West Seattle power outage update: Tree branch blamed for outage that peaked at more than 3,100 homes, businesses

May 19, 2013 at 6:21 pm | In Utilities, West Seattle news | 117 Comments

(Photo added 7:02 pm, California/Admiral stoplight out, among others)
ORIGINAL REPORT, 6:21 PM: Getting word of outages in Admiral, North Delridge. Anywhere else?

6:28 PM UPDATE: The outage is up on City Light’s site – more than 3,100 homes and businesses, some Alki, Admiral, stretching southeast to North Delridge and High Point. (The image above is a screengrab.) Their site says they’re still investigating the cause; we’re checking with media relations. The outage zone includes some businesses in the Admiral District, including restaurants.

6:38 PM: We had been in the Admiral District literally minutes before this outage hit, and are now heading back that way to check on what’s affected. Please note that stoplights are out on Avalon and reportedly in the Admiral area too – if a stoplight is not working, treat it as a four-way stop. Still seeking information on what caused this.

6:50 PM: Just talked with Mark Van Oss from media relations at City Light. He says they have crews out trying to find out what caused the outage, but haven’t figured it out yet. Meantime, we continue to get reports of businesses out in Admiral – Doug says Safeway is on generator power but not letting more customers in, for example. P.S. If you’re reading this by smartphone, here’s the link to the mobile-friendly version of City Light’s outage map.

7:12 PM: Admiral Theater‘s affected as well as other businesses in the area (Metropolitan Market included as well as previously mentioned grocery store). GM Dinah Brein tells WSB they had to cancel 6:30 pm screenings. (Update: They did get power back in time for the next screenings.) Via Twitter, Circa says it’s closing early because of the outage.

7:28 PM: Multiple commenters reporting their power’s back on. (update) But as other commenters report – not everyone.

7:53 PM: A few more areas – more in Admiral, and at least one commenter on Harbor – are reporting power back. STILL no word on the cause, though.

8:02 PM: Just talked again with Mark Van Oss from SCL – they found the cause; a tree branch on a wire. (He didn’t have information on exactly where, though.) It’s been removed and he says they’re bringing everybody back online slowly – could take another 3/4 hour or so to finish that process.

8:33 PM: The SCL map indicates everybody should have their power back. (If you don’t, let them know – and let us know.) Thanks again to everyone who texted, commented, called, tweeted, e-mailed, and otherwise joined in sharing information these past two hours-plus.

8:52 PM: Followup call from SCL – the errant tree branch was on Ferry Avenue.

117 Comments

  1. 34th and Spokane is out

    Comment by davidf — 6:23 pm May 19, 2013 #

  2. Power is out in North Admiral district. Metro Market North.

    Comment by Mark — 6:24 pm May 19, 2013 #

  3. Power out in Luna Park neighborhood

    Comment by Jim — 6:24 pm May 19, 2013 #

  4. There is no power around Admiral and California

    Comment by Johnny — 6:24 pm May 19, 2013 #

  5. Admiral area

    Comment by James — 6:25 pm May 19, 2013 #

  6. 35th and Manning is out

    Comment by Jen — 6:25 pm May 19, 2013 #

  7. Delridge neighborhood around skateboard park and 26th ave sw has power out as of 620pm.

    Comment by Sammy — 6:25 pm May 19, 2013 #

  8. Seattle city light says the 3500+ people are with out power. Estimated repair time is 9pm.

    Comment by Blake — 6:25 pm May 19, 2013 #

  9. North Admiral reporting outage. According to the outage hotline, won’t have power restored until 9:15

    Comment by Jack Tradwell — 6:25 pm May 19, 2013 #

  10. California & Admiral is out

    Comment by cloveb — 6:26 pm May 19, 2013 #

  11. 32nd and Andover is out.

