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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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A secretive company that’s worked with Airbnb, Amazon, and Apple reportedly has a history of charging contractors to work for its corporate clients



a man sitting in front of a computer: A man works at a computer with a headset. Badias/Andia/Universal Images Group via Getty Images


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A man works at a computer with a headset. Badias/Andia/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

  • A customer service firm used by the likes of Apple, Amazon, Airbnb, and more has a history of exploiting the remote gig workers it recruits, according to a new ProPublica report.
  • Arise Virtual Solutions, which serves as a contractor to staff customer support teams, has seen booming business during the pandemic as it allows large corporations to easily hire and fire the people it contracts.
  • The report paints yet another picture of how workers in the gig economy are left vulnerable to exploitation.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

A customer service firm hired by the likes of Airbnb, Amazon, Apple, and Disney has seen a burgeoning business during the pandemic. But the 25-year-old firm also has a history of worker exploitation, according to a new ProPublica report.

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Arise Virtual Solutions acts as a middleman between gig workers — who, ProPublica reports, are mostly women and people of color — and big companies, pairing the remote customer service workers with large corporate clients. Arise’s clientele includes Amazon, Apple, AT&T, Disney, eBay, Peloton, Virgin Atlantic, and many others, according to the outlet.

The corporations are drawn to Arise’s services in part because of how quickly the firm can hire workers, the report notes. But Arise can also easily fire those customer service agents, without severance or insurance, in what is another example of how rampant worker vulnerability and exploitation can be in the gig economy.

Arise has been hit with federal class-action lawsuits since 2011, with workers alleging federal labor law violations and wrongful treatment of employees. ProPublica viewed hearings, internal documents, corporate contracts, and other records, as well as spoke with multiple agents for its investigation.

The

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