MARCH 31, 1997

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Power outages as winds whip through area

power outages A storm front moving through the area with winds ranging from 50 to 80 mph caused widespread power outages and havoc beginning Sunday afternoon. Some areas are expected to be without power until late Tuesday, according to power company officials.
   Emergency crews were still working Monday to remove trees from power lines and restore power to homes in north King County and south Snohomish County. Most area stores, restaurants, gas stations, and ATM machines were closed, causing disruption of plans and access to money. Many Easter dinners were cooked on barbecues or with the help of generators. With a rapid drop of temperature, many people were struggling to keep warm.
   A 125-foot-tall douglas fir crushed Andy Chime's 1987 2-door Oldsmobile. The tree fell across the car, over the driveway, and onto his parent's house in the 19000 block of 152nd Avenue NE. Chime, who had just received his learner's permit last week, had been working on the car for a year. "Now it's a low-rider," Andy said with a brave smile.
   The tree also hit the roof of his parent's garage, damaging trusses, brick, and facia material. The Chimes were away when the tree came down.
   "The first thing we saw when we came up the driveway was the car and it was like, whoa!" said Larry Chime, Andy's father. "The thing that bothers my wife the most isn't the tree or the roof; it's the car. What if my son was in it?"
   Crews moved in quickly Monday morning to remove the tree from the roof and car. The Chimes planned to tow the vehicle to a wrecking yard and use the tree for firewood.
   "Trees came down on the Woodinville-Duvall Road and on Avondale Road," said Sgt. Clint Olson of the Woodinville Police Department. "There were no serious injuries reported in the Northshore area. Quite a few roads were closed," said Capt. David Maehren of King County Police.
   At one point, the SR-520 bridge was closed to traffic in both directions. "We were one of the last cars to cross the bridge before it closed. The bridge deck was waving back and forth, and water was coming over the side of the bridge and hitting our car," said Woodinville CPA Mary Freal, whose power was still out at her Woodinville home on Monday.