    Comment by keden — 6:26 pm May 19, 2013 #

  12. Power also out in the neighborhood between admiral & harbor, just north of Luna park cafe.

    Comment by TraleeM — 6:26 pm May 19, 2013 #

  13. Yep, Avalon/Luna Park area. City Light says 3,000 customers affected, power back up a little after 9pm.

    Comment by Jess — 6:26 pm May 19, 2013 #

  14. City View area is out, reported it to SCL, estimated restoration time is 9:15 pm. I think the automated system said 3400 without power.

    Comment by Kimberley — 6:26 pm May 19, 2013 #

  15. 26th ave sw is out

    Comment by Jaisuh — 6:26 pm May 19, 2013 #

  16. 3700 block of 37th is out. According to my call into Seattle City Light, they estimate it will be restored around 9pm.

    Comment by Justina — 6:26 pm May 19, 2013 #

  17. We’re on Harbor Ave SW across from Water Taxi. Power out here. Heard loud crack…like a transformer blew.

    Comment by Toni Thomas — 6:27 pm May 19, 2013 #

  18. City light apparently aware

    Comment by James — 6:27 pm May 19, 2013 #

  19. All of north admiral around Belvidere park seems to be out. Anybody got a clue as to why??

    Comment by Ben — 6:27 pm May 19, 2013 #

  20. 37th and admiral out

    Comment by islewrite — 6:28 pm May 19, 2013 #

  21. Out in Admiral area. Safeway out. Also Luna Park Cafe. What’s going on?

    Comment by Jan Jarrell — 6:28 pm May 19, 2013 #

  22. On Nevada by the golf course and we’re out.

    Comment by KJ — 6:28 pm May 19, 2013 #

  23. Belvidere area

    Comment by Jeanne — 6:28 pm May 19, 2013 #

  24. Avalon & Genesee out.
    Lights went on and off a couple times and then stayed off. That was about 10 minutes ago.
    Any idea what’s going on?

    Comment by CecilS — 6:29 pm May 19, 2013 #

  25. Out on Avalon by the bridge but the traffic light at Andover and Delridge looks to be working

    Comment by caroline — 6:29 pm May 19, 2013 #

  26. out at 38th and admiral

    Comment by colleen — 6:29 pm May 19, 2013 #

  27. 4000 block of 35th out :(

    Comment by Hoxley — 6:29 pm May 19, 2013 #

  28. SW Hanford and 33d.

    Comment by Mike — 6:29 pm May 19, 2013 #

  29. Harbor ave sw is out.

    Comment by sakina — 6:29 pm May 19, 2013 #

  30. Admiral Metropolitan market is out…

    Comment by Jill T — 6:29 pm May 19, 2013 #

  31. Lost power in the Armiral District maybe 15 minutes ago. The power lines outside my window were swaying more than I’ve ever seen right after and stopped a few minutes later. May not be related but it’d be a strange coincidence…

    Comment by Tyson — 6:30 pm May 19, 2013 #

  32. The restoration estimates are virtually meaningless, so don’t take much stock in them. I’m checking with SCL media.

    Comment by WSB — 6:30 pm May 19, 2013 #

  33. The power is out around salty’s restaurant.

    Comment by Skh — 6:32 pm May 19, 2013 #

  34. 42nd and Lander = power out

    Comment by David — 6:32 pm May 19, 2013 #

  35. What happened? I’m near Hanford and California and we still have power.

    Comment by skamunky — 6:33 pm May 19, 2013 #

  36. We have had three incidents of flickering, but lights are still on.

    Comment by Breezy — 6:33 pm May 19, 2013 #

  37. Ouch!

    Comment by WTF — 6:34 pm May 19, 2013 #

  38. Anything around 50th and Edmonds?

    Comment by Skh — 6:35 pm May 19, 2013 #

  39. Was in the middle of heating up leftovers. Will try to salvage some. UPDATE: food only luke warm. That’s a bummer. Now substituting PB&J.

