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Strong wind storm reportedly kills one, knocks out power for thousands of Puget Sound homes

Strong wind gusts whipped through the Puget Sound area and down the coast Tuesday, snapping branches and taking down utility poles, and reportedly killing one person and wiping out power for thousands of homes.

Wind gusts ranged from 30 to 40 mph throughout most of the region, with peak gusts at 48 mph in Seattle, said meteorologist Matthew Cullen of the National Weather Service Seattle. The wind storm came from a very strong low-pressure system that moved into northern Vancouver Island in British Columbia earlier Tuesday, combined with a front that extended across the region, he said.

Friday Harbor also saw 48 mph winds, while Olympia and Quillayute hit 45 to 46 mph gusts.

“It was pretty consistent up and down the coast,” Cullen said.

The person who died during the windstorm was clearing out a driveway on the Key Peninsula when a tree fell on them, Key Peninsula Fire spokeswoman Anne Nesbit told Q13 News Tuesday. No further information was immediately available.

Puget Sound Energy had responded to more than 77,000 outages by 2:30 p.m. Tuesday, caused primarily by tree branches blown into power lines, the utility service said. Seattle City Light reported more than 14,000 outages in southeast Seattle, northwest Seattle and Shoreline on Tuesday afternoon, though most had been restored by the evening.

State transportation officials also shut down several highways — including Highway 162 near Orting, Highway 121 in Tumwater and Highway 167 near Tacoma — Tuesday to clear away downed power lines and debris, the state Department of Transportation said on Twitter.

Cullen said the gusts were expected to continue to wind down as Tuesday night progressed and stay calmer on Wednesday.

Some showers are expected with a light breeze Wednesday, while Thursday should stay mostly dry with some morning clouds that are expected to

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Renovation can be a sound strategy for smart investors

Renovation can increase the value of your property investments

By: Nesa Rahmat/

Image credit: Grant McLean/Flickr

Getting ahead in real estate investments is not just about buying properties – the most strategic move for you may be to improve the value of a property you already own, even your home. If you are happy where you are, renovation can be a sound financial strategy. When you renovate your own home, you win twice – once when you enjoy the benefits of a better home, and once again when you sell the home.

When it comes to resale value, however, not all renovations are created equal.

Let’s look at an example. Suppose you live in a landed property and fancy a hot tub on your back deck, and decide to invest $10,000 or so. Will that add $10,000 to the value of your home? Likely not. The truth is, not everybody wants a hot tub. In fact, somebody bidding on your home might not want to bother with the maintenance, and may be inclined to get rid of it. Their bid, therefore, will not take your investment into account – it might even be seen as a negative.

The lesson here is that when you’re prioritising your renovation, make sure you consider which ones add the most value to your home.

Here are some guidelines for renovations:

  • Chose improvements that are most popular with prospective buyers. Kitchens and bathrooms are at the top of the hit list according to statistics gathered by several agencies.
  • Keep your home in top shape. Homes that are not looked after deteriorate rapidly in value. For private landed properties, a leaky roof, for example, can cause damage to your hardwood floors. Siding that is in bad shape can lead to animals and other pests getting into
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