SEATTLE - A winter storm whipped the coasts of Oregon and Washington Friday, then dumped snow in the western mountains and knocked out power to thousands before sweeping north into Canada.

About 250,000 homes and businesses were without power at the height of the storm, when wind gusted to 45 mph in the Puget Sound region. The strongest gust - 128 mph - was recorded at White Pass, Wash., in the Cascades. Minor injuries were reported, including a 20-year-old man who was knocked unconscious by a flying canopy in downtown Seattle.

Utility crews were working around the clock, hoping to restore power to all customers during the weekend.

Friday's storm also brought snow to the Olympics and Cascades - with 6 to 12 inches expected at elevations above 5,000 feet.

Two barges tied together broke loose from a buoy in Seattle's Elliott Bay, drifting toward piers that line the downtown waterfront before six tugboats brought them under control.

Staff at the Waterfront Seafood Grill watched apprehensively as the barges approached.

Hostess Mindy McNeely had just clocked in when she saw them and said, "Wait a minute. This is too close. It's not supposed to be this close."

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