State news briefs

Snohomish County power outages prompt school closures, delays

Several schools are closed or delayed Monday as households and schools face continued widespread power outages from strong winds and rain.

The Snohomish School District is operating on a two-hour delay Monday, according to the district. South Whidbey School District is closed Monday due to power outages, according to an alert on the district’s site. Everett High School is closed due to a power outage. All other schools in the Everett Public Schools district are open. Lake Stevens High School is closed Monday.

Cascade View Elementary and Machias Elementary did not have power as of Sunday evening. The district said Sunday it planned a two-hour late start for those schools and that it would provide an update at 8 a.m. Monday.

Arlington High School and Pioneer Elementary are also closed Monday. There will be a two-hour delay for all other schools in the Arlington district.

In Marysville on Friday, a woman was trapped and critically injured when a tree fell on her home near Marysville Pilchuck High School. Firefighters reported rescuing others from smashed buildings.

The season’s first major storm cut power to more than 300,000 customers from the Olympic Peninsula to the Cascade foothills. Snohomish County PUD’s coverage area was hit particularly hard, with 190,000 customers in the dark at one point.

More than 32,500 customers were still without power as of 7 a.m. Monday, according to the Snohomish PUD outage map.

Snohomish County PUD estimated 80% of customers would have power back by 9 a.m. Monday and 90% by 8 p.m.

In Seattle, temperatures are expected to drop Monday with a forecast high in the mid-40s. Highs are expected to be in the low 40s through Thursday, with lows near freezing.

— The Seattle Times

State voter turnout lagging behind pace of last midterm election

Voter turnout in Washington for Tuesday’s election is running behind the pace of the last midterm four years ago.

About 1.5 million ballots have been returned statewide — about 32% of registered voters, as of the last update Friday, according to the Secretary of State’s Office. That’s down from nearly 35% at the same point in 2018.

Voters have until Tuesday to get their ballots postmarked or dropped in a drop box by 8 p.m.

It’s common for half or more of the ballots to come in during the final couple of days of the state’s all-mail election.

Secretary of State Steve Hobbs’ office is predicting turnout will reach the 72% it hit in 2018, while acknowledging the pace so far has been slower.

Like four years ago, voters in Washington are deciding key races for U.S. House and Senate, and state legislative contests. There are no statewide voter initiatives on the ballot this year; there were four in 2018, on gun restrictions, carbon and grocery taxes, and police use of deadly force.

As usual, older voters are exercising their voting rights at a much higher rate than younger ones. Statewide, more than 57% of voters 65 and older have returned ballots, compared with just 11% of those age 18 to 24.

— The Seattle Times

Deputies looking for car, driver after pedestrian hurt in hit-and-run crash near Lacey

The Thurston County Sheriff’s Office is asking the public to help identify a car and driver suspected of hitting a male pedestrian in a hit-and-run crash near Lacey early Saturday morning.

The 31-year-old man, who was critically injured, was taken to Providence St. Peter Hospital in Olympia.

About 3:30 a.m. Saturday, a black sedan was headed east on Martin Way at Duterrow Road Southeast. Meanwhile, the pedestrian was crossing Martin Way at a crosswalk, deputies say, citing witness information.

Those witnesses told deputies the car ran a red light and struck the man. They also said the car accelerated prior to entering the intersection at Duterrow Road and was traveling at an estimated speed of 50-60 miles per hour. It then continued east on Martin Way without stopping, according to the Sheriff’s Office.

Anyone with information about the black sedan, which may have front-end damage, or the driver, is asked to call South Sound Crime Stoppers at 800-222-8477 or send an email to

— The Olympian

LAND steering group discusses diversions, relocations and levees

The Local Action Non-Dam (LAND) Alternatives Steering Group, which has been tasked by the Office of the Chehalis Basin with considering options other than a proposed water retention structure on the Chehalis River near Pe Ell, met last week.

LAND Steering Group met on Zoom to discuss a number of possible concepts for non-dam flood mitigation and also voted to postpone an upcoming LAND public workshop that was to be held on Nov. 17 at the Great Wolf Lodge in Grand Mound.

No new date has been set for the public workshop, but the steering group hoped to hold it sometime in mid-January. An announcement will be made when a new date is chosen.

The reason for the postponement was that many of the group members felt that while they had preliminary concepts created and some modeling results, the data and concepts needed to be refined before being presented to the public for open discussion.

A total of five concepts were discussed at the steering group meeting still, all varying in costs from just over $256 million to almost $540 million but sharing many of the same flood prevention measures.

The first concept focused on floodplain restoration and the relocation or raising of structures within the floodplain. The second concept incorporated the first while also creating a 700-foot wide diversion near the Mellen Street Bridge and relocating the bridge.

The third concept included the first two while also adding levees along the north and south sides of the Skookumchuck River upstream of Interstate 5.

The fourth concept included only the first concept while also adding levees and floodwalls along the north side of the Chehalis River from Fort Borst Park to Galvin Road, along both sides of the Skookumchuck River, along the north bank of Salzer Creek, along the east side of I-5, along the north bank of the Newaukum River near Chehalis and all around the airport.

The fifth and final concept combined the first, second and fourth concepts.

If any concept is chosen, a variety of new infrastructure, with hefty price tags, would be needed.

— The Chronicle