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'Straight-line wind event' takes out trees, power near Arlington

According to the National Weather Service, a
According to the National Weather Service, a 'straight-line wind event' took out a path of trees about 100 feet in width and roughly half a mile in length approximately 10 miles northeast of Arlington on June 23.
— image credit: Photo courtesy of Tiffanie Pearson

ARLINGTON — While sudden storms knocked out power for thousands throughout Snohomish County on Saturday, June 23, the National Weather Service reported that a "straight-line wind event" — similar to a tornado, but without the circular motion — struck approximately 10 miles northeast of Arlington on Jim Creek Road, taking out a path of trees about 100 feet in width and roughly half a mile in length before it dissipated.

Tiffanie Pearson owns property on both sides of the Jim Creek Road, close to six miles east of Trafton and one mile from the Jim Creek Naval Station. That Saturday afternoon, she and her 70-year-old aunt happened to be out in the family barn when they noticed the powerful onset of the storm.

"I told my aunt, 'We don't have storms like this,'" Pearson said. "There was a sound like a thunder crack, but way louder, which I think was the microburst. It sounded like a jet plane, and the barn was in the way so we couldn't see it, but we could hear tons of trees crashing down."

Pearson realized that any one of those trees could come down on the barn, so she led her aunt to the basement as fast as they could go.

"The trees missed the barn by about 100 feet, but that's still too close for comfort," Pearson said. "There's a swath of about 200 yards where the woods are all gone and open to the creek now."

The National Weather Service estimated winds to be near 40 miles per hour, with some higher gusts for a period of 15 minutes.

While Pearson's power went out at about 2 p.m. on June 23 due to downed power lines, it was up and running again by 8 a.m. on Sunday, June 24.

"It was just very unusual," Pearson said. "I've lived here for 40 years and never seen anything like this happen."

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