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

(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.

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

  • comment-avatar
    davidf May 19, 2013 (6:23 pm)

    34th and Spokane is out

  • comment-avatar
    Mark May 19, 2013 (6:24 pm)

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

  • comment-avatar
    Jim May 19, 2013 (6:24 pm)

    Power out in Luna Park neighborhood

  • comment-avatar
    Johnny May 19, 2013 (6:24 pm)

    There is no power around Admiral and California

  • comment-avatar
    James May 19, 2013 (6:25 pm)

    Admiral area

  • comment-avatar
    Jen May 19, 2013 (6:25 pm)

    35th and Manning is out

  • comment-avatar
    Sammy May 19, 2013 (6:25 pm)

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

  • comment-avatar
    Blake May 19, 2013 (6:25 pm)

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

  • comment-avatar
    Jack Tradwell May 19, 2013 (6:25 pm)

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

  • comment-avatar
    cloveb May 19, 2013 (6:26 pm)

    California & Admiral is out

  • comment-avatar
    keden May 19, 2013 (6:26 pm)

    32nd and Andover is out.

  • comment-avatar
    TraleeM May 19, 2013 (6:26 pm)

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

  • comment-avatar
    Jess May 19, 2013 (6:26 pm)

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

  • comment-avatar
    Kimberley May 19, 2013 (6:26 pm)

    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-avatar
    Jaisuh May 19, 2013 (6:26 pm)

    26th ave sw is out

  • comment-avatar
    Justina May 19, 2013 (6:26 pm)

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

  • comment-avatar
    Toni Thomas May 19, 2013 (6:27 pm)

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

  • comment-avatar
    James May 19, 2013 (6:27 pm)

    City light apparently aware

  • comment-avatar
    Ben May 19, 2013 (6:27 pm)

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

  • comment-avatar
    islewrite May 19, 2013 (6:28 pm)

    37th and admiral out

  • comment-avatar
    Jan Jarrell May 19, 2013 (6:28 pm)

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

  • comment-avatar
    KJ May 19, 2013 (6:28 pm)

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

  • comment-avatar
    Jeanne May 19, 2013 (6:28 pm)

    Belvidere area

  • comment-avatar
    CecilS May 19, 2013 (6:29 pm)

    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-avatar
    caroline May 19, 2013 (6:29 pm)

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

  • comment-avatar
    colleen May 19, 2013 (6:29 pm)

    out at 38th and admiral

  • comment-avatar
    Hoxley May 19, 2013 (6:29 pm)

    4000 block of 35th out :(

  • comment-avatar
    Mike May 19, 2013 (6:29 pm)

    SW Hanford and 33d.

  • comment-avatar
    sakina May 19, 2013 (6:29 pm)

    Harbor ave sw is out.

    • comment-avatar
      WSB May 19, 2013 (6:30 pm)

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

  • comment-avatar
    Jill T May 19, 2013 (6:29 pm)

    Admiral Metropolitan market is out…

  • comment-avatar
    Tyson May 19, 2013 (6:30 pm)

    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-avatar
    Skh May 19, 2013 (6:32 pm)

    The power is out around salty’s restaurant.

    • comment-avatar
      WSB May 19, 2013 (6:40 pm)

      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-avatar
    David May 19, 2013 (6:32 pm)

    42nd and Lander = power out

  • comment-avatar
    skamunky May 19, 2013 (6:33 pm)

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

  • comment-avatar
    Breezy May 19, 2013 (6:33 pm)

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

  • comment-avatar
    WTF May 19, 2013 (6:34 pm)

    Ouch!

  • comment-avatar
    Skh May 19, 2013 (6:35 pm)

    Anything around 50th and Edmonds?

  • comment-avatar
    Jack Tradwell May 19, 2013 (6:36 pm)

    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-avatar
    ko May 19, 2013 (6:37 pm)

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

  • comment-avatar
    bsmomma May 19, 2013 (6:40 pm)

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

  • comment-avatar
    Brent Amaker May 19, 2013 (6:41 pm)

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

  • comment-avatar
    Jaisuh May 19, 2013 (6:41 pm)

    Time to go out for dinner!

    • comment-avatar
      WSB May 19, 2013 (6:48 pm)

      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-avatar
    Miles May 19, 2013 (6:46 pm)

    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-avatar
    Chris May 19, 2013 (6:46 pm)

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

  • comment-avatar
    Rumbles May 19, 2013 (6:47 pm)

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

  • comment-avatar
    zeetrains May 19, 2013 (6:48 pm)

    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-avatar
    Mike May 19, 2013 (6:51 pm)

    You’ve got the right attitude, Miles!

  • comment-avatar
    Jack Tradwell May 19, 2013 (6:53 pm)

    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-avatar
    Austin May 19, 2013 (6:54 pm)

    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-avatar
    Mark May 19, 2013 (6:59 pm)

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

  • comment-avatar
    Ben May 19, 2013 (7:00 pm)

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

  • comment-avatar
    OP May 19, 2013 (7:04 pm)

    Threatened to do so east of Morgan Junction.

  • comment-avatar
    Jack Tradwell May 19, 2013 (7:11 pm)

    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-avatar
    Alki Area May 19, 2013 (7:14 pm)

    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-avatar
    Tommy May 19, 2013 (7:15 pm)

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

  • comment-avatar
    Sara May 19, 2013 (7:16 pm)

    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-avatar
    Tommy May 19, 2013 (7:19 pm)

    Back on!!

