(LATEST TOPLINES, 4:32 PM: City Light’s system-status page and WSB commenters indicate just about everyone has their power back, after a 2,000+-home/business outage caused by a car smashing into a pole at 47th/Charlestown at 5:30 this morning.)
(7:06 am – replaced original cameraphone photo with video)
ORIGINAL 5:41 AM REPORT: Getting a few outage reports – not surprising since our power here in Upper Fauntleroy flickered twice a few minutes ago, and flickers in one place often portend an outage elsewhere. Via Facebook, Kate says “a transformer blew” near her home at 46th/Charlestown. And Jennifer says her power came back fast but she’s seeing folks out to the south of her area (which is 4800 block Fauntleroy). Plus, Lisa says power’s out around Jefferson Square. This is NOT on the Seattle City Light “system status” page yet. More to come.
5:49 AM UPDATE: New information – This is because of a crash. Power lines are down because of a car crash at Charlestown and 47th. Listening to scanner traffic now. “Two critical patients” according to scanner, and they are not yet out of the vehicle.
5:59 AM UPDATE: The two patients are now out of the vehicle and being taken to Harborview. “High-speed car vs telephone pole” crash with the victims described as a man and woman, both 25, according to the scanner.
6:16 AM UPDATE: We just got to the scene. It’s at the bottom of the mega-steep hill on Charlestown, west of 46th (here’s a map; the road is closed at the top). As for the power – most of the businesses and streetlights on the west side of The Junction between Edmunds and Oregon are out (with a few exceptions), plus the California/Alaska lights. Then the power’s back north of there. So, a spotty outage. City Light arrived at the scene here just ahead of us. The car is badly mangled – police say it “was” a Buick.
7:06 AM UPDATE: Came back to HQ to add video – the lighting at the scene is not optimal; we will go back once the sun’s up. No word on the victims’ conditions. Seattle City Light is working on the power lines at the scene; its “outage tracker” says more than 2,000 homes/businesses have lost power – our comments and e-mail/notes suggest it’s a hopscotch pattern, various spots from North Admiral south to Fairmount Springs. (You can see that on the outage tracker, too.)
7:31 AM UPDATE: City Light has finally published its own update, though it does not mention the crash, or the non-contingent nature of the outage zones. It does mention “additional momentary outages will be required as the problem is repaired.”
8:03 AM UPDATE: California/Alaska stoplight in The Junction is still out. And City Light now says some may not get their power back for “six to eight hours.” The crash scene will be closed a while, since the Traffic Collision Investigation Squad – which is called to major scenes – is at work there:
The pole hit by the car is still at a sharp angle. City Light says some may be without power for up to 6 to 8 more hours.
8:47 AM UPDATE: That’s the aforementioned pole. We’ve received calls, comments, and notes in the past 10 minutes or so indicating some have gotten their power back – The Junction, for example – while, as SCL warned, some have lost it (North Admiral). We saw SCL trucks in The Junction while passing through en route back from revisiting the scene, and a Facebook commenter reports seeing crews there too. We also have a report of a Comcast outage, though we don’t know whether it’s related.
11:40 AM UPDATE: Police have published an item about the crash on SPDBlotter, describing both victims as having “life-threatening injuries,” and saying their Buick sedan was heading westbound down the steep hill just before it hit the pole. About 100 homes/businesses are still without power, according to City Light’s “outage tracker“; their Power Lines site’s latest update says that’s needed while the pole – cut off at the base, per police – is replaced.
4:33 PM UPDATE: Looks like just about everyone’s back on, judging by both comments and the City Light system-status page. We were at 47th/Charlestown about an hour ago and watched crews in the final stages of replacing the pole taken out by this morning’s crash.