Updates: West Seattle power outage over after 3 hours

April 21, 2010 at 5:57 am | In Utilities, West Seattle news | 73 Comments

(Scroll down for updates)

(Admiral/California cameraphone photo added 6:53 am)
FIRST REPORT, 5:57 AM: Thanks to those who’ve called, tweeted and Facebooked with the tip – there’s a power outage affecting 2700 customers (homes/businesses) in north West Seattle – City Light says it stretches from 25th SW to 44th SW, Alki Ave to SW Juneau. They don’t yet know the cause (though via Twitter, @macjustice says he heard a transformer blow, and @mcneight mentions “blue flashes in the distance”). We’re on the road checking the extent and looking to see which major intersections are affected.

6:15 AM UPDATE: On California SW, the southernmost intersection without power is at SW Lander (by Lafayette Elementary). California/Admiral is out. Metropolitan Market (WSB sponsor) appears to have emergency lighting only.

6:23 AM: Part of eastern Harbor/Alki Avenue is out too – to about the 1100 block on the west. And the Avalon/Harbor/West Seattle Bridge intersection is out, as is the Luna Park business district till SW Genesee on the SE.

6:46 AM: In the North Delridge area, Allstar Fitness is out – but just to the east, power is ON along Delridge itself, so people going to The Bridge that way won’t be affected. We’re checking next on schools in the outage area – so far, Lafayette DOES appear to have power. A commenter says Pathfinder K-8 on Pigeon Point is out. At Admiral/California, SDOT has put up temporary stop signs (see top photo).

6:54 AM: Commenters are saying power has just come back on, at least in some areas. Let us know if you’re NOT back on. (Note: Areas restored include Harbor Ave, Luna Park/North Delridge.)

7:17 AM: The Admiral District is still out.

7:29 AM: We are at Pathfinder K-8 School on Pigeon Point (former Cooper building) and the power’s out there; the principal’s on the phone trying to sort things out. They’re just telling parents as they arrive. That’s the ONLY school affected that we know of (in comments, Connie from Lafayette reaffirms they have power and are open). Photo of Pathfinder staff waiting to notify parents as they arrive:

8:02 AM: At Pathfinder, buses are arriving and those kids are being kept in the cafeteria for starters, we’re told.

The school’s phone system is not working, so you can’t call. Again, they ask that if you haven’t left yet and if you can keep your child at home, please do. Meantime, City Light has sent its first Twitter update on the outage, saying 1,447 customers still affected (each individual home, business, institution is one customer).

8:26 AM: Just talked to City Light’s media rep. They believe the outage was the fault of a branch into wires at 42nd/Hill, though it took a while to trace. They hope to fix it shortly – then breakers have to be tripped manually, so apparently everyone won’t be on instantly.

8:53 AM: No new reports of restoration, though areas beyond the outage (including ours) had a flicker a short time ago.

9:01 AM: City Light just tweeted that the power’s all back. Let us know if you’re still out.

9:52 AM: City Light’s official everyone’s-back news release confirms what rep told us at 8:26 (see above) – branch at 42nd/Hill gets the blame for hitting wires.


  1. Muttleys is currently out, atleast we have dogs to entertain us!

    Comment by Muttleys — 6:02 am April 21, 2010 #

  2. There were three quick explosions somewhere east of California around 5:45. Probably transformers exploding.

    Comment by BN — 6:09 am April 21, 2010 #

  3. Pathfinder school is out. If they can’t get the power on the school will have to make a decision about taking kids this morning.

    Comment by Brian — 6:44 am April 21, 2010 #

  4. I was a few blocks from California and Admiral when the flashes happened I thought it was something out of modern warfare 2 haha, when I got to California and Admiral its smelled like electrical fire, I seems like the power likes to go out a lot in that area.

    Comment by CJ — 6:47 am April 21, 2010 #

  5. thanks, Brian … checking on schools was our next move … in Admiral, Lafayette seems to have power.

    Comment by WSB — 6:49 am April 21, 2010 #

  6. Does Madison have power?

    Comment by Cami — 6:49 am April 21, 2010 #

  7. Back on on 26th

    Comment by Karen — 6:51 am April 21, 2010 #

  8. Power just came back on. We’re on Avalon near Yancy.

    Comment by charles — 6:53 am April 21, 2010 #

  9. Still no power here on Alki ave at the 1100 block.

    Comment by raja — 6:56 am April 21, 2010 #

  10. I’m doing a live shot in a few minutes from California & Admiral.
    Power is off at this intersection as of 6:57 a.m.
    A Seattle Public Utilities worker who was setting up stop signs here said that they (SPU Transportation Dept.) are requested (by police) to set up traffic signs when the outage is expected to last at least 4 hours.

    Comment by Tim Robinson — 6:58 am April 21, 2010 #

  11. Still out on Victoria

    Comment by Terry — 6:59 am April 21, 2010 #

  12. Just talked to someone at Pathfinder, the power seems to be on around the school, but the school did not have power as of a minute ago. Maybe the school takes longer to get restarted?