    Comment by Jack Tradwell — 6:36 pm May 19, 2013 #

  40. someone at my building reached Seattle city light, they said 915 at earliest, we are near luna park

    Comment by ko — 6:37 pm May 19, 2013 #

  41. Out at 42nd Walker and 36th Holgatte but power is ON at 45th college

    Comment by bsmomma — 6:40 pm May 19, 2013 #

  42. Don’t know yet what caused it. I have paged City Light’s media folks. There is nothing obvious on the 911 log like a fire or crash, etc. Again, do NOT take much stock in the restoration estimate – we’ve talked with SCL folks about that before and it’s pretty much a stab in the dark, so to speak. Could be sooner, could be later. – TR

    Comment by WSB — 6:40 pm May 19, 2013 #

  43. Get your flashlight batteries and candles before the sun goes down. Just in case. Any word yet on why?

    Comment by Brent Amaker — 6:41 pm May 19, 2013 #

  44. Time to go out for dinner!

    Comment by Jaisuh — 6:41 pm May 19, 2013 #

  45. I remember the great power outage of 2013 as though it just happened. I was watching Three’s Company, when all of the sudden everything went black. Harrowing, I tell you. Absolutely harrowing. Now I’ll never know if Mr. and Mrs. Roper ever…

    Comment by Miles — 6:46 pm May 19, 2013 #

  46. 26th Ave SW and Dakota has power, but lost Comcast broadband a bit ago.

    Comment by Chris — 6:46 pm May 19, 2013 #

  47. “Stab in the dark”
    Making me laugh and laugh!

    Comment by Rumbles — 6:47 pm May 19, 2013 #

  48. For what it’s worth, I happened to have been staring outside when the power cut. The lines on the power poles were doing a good dance like we were having extremely high wind. I’d guess someone oopsied a pole.

    Harbor Ave and 30th, btw.

    Comment by zeetrains — 6:48 pm May 19, 2013 #

  49. Jaisuh – do note that some restaurants are out in the Admiral District, we’re told.
    .
    Just got a call back from SCL. They have no idea yet. – TR

    Comment by WSB — 6:48 pm May 19, 2013 #

  50. You’ve got the right attitude, Miles!

    Comment by Mike — 6:51 pm May 19, 2013 #

  51. WSB is on it! I bet TR could also find out what happened with the IRS scandal. And the status of Alonso’s injury from last night.

    Comment by Jack Tradwell — 6:53 pm May 19, 2013 #

  52. I was walking over at Jack block park and heard two distinct sounds of arcing electricity and then a small explosion. I looked over by Salty’s and saw plumes of smoke rising into the air.

    Comment by Austin — 6:54 pm May 19, 2013 #

  53. If the power will actually be out till 9, I better drink all these beers so they don’t go bad!

    Comment by Mark — 6:59 pm May 19, 2013 #

  54. Digital cell network has crashed a couple of times this hour. Am pulling 3G from Seattle waterfront towers. N admiral is E only

    Comment by Ben — 7:00 pm May 19, 2013 #

  55. Threatened to do so east of Morgan Junction.

    Comment by OP — 7:04 pm May 19, 2013 #

  56. Ben, I have t-mobile and have 4g or LTE roght now. I also save money v sprint and ATT then use that savings for dinners at pizzeria 22.

    Comment by Jack Tradwell — 7:11 pm May 19, 2013 #

  57. Metropolitan Market is dark…maybe they have generator just for their freezers? Hope so. At 6:45 they said they’d been out of power for 30 minutes, entire store dark. I’m sure they’re eying the temps on those freezers closely. Hope they get their power back soon! People were MOSTLY driving correctly through the out lights (treating as 4 way stops)

    Comment by Alki Area — 7:14 pm May 19, 2013 #

  58. This outage isn’t all that bad. I’m actually talking to my wife.

    Comment by Tommy — 7:15 pm May 19, 2013 #

  59. Lights flickered on and off four times the. Went out. Had to get help opening the garage door. Going downtown for dinner if I can find my keys

