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10-Year-Old Girl Killed From Tree Limb In Federal Way

Sunday August 30, 2015    6:12 PM
FEDERAL WAY, Washington - A falling tree killed a 10-year-old girl Saturday as a windstorm whipped through the South Sound.

The girl who died was from the Burien area, police said. She was killed around noon at a birthday party in Federal Way.

"She was at a friend's house playing outside," Assistant Chief Ed Plumlee said, "and a big limb from an alder tree snapped off and fell down and hit her directly."

Falling trees or branches injured four people during a triathlon at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, south of Seattle. They were taken to an Army hospital for treatment, the News Tribune reported.

Trees on roadways caused widespread traffic problems.

The National Weather Service reported 20- to 35-mph winds, with gusts of 50 mph. One weather station in Hoquiam, Washington, clocked a gust of 63 mph.

Late August is unusually early for such a powerful storm, meteorologists said. Trees, already stressed by dry conditions, still have their leaves, which makes them more likely to fall when strong winds blow.

Crews working to restore power were taxed by the storm's breadth. It tore trees out of the ground across a vast swatch of the Pacific Northwest, stretching personnel and equipment thin.

"If it just hits one part of our service area, you can maybe send crews down from another area. But this is a service area-wide event," said Christina Donegan, a spokeswoman for Puget Sound Energy, which reported 224,000 customers without power by early evening.