Yes, unbelievably high winds. Here at home in Nanaimo, Vancouver Island, we have been without power for 48 hours (just came back on now), and we are on water rationing (if you can believe it with all of this rain!!!), due to the power outage creating computer problems at the water treatment plant (water supply). No ETA for the water repair.
As far as newbies moving to the PNW (both US and Canada), a morning radio DJ described local boating this way: "Put on the most expensive foul weather gear you can get, go stand in a shower and turn on the water to get it as ice cold as you can, and rip up $100 dollar bills"
That will give you a feel for boating in the NW. This quote is from a few years ago, so it is probably $1,000 dollar bills now!