

A boat owner across from the area said the metal roof started “slapping around” starting at about 7:30 a.m.

“It finally came off,” he said. “I saw daylight.”

Capt. Mike Schott, who operates a boat mored at the marina, said the peeling roofs were not anomalous.

“Surprisingly they’ve been doing alright,” he said. “They’ve been loose for over a month. It happens all the time.”

Schott is one of the cadre of marina tenants who cooperatively walk the docks to check on their own boats and those of their neighbors. The marina tenants routinely make safety checks.

Soptich barely had time to take a breath Monday, jumping from one call to the next.

“Boy, it’s been a busy day,” he said with a sigh and the familiar smile.

The high-speed winds did cause power outages on Whidbey Island, however, other counties in the Puget Sound area seemed to have fared worse. At 4 p.m. Monday only 148 Puget Sound Energy customers in nine different locations throughout Whidbey Island were without electricity. Power was restored by midnight.

Regionally, 77,000 Puget Sound Energy customers lost power as a result of the storm.

“Island County was spared the brunt of the storm,” Puget Sound Energy spokeswoman Dorothy Bracken said.

Firefighters were also busy dealing with trees knocked over by the winds.

Central Whidbey Fire and Rescue responded to 11 different calls concerning trees falling down over the roadway and three medical calls during the storm.

On the north end of the island, firefighters from North Whidbey Fire and Rescue responded to 25 calls during the storm, mostly falling trees and smoke detectors going off during power fluctuations.

Koorn said that the calls were spread out over a long period of time and the district didn’t have to call anyone to remain on standby in case the calls started piling up.

He said there weren’t any injuries stemming from the storm.

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