High winds howl through area, state

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WALLA WALLA -- It was good and gusty Wednesday.

High winds produced by a fast-moving weather system ripped through the region, but apparently caused only minor damage.

The strongest gust in the Walla Walla area was 58 mph shortly after 9 a.m. as measured at Whitman Mission National Historic Site, the National Weather Service reported.

A peak gust of 51 mph was measured at Walla Walla Regional Airport shortly before noon. Pasco's Tri-Cities Airport reported a peak gust of 52 mph.

The highest wind speeds were recorded in Yakima and Pendleton, where gusts hit 59 mph, according to the weather service.

A falling tree that took down a power line blacked out 688 Pacific Power customers in Walla Walla. The power went out at 12:30 p.m. and was restored shortly before 3 p.m., a utility spokeswoman said.

Columbia Rural Electric Association had about a half-dozen customers affected by a power failure on the North Touchet Road near Dayton. Otherwise no failures were reported, a utility spokesman said.

Generally dry conditions and lighter winds are forecast for today.

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