Ice slams north Whatcom County; residents encouraged to stay off the roads

LYNDEN, Wash. -- Freezing rain and ice pummeled north Whatcom County Friday afternoon and evening, and emergency responders encouraged drivers to stay off the roads unless totally necessary.

The National Weather Service issued an Ice Storm Warning for western Whatcom County, lasting until 12 a.m. Saturday morning. Sheets of ice 2-to-3 inches thick were spotted on powerpoles, cars and on the roads.

Thousands were reported without power, and Puget Sound Energy snapped photos of multiple downed power lines. PSE reported about 20,000 customers had lost power in Bellingham and north of the city near the Canadian border.

Whatcom County emergency workers encouraged drivers to stay off north county roads unless absolutely necessary.

Elsewhere across the state, a winter storm pushed snow into the mountains and brought rivers to near flooding stages. Power outages in Snohomish County and Pierce County were also reported.

The White River is expected to cause minor flooding through the holiday weekend.

Driving the interstates was also a challenge during downpours as rain hit the lowlands. Standing water posed a hazard for drivers, especially those who ignored the weather conditions.

In Everett, the heavy rains soaked everything, turning the city into dripping mess.

Kelline Blake she says she’ll be watching other drivers closely on her way home from grocery shopping.

"Just driving way too fast for the weather condition,” Kelline said.

For the latest, visit the Q13 News Weather page.