Update: Crash blamed for power outage south of West Seattle; SPD says they had tried to pull over car after ‘narcotics sale’August 13, 2014 at 8:54 pm | In Utilities, West Seattle news, White Center | 57 Comments
(UPDATED THURSDAY MORNING with crash update from SPD, which investigated)
(Added photo, by Nate: Top center, sideways power pole caught in wires)
ORIGINAL REPORT, 8:54 PM: Getting outage reports from some of the areas hit early this morning. Checking with City Light. We’ve heard from Shorewood so far – if you’re elsewhere and without power, please let us know, since the utility’s official mapping tends to lag.
9:07 PM: Checking out a report that this might be related to a crash on 116th SW in White Center.
(Added photo, by Andrew Kliphardt)
9:31 PM: We’re at the crash scene now, on 116th SW in White Center, near 10th.
(WSB photo by Patrick Sand)
King County Sheriff’s deputies have several blocks of 116th shut down. While City Light’s map isn’t updating, its customer hotline is apparently saying 4,200 customers are out of power – about the same as this morning’s outage (which was caused by a “failed insulator”). If you have to drive through this area, note that lights are out on part of the 16th SW/Ambaum arterial – 16th/107th is on but then power is out again south of there – treat any nonfunctioning signal as a four-way stop.
9:52 PM: City Light’s map now shows the full outage – we’re adding a screengrab above. At the crash scene, we learned that two people were hurt and taken to Harborview. With a pole and wires taken out, it was too dangerous to get close.
(Photo courtesy Tim Clemans)
10:06 PM: City Light says via Twitter that crews are routing power around the crash scene and that “most should be back on within the hour.”
10:10 PM: … or sooner; one text just came in from someone who has it back, and commenters are reporting they do too.
11:15 PM: Still about 1,200 out of power, mostly in White Center, according to the SCL map.
11:29 PM: Seattle Police are involved in the investigation; we don’t have official information yet on why. The Traffic Collision Investigation Squad is on scene. Commenters say the crashed car flipped in the back yard of a home – Andrew Kliphardt sent this photo:
2:11 AM: Still 1200+ without power.
(Added photo, by Andrew Kliphardt)
9:24 AM: The rest of the area got its power back overnight. Meantime, KCSO confirmed that Seattle Police investigated the crash. Here’s what SPD spokesperson Drew Fowler tells WSB:
SPD narcotics and ACT officers were conducting an operation just south of Seattle when they attempted to stop a vehicle involved in a narcotics sale. The vehicle refused to stop and left at a high rate of speed. Consistent with policy, our officers terminated and did not pursue. However, the suspect vehicle continued at a high rate of speed and collided with a power pole causing the loss of power to numerous homes in the White Center/Burien area. SPD’s TCIS investigated the incident and the two suspects were taken to HMC with non-life threatening injuries.
ACT = Anti-Crime Team; TCIS = Traffic Collision Investigation Squad.
9:57 AM: We also asked SCL about the coinciding patterns between the outage caused by this crash and the one about 20 hours earlier. Spokesperson Scott Thomsen: “Unfortunately, the power lines attached to that pole are the same feeder line that was affected by the insulator failure the day before.”
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