Severe Wind Causing Damage in Yakima

Severe wind has resulted in damage to trees and other structures in Yakima since it began early Wednesday.

The community Christmas tree, which was just set in place yesterday at Millennium Plaza, rolled onto its side sometime this morning as a result of strong winds.  The tree appears to have suffered only minimal damage and will be reset in place early next week.  No other damage resulted from the tree blowing onto its side.

Two trees in Miller Park, which is located in Northeast Yakima, have been blown over by the wind.  Crews will remove the trees once the wind subsides.

Webster Avenue between 32nd Avenue and 34th Avenue is closed until further notice due to a downed tree.  Pacific Power crews are currently working to clear the area of any electrical lines so the tree can be removed from the roadway.  Drivers are encouraged to use other routes for the time being.

East “E” Street between 3rd Street and 4th Street is closed until further notice because of several downed trees.  Crews will remove the downed trees from the roadway once it is determined doing so is safe.  Drivers are encouraged to use other routes for the time being.

Earlier today, solar panels from a nearby building were blown onto the sidewalk and roadway at the Lincoln Avenue underpass, causing some people to believe wind had damaged the “Bins of Light” art installation on the east side of the underpass.  The “Bins of Light” installation has not suffered any damage.  The solar panels were removed from the roadway and sidewalk and the two northern-most lanes of Lincoln Avenue through the underpass were reopened after a brief closure.

A Wind Advisory issued by the National Weather Service (NWS) for a good portion of Central Washington is currently scheduled to remain in effect until about 1:00 am Thursday.  Sustained winds of 25 to 35 miles-per-hour are forecast.  Wind gusts could reach 50 miles-per-hour, according to the NWS.

A Special Weather Statement issued by the NWS says that up to an inch of snow is possible at the lower elevations of the east slopes of the Cascade Mountains, including Yakima and Ellensburg.  Snow accumulations of 3 to 7 inches are possible at higher elevations.

The Special Weather Statement from the NWS says conditions should slowly improve overnight into Thanksgiving. Click on the following link to see the latest weather information from the NWS –