    Comment by Brian — 6:59 am April 21, 2010 #

  13. North of Admiral, East of California, (north of metropolitan market and library) : we are still without power.

    Comment by Daphne — 7:03 am April 21, 2010 #

  14. Power still OUT at 39th & Lander

    Comment by CHWS — 7:08 am April 21, 2010 #

  15. I’m juuust on the “right” side of 44th in the middle of that zone because I never lost power.

    Comment by SteveM — 7:19 am April 21, 2010 #

  16. The childcare attached to Pathfinder (blazing trails) will not be able to accept children this morning until the power comes back on. They are changing their contact information to reflect the situation.

    Comment by Brian — 7:20 am April 21, 2010 #

  17. I should mention…from an earlier comment…that I’m a reporter for KING 5…doing live shots at Admiral & California. We are giving W. Seattle Blog all sorts of props and citing you guys in our reports.

    Comment by Tim Robinson — 7:23 am April 21, 2010 #

  18. No power at 39/Olga

    Comment by Scrappy — 7:25 am April 21, 2010 #

  19. Thanks, Brian. Co-publisher was headed up to Pathfinder at last report – there’s no central update from the school district so far so we’re just checking school by school.

    Comment by WSB — 7:26 am April 21, 2010 #

  20. Signal light at California and Lander is still out and no temporary stop signs. Please be careful this morning – will be a lot of students crossing there to get to Lafayette or WS High in a little while.

    Comment by In The Dark — 7:26 am April 21, 2010 #

  21. Lights flickered at 5:40 at 39th and Stevens, not even enough to make my alarm clock reset but never lost power. We must be in a lucky power pocket since it looks like all around us are without

    Comment by Carson — 7:33 am April 21, 2010 #

  22. Just got power at 39/Olga

    Comment by Scrappy — 7:34 am April 21, 2010 #

  23. North of met market: we are on!

    Comment by Daphne — 7:34 am April 21, 2010 #

  24. west of California at Walker, never went out

    Comment by homesweethome — 7:35 am April 21, 2010 #

  25. Signal at California and Admiral is still out, but power to businesses, etc., is on here.

    Comment by Tim Robinson — 7:35 am April 21, 2010 #

  26. Power is back here on 1100 block of Alki. Whoohoo

    Comment by raja — 7:35 am April 21, 2010 #

  27. Power just now clicked back on at my home in North Admiral. Yippee! Now I can make my coffee!

    Comment by Katy — 7:35 am April 21, 2010 #

  28. Power back on north oF Admiral east of Cali…oops back off again

    Comment by nearalki — 7:38 am April 21, 2010 #

  29. Lafayette Elementary School is up and running. No power outage here. School as usual.

    Comment by Connie Wicklund — 7:38 am April 21, 2010 #

  30. That was bad! Rattled the whole house. Sparks coming up from the trees off of 42nd and Hill. Niorth of met market is back out!

    Comment by Daphne — 7:39 am April 21, 2010 #

  31. Oops – now back out again in Admiral.

    Comment by Katy — 7:39 am April 21, 2010 #

  32. Power came on for a brief minute in Admiral around 7:40 and then went out again.

    Comment by kc — 7:41 am April 21, 2010 #

  33. Out again on 26th. At least it was on long enough to make coffee.

    Comment by Kathy — 7:42 am April 21, 2010 #

  34. Thanks, Connie from Lafayette. Pathfinder still out – our field crew is staked out there.

    Comment by WSB — 7:46 am April 21, 2010 #

  35. Just received word from home (between Admiral and Harbor Ave) that the power keeps going on and off, currently it’s off.

    Comment by Kimberley — 7:51 am April 21, 2010 #

  36. Thank you Miss Connie! Now there’s a voice of authority! ;)

    Comment by hopey — 7:52 am April 21, 2010 #

  37. Power came on and then back off again at 42nd/Walker. Woke me out of a dead sleep at 5:40. We have a transformer on the telephone pole outside our house. Loud booms, flashes and sparks. My 1st thought was oh goodness…..they’re here! Then I realized it was just the power out.

    Comment by bsmomma — 8:13 am April 21, 2010 #

  38. Anyone know about Alki Elementary?

    Comment by Jenn — 8:18 am April 21, 2010 #

  39. I spoke with a girl who was walking home from school, she was told to go back home.

    Comment by toniw — 8:23 am April 21, 2010 #

  40. I live near 40th and Brandon, so within the ‘zone’, but we never lost power. The lights flickered around 5:50.

    Comment by Dodeq — 8:26 am April 21, 2010 #

  41. any word as to what the time frame might be for the power to go back on?

    Comment by hammerhead — 8:27 am April 21, 2010 #

  42. Just updated the story. They hope “soon” – they have traced the problem but then once it’s fixed they have to manually trip breakers along the line to get areas back on.

