The Hanukkah Eve windstorm of 2006 was a powerful Pacific Northwest windstorm in the Pacific Northwest region of the United States and southern British Columbia, Canada between December 14, 2006 and December 15, 2006. The storm produced hurricane-force wind gusts and heavy rainfall, causing hundreds of millions of dollars in damage and leaving over 1.8 million residences and businesses without power. Eighteen people were killed, most of whom died of carbon monoxide poisoning in the days following the storm because of improper use of barbecue cookers and generators indoors. The name of the storm was chosen in a contest run by the National Weather Service office in Seattle from about 8,000 entries.


The storm left heavy damage across Washington, especially tree damage. The fallen trees knocked down many power lines and closed many roads as well. Seattle-Tacoma International Airport partially lost power, canceling most flights. Flooding was also reported in low-lying areas from the heavy rain.

Storm damage at an Olympia, Washington apartment complex.

The electricity grid was hit very hard, as about 1.2 million customers lost power in the state, and Puget Sound Energy reported that more than 75 percent of its circuits were damaged. Municipal utilities also suffered severe damage. In the Seattle area, several days after the storm hundreds of thousands of families still remained without power and many had to leave their homes and move into hotels or emergency shelters coping with the inclement weather. Major employers in the area were affected; the power outage forced Microsoft to shut down large portions of its campus in Redmond on December 15.

The Seattle School District and many districts surrounding closed, marking the first time Seattle schools were closed for a weather-related reason other than snow.

It was described as the worst storm to hit the region since the Inauguration Day storm of January 20, 1993.


Fourteen people were killed in Western Washington. One of them was 41-year-old voice actress Kate Fleming (aka Anna Fields) who was trapped in a flooded basement in Seattle's Madison Valley. In Grays Harbor County Markus Stickles was killed by a tree that fell into his home in McCleary. In Gig Harbor, Washington, Pritchard Miller and his dog were electrocuted after stepping on a downed power line. In Pierce County, two motorists were hit by falling trees. Eatonville resident Harold Fox, 47, was killed while trying to avoid a fallen tree south of Spanaway. Near McKenna, 37-year-old Roy resident Bonnie Bacus died as the result of a tree falling onto the cab of a truck, in which she was a passenger; her husband, who was driving the truck, died 3 months later. Steven Thielen died in Spanaway as a result of a house fire caused by the use of candles for light.

Eight deaths occurred as a result of carbon monoxide poisoning. Five of those were members of a single Burien family. Adam Butcher, his wife Jackie Harris, and two sons, Jason Shane Butcher, 14 and Raymond Zachary Butcher, 21, died of asphyxiation because of a generator running in a closed garage attached to their home. Another son, Rick Taylor Butcher, 24, died in a hospital on January 20, 2007 as a result of his injuries. Alejandro Nava-Solis of Kirkland, Juan Figueroa-Gomez of Renton, and Shah Fazli of Kenmore were also among the carbon monoxide deaths.