windy

High winds rip across Whidbey

The first big wind storm of the season toppled a semi truck on Deception Pass Bridge Monday.

The first big wind storm of the season knocked out power, felled trees, caused flooding and toppled a semi truck on Deception Pass Bridge Monday.

Gusts were measured at up to 61 mph at Naval Air Station Whidbey Island Monday, according to WindAlert.com. Power went out on South and Central Whidbey Island Monday and remained out Tuesday, forcing officials to close schools.

The semi truck, which was leaning precariously on the inner wire railings on the bridge, blocked traffic for about eight hours, beginning at around 1:30 p.m. The driver of the truck wasn’t injured and managed to get out of the cab before first responders got there.

The passenger side of the truck and the bridge’s inner wire railing were severely damaged in the accident, but responders quickly determined the truck was not in danger of igniting, falling off the bridge or posing any other immediate hazard, North Whidbey Fire and Rescue Chief John Clark said.

The fire chief said it was too windy for much of the night to safely operate the towing equipment necessary to remove the damaged truck from the bridge; continued strong winds might have blown the towing equipment and truck over the edge.

Clark said traffic was backed up to Frostad Road on the Whidbey side of the bridge. The Washington State Department of Transportation reported that the bridge opened to traffic at 9:40 p.m.

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