Local restaurants prepare for powerful windstorm in Bellingham

Damaging winds battered Whatcom County causing thousands of power outages. A High Wind Warning is in effect until 10pm where 60mph wind gusts are possible tonight.

Local restaurants that rely on outdoor dining during the pandemic scrambled to prepare for Tuesday's windstorm. The owner of Fiamma Burger located on Railroad Avenue put up his outdoor tent a little over a month ago and it has endured weather systems so far, but he said he knew the winds would be even stronger this time around and made sure to secure his structure.

"We prepared initially by putting really heavy duty anchors down and talked to some engineering friends to get everything secured and basically just  keeping an eye on it. So far, it's held. Some of the material hasn't, but the enginerring has and yeah, just hope for the best," said Owner Kenneth Bothman.

The co-owner of AB Crepes built a sturdy outdoor structure and outfitted it with plastic outdoor shelter to withstand strong winds and keep the rain out. Unfortunately, the strong winds won't allow him to fire up his propane heaters for customers dining outdoors.

"The winds, that's the disasterly part because we have these propane heaters and we can't use them in the wind. It just blows it out and leak gas so once this passes, we can't keep people warm in here. Until then, they'll just have to wear an extra jacket," said co-owner Jonathon Peterson.

Residents are urged to stay indoors and away from forested areas and around trees and branches through the remainder of the High Wind Warning. The lower level of your home and away from windows is the safest place to be in a windstorm. Use caution if you must drive.