Storm brings strong winds, record rain to Seattle area

iStock/Thinkstock(SEATTLE) -- A strong storm system wreaked havoc on the western Washington area on Wednesday, toppling trees and knocking out power for thousands as the autumn storm season whipped into full swing.

The storm -- the second of three expected to hit the Washington area this week -- brought as much as 2 inches of rain to some parts of the Evergreen State.

Seattle surpassed its rainfall record for the day with 1.2 inches of rain as of early Thursday, breaking a record that had been held since 1958, according to the National Weather Service.

Heavy winds of up to 58 mph downed trees and power lines in multiple cities along Washington’s west coast.

In Kent, located about 25 minutes south of Seattle, trees fell down a hillside, tumbling power lines and snapping a power pole on a busy street, according to local ABC affiliate KOMO-TV.

Seven cars were damaged by the falling lines, including one that trapped a woman inside her car for more than 30 minutes, KOMO-TV reported. The woman was not injured.

The National Weather Service warned residents to stay indoors and avoid driving to avoid falling limbs during the height of the storm.

About 56,000 people were without power across the major western Washington utilities, with Puget Sound Energy accounting for 41,000 of them.

Most of the wind advisories had expired by late Wednesday, but a separate storm is expected to hit the area this weekend, meteorologists said.

“Another strong front will reach the area for the weekend -- with another round of heavy rain,” the National Weather Service said in a note Wednesday night. “Drier weather is expected to develop early next week as a ridge of high pressure strengthens."

The heaviest rainfall is expected between Seattle and the extreme northern parts of Oregon, meteorologists said. The rainfall is forecast to gradually ease on Sunday night.

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