    Comment by Sara — 7:16 pm May 19, 2013 #

  60. Back on!!

    Comment by Tommy — 7:19 pm May 19, 2013 #

  61. Whee! Mine just went back on! Admiral. Across from Safeway

    Comment by Jan Jarrell — 7:20 pm May 19, 2013 #

  62. 36th and Hanford is back on

    Comment by Travis — 7:22 pm May 19, 2013 #

  63. Power back in north admiral near MM

    Comment by Eric — 7:22 pm May 19, 2013 #

  64. Power is back on admiral and California

    Comment by Jam — 7:22 pm May 19, 2013 #

  65. Power is back 2676 38th Ave SW 7:20PM

    Comment by Dick — 7:23 pm May 19, 2013 #

  66. Power back 41st & Admiral

    Comment by Cassidy — 7:23 pm May 19, 2013 #

  67. Power back on at SW Hanford & 33rd.

    Comment by Mike — 7:24 pm May 19, 2013 #

  68. yep, power back on 42nd SW east of Safeway

    Comment by JanS — 7:29 pm May 19, 2013 #

  69. Still out 30th and Harbor. Boo…

    Comment by zeetrains — 7:30 pm May 19, 2013 #

  70. Power still out Admiral north of Salty’s.

    Comment by MGP — 7:31 pm May 19, 2013 #

  71. Delridge area still out.

    Comment by jon — 7:31 pm May 19, 2013 #

  72. Still out on 26th & Alaska

    Comment by Holly — 7:31 pm May 19, 2013 #

  73. Still out 35th & Spokane

    Comment by PS — 7:32 pm May 19, 2013 #

  74. Still out in Luna park.

    Comment by valerie — 7:33 pm May 19, 2013 #

  75. Still out at California and Walker

    Comment by Miles — 7:33 pm May 19, 2013 #

  76. Come on 44th & Admiral!

    Comment by Mark — 7:34 pm May 19, 2013 #

  77. Power still out. Located on Harbor Ave at the point

    Comment by Jill — 7:34 pm May 19, 2013 #

  78. Power is still out at 35th and Hinds

    Comment by Betty — 7:34 pm May 19, 2013 #

  79. Still out by the golf course…

    Comment by KJ — 7:35 pm May 19, 2013 #

  80. Still out on 4800 block of 26th

    Comment by Doug — 7:37 pm May 19, 2013 #

  81. Don’t bother trying to go to Safeway if you want anything perishable and Met Market has power, but won’t be open for a while. Was hoping for dinner.

    Comment by jess — 7:42 pm May 19, 2013 #

  82. Power back on in admiral at 7:42

    Comment by Erik Walum — 7:42 pm May 19, 2013 #

  83. Power is now on in the Admiral District!

    Comment by MGP — 7:44 pm May 19, 2013 #

  84. Menchies has power!

    Comment by Calob — 7:44 pm May 19, 2013 #

  85. I am missing the NHL Playoffs…

    Comment by jon — 7:45 pm May 19, 2013 #

  86. Power is back on Harbor Ave 2400 block!

    Comment by Monica — 7:49 pm May 19, 2013 #

  87. Thanks to everybody for the ongoing updates.

    Comment by WSB — 7:51 pm May 19, 2013 #

  88. Still out here on 26th just north of Hudson. Gathering flashlights before it gets too dark. Noticed porch lights on north of us, here and there so outage seems spotty.

    Comment by Kayo — 7:52 pm May 19, 2013 #

  89. Still nothing on 33rd.

    Comment by Kristin — 7:53 pm May 19, 2013 #

  90. Still no power on Avalon

    Comment by Sara — 7:55 pm May 19, 2013 #

  91. 3400 on Harbor still out… Which includes the light under the bridge.

    Watched a cop blow through that one.

    Why is this so entertaining?

