(TOPLINE as of 10:15 pm – The last outage pocket in Seaview/north Morgan appears to be back on at last, per comments and tweets. The map below shows outage zone at its peak around 11 am:)
9:43 AM: We’re checking on the extent of the power outage that has just hit areas of West Seattle. Let us know if it’s out where you are. So far we’re hearing from Admiral and The Junction; here in Upper Fauntleroy, our power flickered but did NOT go out. More to come.
9:49 AM UPDATE: First word is that the outage affects more than 4,300 homes and businesses. City Light is estimating 1 pm restoration but PLEASE keep in mind that at this early stage, that is just their guesstimate – not a guarantee, could be earlier, could be later. We’re hearing from people in many more areas, including High Point, North Delridge, and Fairmount Springs – thanks for commenting with your location report; the City Light map wasn’t updated as of a few minutes ago.
9:56 AM UPDATE: City Light now says more than 11,000 homes and businesses are affected. There is no word yet on the cause. We’re now switching our request – let us know if you still HAVE power. (We still do, in Upper Fauntleroy.)
10:11 AM UPDATE: City Light still hasn’t announced what it believes to be the cause. If you see a truck in your area, let us know – 206-293-6302 text or voice. Meantime, please remember that if you have to drive and the light’s out, treat an intersection as a four-way stop!
10:18 AM UPDATE: Just added a screengrab of the outage map that City Light now has up. Also got a text from Katrina, who says SCL told her a transformer blew; the restoration guesstimate is now 1:30 pm, but again – could be earlier, could be later. We’re checking out some areas including The Junction, where one side of California is out, co-publisher Patrick says, and one is not. (California/Alaska photo added:)
10:29 AM UPDATE: Scanner indicates police are assigning traffic-control officers to some key intersections (among them, 35th and Avalon). Keep in mind that by our very rough count, 11,000 homes/businesses would be at least a fourth of every place on the peninsula! If your area is NOT shown in red on the City Light map we added atop this story, let us know – boundaries are often approximate.
10:38 AM UPDATE: Kent from Atomic Boys notes that the Admiral business district DOES have power. Note that these outages can be spotty – Patrick says the light at California/Lander is out.
11:03 AM UPDATE: Still don’t have official word on the cause; we’re still out chasing reports of City Light sightings. Meantime, more businesses are sending word of their status. For example, WSB sponsors Hotwire Coffee in The Junction and Zeek’s Pizza in Morgan say they have power. On Twitter, we’re retweeting updates from other businesses (see our stream at twitter.com/westseattleblog). Melissa at Barnes & Noble says Westwood Village appears to be “untouched by the outage.” We’ve also heard from Tammy at Alki Juice and Java near Seacrest, who says that area is OK. (Other businesses open – especially restaurants/coffee? – let us know. Update: Chaco Canyon Café, WSB sponsor, in The Triangle, has power. And there’s a coupon here too.)
11:11 AM UPDATE: If you are seeing TV helicopters, no, there are no additional incidents – they are just looking for any signs of outage-related trouble that they can see from the air. At least one has already been going around, and we hear via the scanner that another is headed this way.
11:27 AM UPDATE: Cause finally found – tree branch into wire:
Crews found the cause of the W. Seattle outage. A tree branch fell into power lines near SW Hanford and 46th Ave SW.
— Seattle City Light (@SEACityLight) December 30, 2013
We noticed a sudden wind gust shortly before the power flickered here and went out elsewhere. (By the way, if you can’t place 46th/Hanford, here’s a map.)
11:56 AM UPDATE: On Twitter, we’re hearing about some who have lost their cable/Internet services – not 100 percent sure it’s related but anecdotally, seems to happen with major outages. Meantime, co-publisher Patrick is back from the outage epicenter at 46th/47th/Hanford; adding photos above and below this line.
Let us know when your power is BACK! However, we’d still caution that the 1 pm estimate is JUST an estimate – identifying the cause doesn’t mean the fix is simple.
12:36 PM UPDATE: Some power is back in some areas – see comments. Restoring it can be complicated too, with multiple “feeders” involved, so that doesn’t mean everyone will be back immediately – let us know when you are, though! So far, we’ve heard from parts of Junction, Admiral, North Delridge, (added) Alki areas, and (added) Junction businesses, Camp Long area (35th/Dawson) …
12:45 PM UPDATE: Some are reporting Comcast-service restoration too. Thanks, meantime, to EVERYONE who has been sharing information – in the early moments, for reasons as simple as that it meant we knew this was a very big outage, long before City Light information revealed the numbers. Also thanks for photos and info from what turned out to be the origin of the outage in 46th/47th/Hanford area – Kate Kaemerle just sent several photos including this one of the crew installing new poles:
Kate also sent this photo of neighbor Richard Rohde, who she says is holding the apparent culprit branch here:
More reports have come in of areas with restoration, including High Point and Fairmount Park.
1:17 PM UPDATE: Yet more areas continue to get power back. Mark suggested we remind people about food-safety issues caused by the refrigerator being without power for hours – here’s the official government advice.
2:07 PM UPDATE: According to City Light’s map, about 750 homes and businesses are still out – though the map does NOT show some people north of Morgan Junction who say they are too.
2:49 PM UPDATE: City Light just told someone in that general area via Twitter that the estimate remains 3:30 pm for those still out.
3 PM UPDATE: Subsequently, Colleen says in comments that she got an estimate of 9 pm for the California/Juneau pocket. Meanwhile, we asked SCL spokesperson Scott Thomsen to answer the question that many have asked – how can one tree branch leave 11,000 homes/businesses/etc. without power? His reply:
The branch that fell hit a pole carrying two feeder lines (large power lines that carry electricity for about 3,500 customers each).
When it crossed the lines and created a short circuit, the power surge not only tripped the breakers for those two lines, but also tripped the breakers back at the Delridge Substation for the entire feeder bus — a series of connections for five feeder lines. (Imagine a giant power strip where the main plug is the substation, the strip is the bus and each outlet connects to a feeder.)
When all five feeders dropped off, we had about 11,000 customers without power.
4:57 PM UPDATE: Some people just north of Morgan Junction are still out. City Light tells us that if you are, keep calling to be sure they know (and to get the latest on restoration prospects).
7:41 PM UPDATE: Ten hours into the outage, commenters in a few areas – north side of Morgan Junction, west side of High Point, among them – say they’re still out and it’s going to be a while. City Light’s map is not precise, since the utility does not have direct connectivity with all its customers (that “smart meter” system is still in the pipeline).
10:04 PM UPDATE: While City Light declared more than an hour ago that the outage was over, the Morgan Junction-area pocket remained out – until just now.