Ice storm bends trees, knocks out power to thousands in Whatcom County, Washington

Photo: Puget Sound Energy

SUMAS, Wash. -- A relentless freezing rain is now causing issues in parts of Whatcom County on Friday evening.

The National Weather Service reports that some tree branches are starting to fall around the Lynden and Sumas area, triggering power outages. Puget Sound Energy more than 20,000 customers without power.

A rare Ice Storm Warning was issued for the inland areas of Whatcom County including Sumas, Lynden and Ferndale until midnight. Another tenth of an inch of ice accumulation is expected in those areas with a storm total approaching a quarter inch.

The National Weather Service warns that if anyone ventures out Friday evening to be aware of ice falling off trees and off buildings.

Driving was dangerous.

Despite a very mild storm moving through the region, arctic air continues to be drawn out of the Fraser River Valley into the interior locations of Whatcom County. The warm rains fall into the thin layer of freezing temperatures, making the rain freeze on contact.

The problem extends into southern British Columbia along the Fraser Valley where freezing rain has also created issues.

Once a cold front sweeps through later Friday night, the winds in Whatcom County will switch to the southwest, pushing away the arctic air and bringing a rapid warm up and end to the freezing rain.

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