West Seattle power outage: 11,000 homes, businesses affected at peak; ‘underground equipment’ blamedNovember 11, 2012 at 4:37 am | In Utilities, West Seattle news | 85 Comments
(Screengrab from City Light outage map when outage was at its peak, 5:50-ish am)
ORIGINAL REPORT, 4:37 AM: Power’s out at WSB HQ in Upper Fauntleroy and elsewhere in Gatewood and near Lincoln Park, per texts we’ve gotten. Investigating further.
4:44 AM: Not on City Light’s outage map, which only means they haven’t had time to post it yet. We’re getting messages from High Point, too, as well as north Morgan Junction, but WSB’ers in Admiral and Alki say they’re still powered.
4:50 AM: City Light map is updated now. 3265 “customers,” which means homes/businesses.
5:04 AM: The City Light map shows this outage isn’t one contiguous area, and that’s what our spotter crew is finding. Heading north, it’s on in part of Gatewood. On at California/Fauntleroy. But we’ve had reports further north of there.
5:18 AM: City Light has now issued an official news release but does not have an estimated restoration time. Meantime, our crew on the road says the outage zone seems to be shifting – he went past one area in the High Point vicinity that was OK a few minutes ago and now is out.
5:31 AM: Some just got power back – the lights on 35th through Gatewood/High Point are back on but in “flashing” mode.
6 AM: The City Light map just dramatically increased the number of homes/businesses affected to almost 11,000.
6:07 AM: Just got our power back (California/Thistle vicinity). Who’s still out?
6:20 AM: City Light spokesperson Mark Van Oss tells WSB that “underground equipment” caused this. If anybody IS still out, it might be as late as 11 am before it’s back.
6:43 AM: City Light map now shows 1,700+ homes/businesses still out.
7:15 AM: Down to about 700, and City Light says everyone should be back on within a half-hour or so.
8:38 AM: And they are – at least according to the map. P.S. Though the official news releases earlier capped the outage at the original 3,200+ number, SCL’s Van Oss confirms it was indeed up to almost 11,000 for a while: “In attempting to reroute power to restore a portion of customers with another feeder (major power line), that second feeder relayed out. So, a second block of customers was out for about 20 minutes. This would have included Westwood. Your numbers are correct.”
8:53 AM: That’s reflected in the final news release, which specifies a failed underground cable as the cause:
Seattle City Light crews restored service to all customers affected by this morning’s power outage in West Seattle’s Gatewood neighborhood. The outage was due to the failure of an underground power cable.
The outage was first reported at 4:30 a.m., Sunday, November 11, 2012 and affected 3,257 customers. The original boundaries were on the north SW Findlay Street; on the south SW Henderson Street; on the east 28th Avenue SW; and on the west, Puget Sound.
In attempting to reroute power to restore a portion of the original customers with another feeder (major power line), the second feeder relayed out. So, a second block of customers was without power for about ten minutes, including the Westwood neighborhood. At its height, the outages affected approximately 11,000 customers. All customers had their power restored by 7:30 a.m.
As SCL pointed out in an earlier media advisory, “boundaries” are just approximations – not everyone within the specified outage boundaries lost power, and some affected areas are outside the boundaries. The areas shown on their map are more precise – though sometimes time-lagged a bit. P.S. As per comments – there’s a lingering Comcast outage.
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