  • comment-avatar
    Jan Jarrell May 19, 2013 (7:20 pm)

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

  • comment-avatar
    Travis May 19, 2013 (7:22 pm)

    36th and Hanford is back on

  • comment-avatar
    Eric May 19, 2013 (7:22 pm)

    Power back in north admiral near MM

  • comment-avatar
    Jam May 19, 2013 (7:22 pm)

    Power is back on admiral and California

  • comment-avatar
    Dick May 19, 2013 (7:23 pm)

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

  • comment-avatar
    Cassidy May 19, 2013 (7:23 pm)

    Power back 41st & Admiral

  • comment-avatar
    Mike May 19, 2013 (7:24 pm)

    Power back on at SW Hanford & 33rd.

  • comment-avatar
    JanS May 19, 2013 (7:29 pm)

    yep, power back on 42nd SW east of Safeway

  • comment-avatar
    zeetrains May 19, 2013 (7:30 pm)

    Still out 30th and Harbor. Boo…

  • comment-avatar
    MGP May 19, 2013 (7:31 pm)

    Power still out Admiral north of Salty’s.

  • comment-avatar
    jon May 19, 2013 (7:31 pm)

    Delridge area still out.

  • comment-avatar
    Holly May 19, 2013 (7:31 pm)

    Still out on 26th & Alaska

  • comment-avatar
    PS May 19, 2013 (7:32 pm)

    Still out 35th & Spokane

  • comment-avatar
    valerie May 19, 2013 (7:33 pm)

    Still out in Luna park.

  • comment-avatar
    Miles May 19, 2013 (7:33 pm)

    Still out at California and Walker

  • comment-avatar
    Mark May 19, 2013 (7:34 pm)

    Come on 44th & Admiral!

  • comment-avatar
    Jill May 19, 2013 (7:34 pm)

    Power still out. Located on Harbor Ave at the point

  • comment-avatar
    Betty May 19, 2013 (7:34 pm)

    Power is still out at 35th and Hinds

  • comment-avatar
    KJ May 19, 2013 (7:35 pm)

    Still out by the golf course…

  • comment-avatar
    Doug May 19, 2013 (7:37 pm)

    Still out on 4800 block of 26th

  • comment-avatar
    jess May 19, 2013 (7:42 pm)

    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-avatar
    Erik Walum May 19, 2013 (7:42 pm)

    Power back on in admiral at 7:42

  • comment-avatar
    MGP May 19, 2013 (7:44 pm)

    Power is now on in the Admiral District!

  • comment-avatar
    Calob May 19, 2013 (7:44 pm)

    Menchies has power!

  • comment-avatar
    jon May 19, 2013 (7:45 pm)

    I am missing the NHL Playoffs…

  • comment-avatar
    Monica May 19, 2013 (7:49 pm)

    Power is back on Harbor Ave 2400 block!

    • comment-avatar
      WSB May 19, 2013 (7:51 pm)

      Thanks to everybody for the ongoing updates.

  • comment-avatar
    Kayo May 19, 2013 (7:52 pm)

    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-avatar
    Kristin May 19, 2013 (7:53 pm)

    Still nothing on 33rd.

  • comment-avatar
    Sara May 19, 2013 (7:55 pm)

    Still no power on Avalon

  • comment-avatar
    zeetrains May 19, 2013 (7:58 pm)

    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-avatar
    Hoxley May 19, 2013 (7:59 pm)

    It just came back on here hallelujah!

  • comment-avatar
    Sammy May 19, 2013 (7:59 pm)

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

  • comment-avatar
    themightyrabbit May 19, 2013 (8:00 pm)

    Power back 35th and spokane

  • comment-avatar
    Kayo May 19, 2013 (8:00 pm)

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

  • comment-avatar
    davidf May 19, 2013 (8:01 pm)

    34th and Spokane on

  • comment-avatar
    Doug May 19, 2013 (8:01 pm)

    Just turned on in cottage grove!

  • comment-avatar
    Holly May 19, 2013 (8:01 pm)

    Power on 26th & Alaska

  • comment-avatar
    KJ May 19, 2013 (8:02 pm)

    Back on in North Delridge!

  • comment-avatar
    Mary May 19, 2013 (8:02 pm)

    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-avatar
      WSB May 19, 2013 (8:14 pm)

      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-avatar
    Brooke May 19, 2013 (8:03 pm)

    Power is back on at Yancy and Avalon!

  • comment-avatar
    Tyson May 19, 2013 (8:07 pm)

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

  • comment-avatar
    MSB May 19, 2013 (8:09 pm)

    Power on on Dakota but no comcast.

  • comment-avatar
    Elle May 19, 2013 (8:15 pm)

    Any word on City View apts?

  • comment-avatar
    carolei May 19, 2013 (8:15 pm)

    Power back on 26th & Hudson in north Delridge.

  • comment-avatar
    Jaime May 19, 2013 (8:25 pm)

    Any news on Luna Park?

  • comment-avatar
    Sara May 19, 2013 (8:25 pm)

    Power back on avalon

  • comment-avatar
    MGP May 19, 2013 (8:30 pm)

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

  • comment-avatar
    Jamie May 19, 2013 (8:41 pm)

    Neighborhood just north of Luna Park back on……

  • comment-avatar
    shed22 May 19, 2013 (8:52 pm)

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

  • comment-avatar
    PDH May 19, 2013 (9:23 pm)

    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-avatar
    Gina May 19, 2013 (9:47 pm)

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

  • comment-avatar
    Diane May 19, 2013 (10:16 pm)

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

  • comment-avatar
    JanS May 19, 2013 (10:30 pm)

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

  • comment-avatar
    Alki Guy May 19, 2013 (11:02 pm)

    “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-avatar
    JM May 19, 2013 (11:24 pm)

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

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