(UPDATED TUESDAY with city response)
7:27 PM: For the first time since our reports on “The Hum” two weeks ago (here, here, and here), we are getting multiple reports that people are hearing it again – so far mostly from eastern West Seattle. Two things, while we check it out: 1. If it’s loud enough where you are, try to record it, and be sure to note the time and place. 2. Be sure to contact the city tomorrow, as per their request in our previous coverage (the phone numbers are at the bottom of this story) – or if they have voicemail, you can even try tonight.
1:05 AM: After continued reports through the evening, plus video/audio clips (see the comments), we set out to see what we could find. Here are the results:
–11:45, heard it in the distance from 30th/Holden. The same rising/falling, oscillating type of sound we heard on Julie’s clip from Highland Park earlier this month. From there, we headed toward Highland Park, since that’s where many reports are from.
–11:55, pulled over on Holden around 11th. Apartments on both sides; only thing we heard, some guys squabbling.
–12:02, while driving along the industrial stretch of West Marginal Way SW north of Highland Park Drive, we heard some industrial noise in the distance north of the parks, past the bus yard – more scraping than humming.
–12:08, pulled over on southbound West Marginal across from Lafarge. Something was definitely in operation. It was a steady noise, though, rather than the rising/falling/oscillating sound heard in the distance, and did not seem particularly overpowering; did not have a dB meter handy. We recorded it for about a minute (sorry about the ticking of our emergency flashers):
(Yes, there’s some aircraft noise mixed in toward the start, too.)
–12:15, pulled over alongside Riverview Playfield, 12th and Othello vicinity. We could hear it toward the east, and pulled out the camera again (no visuals showing because aiming it toward an unlit playfield revealed only darkness):
There, it seemed to have more of the coming-and-going quality heard in the distance. We’ll be checking back with the city later today, among others.
8:14 AM UPDATE: Still more reports have come in via e-mail and the WSB Facebook page and Twitter feed, as well as comments here. We will be checking with the city later. Meantime, the Highland Park Action Committee has added “The Hum” to its agenda for tomorrow night’s monthly meeting – 7 pm Wednesday, HP Improvement Club, 12th/Holden.
5:25 PM UPDATE: We expect to have a longer followup later tonight, but, as discussed in comments, we talked with Lafarge management earlier today – they’re looking for help in providing for once and for all whether it is or isn’t them – and then we checked with the city, whose spokesperson Bryan Stevens replied:
On September 14 DPD inspected Lafarge both during the day, while all of their equipment was up and running, and in the evening around 10pm. Tests immediately across the street found the noise levels were in compliance with the noise ordinance.
Later in the evening hours that same day, an inspector also visited a dozen different sites in West Seattle and took noise measurements. The sites were located from Roxbury to Camp Long and California to 9th Ave SW. All of the noise readings were in compliance with the limits of the noise ordinance. The noise posted in the blog was not detected in any of these locations.
This morning we have received a few more complaints about noise heard last night. We’ll follow up on any leads, but the sporadic nature of the noise makes tracking the source very difficult.
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