    Oh wait, power on as I’m typing…

    Comment by zeetrains — 7:58 pm May 19, 2013 #

  92. It just came back on here hallelujah!

    Comment by Hoxley — 7:59 pm May 19, 2013 #

  93. Delridge around the skatepark and 26th Avenue SW power restored.

    Comment by Sammy — 7:59 pm May 19, 2013 #

  94. Power back 35th and spokane

    Comment by themightyrabbit — 8:00 pm May 19, 2013 #

  95. Power just came back on 26th. Hope it stays on!

    Comment by Kayo — 8:00 pm May 19, 2013 #

  96. 34th and Spokane on

    Comment by davidf — 8:01 pm May 19, 2013 #

  97. Just turned on in cottage grove!

    Comment by Doug — 8:01 pm May 19, 2013 #

  98. Power on 26th & Alaska

    Comment by Holly — 8:01 pm May 19, 2013 #

  99. Back on in North Delridge!

    Comment by KJ — 8:02 pm May 19, 2013 #

  100. On the west side of 34th we haven’t lost power at all though it was out on the east side of 34th and the east side of 35th. I’m really curious as to the cause/explanation for the outage (though happy enough that we’ve been spared).

    ps. *So* love WSB!

    Comment by Mary — 8:02 pm May 19, 2013 #

  101. Power is back on at Yancy and Avalon!

    Comment by Brooke — 8:03 pm May 19, 2013 #

  102. Tree branch, eh? Well I guess that explains why the power lines out my window were swaying so much.

    Comment by Tyson — 8:07 pm May 19, 2013 #

  103. Power on on Dakota but no comcast.

    Comment by MSB — 8:09 pm May 19, 2013 #

  104. Thanks, Mary. The non-technical version of the explanation as to how you might lose your power but not your neighbor is that there is some bizarre antiquated way that everyone is tied to the system, and while your neighbor might be on Feeder A you might be on Feeder B. We originally learned this during the outage that truly gave birth to WSB as a community-news service, December 2006 – if you were here for that, you know that some people lost power for days (ours was out for four) and as it came on, it seemed to follow neither rhyme nor reason …

    Comment by WSB — 8:14 pm May 19, 2013 #

  105. Any word on City View apts?

    Comment by Elle — 8:15 pm May 19, 2013 #

  106. Power back on 26th & Hudson in north Delridge.

    Comment by carolei — 8:15 pm May 19, 2013 #

  107. Any news on Luna Park?

    Comment by Jaime — 8:25 pm May 19, 2013 #

  108. Power back on avalon

    Comment by Sara — 8:25 pm May 19, 2013 #

  109. Thanks to WSB / TR for the updates and the ability to share info within the West Seattle Community!

    Comment by MGP — 8:30 pm May 19, 2013 #

  110. Neighborhood just north of Luna Park back on……

    Comment by Jamie — 8:41 pm May 19, 2013 #

  111. Does anybody else think that our whole above ground electric system is a bit antiquated? WSB, great coverage, as always!

    Comment by shed22 — 8:52 pm May 19, 2013 #

  112. Thanks to our City Light Crews! Many times I see so many of us criticize and once again they work fast, hard, and safely to restore our power. Thanks!!!

    Comment by PDH — 9:23 pm May 19, 2013 #

  113. My fridge was making funny noises, but power stayed on 45th and Lander. Interesting how the power grid connects.

    Comment by Gina — 9:47 pm May 19, 2013 #

  114. yes, I was very surprised when I got home after 9 at 37th and Hinds that the power never went out here

    Comment by Diane — 10:16 pm May 19, 2013 #

  115. lucky you, Diane…mine was only out for about an hour..inconvenient at dinner time, but doable…

    Comment by JanS — 10:30 pm May 19, 2013 #

  116. “there is some bizarre antiquated way that everyone is tied to the system”

    No, it’s neither “bizarre” nor “antiquated”. It’s basic electrical circuitry. Just because you don’t understand it, it doesn’t mean it’s bad.

    And an above ground system is no more “antiquated” than a below ground system. It’s all a matter of what you’re willing to pay for. My neighborhood went through considerable expense to bury our lines. If that’s what you want, you need to pony up as well.

    Comment by Alki Guy — 11:02 pm May 19, 2013 #

  117. Lights flickered about every 10 seconds for a minute near 41st and Alaska at about that time.

    Comment by JM — 11:24 pm May 19, 2013 #

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