    Comment by WSB — 8:28 am April 21, 2010 #

  43. Jenn – Re: Alki, the power wasn’t out that far northwest so they should not be affected.

    Comment by WSB — 8:30 am April 21, 2010 #

  44. Power flickering here at 18th and Cloverdale.

    Comment by karen — 8:32 am April 21, 2010 #

  45. We had a flicker too in Upper Fauntleroy. Last time that happened at 7:40 it meant some folks got their power back on so here’s hoping …

    Comment by WSB — 8:33 am April 21, 2010 #

  46. power flickering at 32nd/Barton

    Comment by das — 8:33 am April 21, 2010 #

  47. A live within a block of 42nd and Hill and definitely saw flash of light and heard something.

    @bsmomma, I was pretty sure it was an X-Files moment too!

    Comment by Spana — 8:37 am April 21, 2010 #

  48. At 30th near Harbor Ave. Power was on, but TV cable was out. Five minutes ago, I was sitting with TV on and no picture. Then picture/sound appeared, followed by audible explosion somewhere outside. Power then went out immediately, all in less than a second.

    Comment by PK — 8:39 am April 21, 2010 #

  49. Pathfinder school is on now,my son just arrived via schoolbus and it was still out but since then he called again and theyre staying for the day.LIGHTS BACK ON.

    Comment by alki resident — 8:40 am April 21, 2010 #

  50. Does anyone know if the Gatewood hill area is affected?Near 41st and Monroe st.?

    Comment by alki resident — 8:41 am April 21, 2010 #

  51. Im down on Alki,JENN.I have power,Im sure the elementary does also.Over near Saltys it ws dark but not this way near us on 53rd and Alki.

    Comment by alki resident — 8:43 am April 21, 2010 #

  52. Alki Res – We’re close to there and we have been on for the duration, except for one quick flicker. Re: Pathfinder, thanks – our person on scene had to leave, we will see if we can reach anyone there to be sure.

    Comment by WSB — 8:44 am April 21, 2010 #

  53. Still a bit of off and onning on the hill sort of between admiral and luna park. Not exactly super convenient but could be worse.

    Comment by austin — 8:46 am April 21, 2010 #

  54. A confirmation on Pathfinder would be lovely? Anyone?

    Comment by das — 8:46 am April 21, 2010 #

  55. OMG-IM picking up my son from Pathfinder,lights went out again.

    Comment by alki resident — 8:48 am April 21, 2010 #


    Comment by alki resident — 8:49 am April 21, 2010 #

  57. We live in the Fauntlee Hills area and we had a big power surge about 10 minutes ago but the power didn’t go out.

    Comment by Bonnie — 8:49 am April 21, 2010 #

  58. Thanks for the update; we were JUST heading out the door when I checked the blog one last time. Glad I did! (-:

    Comment by das — 8:54 am April 21, 2010 #

  59. Power back on here in Admiral – seems like we’re good now.

    Comment by Katy — 8:54 am April 21, 2010 #

  60. As of this moment Pathfinder (and blazing trails)power is still out. The only kids being allowed to leave are with parental permission.

    Comment by Brian Hess — 8:56 am April 21, 2010 #

  61. City Light just tweeted that power’s back … anyone still out, please advise.

    Comment by WSB — 9:00 am April 21, 2010 #

  62. Thanks Brian! Very helpful!

    Comment by das — 9:01 am April 21, 2010 #

  63. Official word is that power is 100% restored

    Comment by Jeff — 9:02 am April 21, 2010 #

  64. That’s what SCL said but still working to find out Pathfinder status – it was kind of an isolated pocket.

    Comment by WSB — 9:06 am April 21, 2010 #

  65. Pathfinder power is now on. I just got the call.

    Comment by Brian — 9:08 am April 21, 2010 #

  66. Thanks! I got the voice mail and I’m sure they’re swamped.

    Comment by WSB — 9:09 am April 21, 2010 #

  67. ok. we’ll try leaving the house again.

    Comment by das — 9:10 am April 21, 2010 #

  68. That flash of light/power surge was right outside my apartment window and woke me up! On the bright side it made me not late for work today

    Comment by Eric — 11:09 am April 21, 2010 #

  69. Did anyone else see a power line over the West Seattle Bridge burst around 8:30am this morning?

    Comment by Steph — 11:20 am April 21, 2010 #

  70. now all I have to do is take my fried cable box in for a replacement

    Comment by marcus — 11:35 am April 21, 2010 #

  71. When my apartment was dark this morning, I rushed to work and checked this blog. I KNEW this blog would be up on the story!! Thanks WSB :)

    Comment by Sara — 11:45 am April 21, 2010 #

  72. My lights are on! Are your lights on?

    Comment by Peter — 3:46 pm April 21, 2010 #

  73. at 5.40am sitting by the window, just unplugged the computer as the second flash finished, sat there and watched horizontal surge of white jagged light shoot from the east to west on calif/hill! all the crows flew off the blgs towards the north. then the big surge that sounded like when dr.frankenstein blew the village power grid. then it was all quiet outside.
    it was creepy,weird and scary all at the same time. thanks for all the updates.

    Comment by crow watcher — 5:46 pm April 22, 2010 #

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