UPDATE: 2,100+ get power back after tree takes out wires in parts of Puget Ridge, Highland Park, Riverview, South Park, White Center

6:50 PM: 6:50 PM: Thanks for the texted tip – more than 2,100 Seattle City Light customers are out in eastern West Seattle, from Puget Ridge southward, as well as South Park and parts of unincorporated North Highline.

6:57 PM: 911 log says wires are down at Highland Park Way and Othello, which could indicate that’s the epicenter of the outage. We’re off to check. Meantime, at right, we’ve added a screen grab of the outage one according to the City Light map (which is linked in the first paragraph above). Some areas flickered about the time this outage hit, but did not lose power (ours, east of south Lincoln Park, among them).

7:04 PM: City Light says a tree is likely to blame:

Texters are also telling us that signals are out in some of the outage zones – remember, that means, treat the intersection like a 4-way stop. (And if you have any other info to share – text 206-293-6302 – thanks!)

7:26 PM UPDATE: As Kelly points out in comments, some already have it back – outage now down to 600+ homes/businesses.

We just checked out the Highland Park Way hill, and City Light crews are working quickly – one tree is visible in pieces off the road on the uphill (south/westbound) side, and the crew has moved further up the hill.

7:59 PM: Everyone else just got theirs back, per commenters and the SCL map.

29 Replies to "UPDATE: 2,100+ get power back after tree takes out wires in parts of Puget Ridge, Highland Park, Riverview, South Park, White Center"

  • Kelly M November 1, 2015 (6:54 pm)

    Power out at 5th Ave SW and SW Kenyon in Highland Park. Seattle City Light outage line says estimated restoration at about 9:45 tonight.

    • WSB November 1, 2015 (6:56 pm)

      Just remember, the estimated restoration is a wild guess on their part – could be earlier, could be later.

  • Kelly M November 1, 2015 (7:23 pm)

    Power is back on here – for now!

    • WSB November 1, 2015 (7:25 pm)

      We were just on HP Way hill and the crews seemed to be working quickly.

  • Basha November 1, 2015 (7:28 pm)

    Kelly M, where are you, with lights back on?

  • PangolinPie November 1, 2015 (7:35 pm)

    Lights back on, on HP way, just in time for dinner!

  • Pangolinpie November 1, 2015 (7:36 pm)

    …but Comcast internet appears to still be out.

  • Rosie November 1, 2015 (7:43 pm)

    We are on 17th Ave SW and Brandon and no power still.

  • Jeff G November 1, 2015 (7:48 pm)

    Is it time for SPU to bury the power lines on highland park way? Seems like a win win for the neighborhood and SPU.

  • Alan November 1, 2015 (7:52 pm)

    Power still out in Riverview. I agree with Jeff. Those wires should be buried.

  • Alan November 1, 2015 (7:53 pm)

    Power is back on in Riverview. Yay.

  • jgonplay November 1, 2015 (7:53 pm)

    Just got power back near Riverview!

  • Jen November 1, 2015 (7:53 pm)

    Power just came back on in Riverview.

  • Basha November 1, 2015 (7:55 pm)

    Power back on in 6000 block of 17th.

    • WSB November 1, 2015 (8:06 pm)

      Thanks for the updates! Looks like everybody’s back. If you’re NOT – please call City Light to let them know – 206-684-3000.

  • Melissa November 1, 2015 (8:07 pm)

    Power is back, but no Comcast. Anyone else without cable?

    • WSB November 1, 2015 (8:33 pm)

      We had a report of a Comcast outage even before the power outage. Did you reboot? Sometimes that’s all it takes. – TR

  • Know your city November 1, 2015 (8:50 pm)

    Jeff G, what would Seattle Pacific University have to do with power lines in West Seattle? For that matter, what would Seattle Public Utilities (the name some marketing consultant came up with for what used to be called the Water Department) have to do with it?

    Your electric utility is Seattle City Light. If you want the lines to be buried – although there are much more cheaper alternatives that would be much more reliable – you need to contact Seattle City Light.

    Know your city.

    • WSB November 1, 2015 (9:07 pm)

      KYC, we’re all for accuracy and information, but I don’t entirely blame Jeff – since electricity is a “public utility” you could certainly speculate that “public utilities” plural would include that too. To compound confusion, we have recently published more than a few road-work alerts from SPU rather than SDOT since SPU is the lead agency working on projects that have affected roads from Delridge to the bridge. Maybe we just need Water/Power/Roads. But then again – that doesn’t cover it all. (It’s also confusing trying to explain to people when the drainage system involves Seattle Public Utilities and when it involves the King County Wastewater Treatment Division …) Maybe a “who handles what” explainer someday, if one doesn’t already exist out there – TR

  • Melissa November 1, 2015 (10:26 pm)

    Just called Comcast, and they confirmed there is an outage in the area. No estimate for repair.

  • sam-c November 2, 2015 (6:28 am)

    Really appreciate how quickly they got the power back on.

  • john November 2, 2015 (8:06 am)

    @KYC,
    ” although there are much more cheaper alternatives that would be much more reliable…”

    What are they?

  • Alan November 2, 2015 (11:10 am)

    Here is an interesting article from KPLU on why we don’t bury our lines:
    http://www.kpluwonders.org/content/why-dont-we-bury-our-power-lines-northwest

    They quote $1M per mile. This article is from 2012, so costs are likely higher now. Because the hill along HP Way is slide prone, the costs would probably be much higher. From bottom to top, it is about 1/2 mile, or $500K+ to put underground.

    As for cheaper options, the only thing that I could find was Aerial cable. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aerial_cable

    It seems like a large part of the problem is that the lines, from about Othello up, are directly downhill from trees that tend to fall that direction. There are already feeder lines going straight up Holly from West Marginal, which do not seem to be so problematic. If our power could be brought up that way, it seems like it would reduce the issues.

    • WSB November 2, 2015 (11:26 am)

      I’m following up on this with City Light btw, whether this one stretch ever has been considered for undergrounding, or could be. In neighborhoods, it is made clear that undergrounding would generally be done by Local Improvement District, in which property owners vote to tax themselves to do it. In this case, though, it seems to be city property lining the greenbelt there. – TR

  • property evals not high enuf November 2, 2015 (2:36 pm)

    Wonder if mysterious county assessor flucuating formula brings down revenue and affects city’s cost formula, how are calc’s made TR? I wonder about this relationship in all city projects in the 98106 area (city side, not uninc cty.).

  • Alan November 4, 2015 (11:37 am)

    It would be interesting to hear what City Light’s response is. As you point out, that is usually charged to the neighborhood, but that doesn’t really seem to apply in this case.

    Besides the expense of continually restringing those wires, there is the potential danger of hot wires falling onto a car or a worker being hit by falling branches.

  • WSB November 4, 2015 (12:36 pm)

    The first response they gave me was generically pointing to an FAQ about undergrounding so I had to reiterate that I was asking very specifically about THIS stretch. Awaiting the info.

  • Armando Mantoroso November 6, 2015 (8:45 am)

    What makes this neighborhood so entitled that it would warrant a waiver in city ordinances and city funding to bury your lines? Buck up, people, we live in a city with (to borrow from the WSB editors style) LOTS OF TREES and WINDY WET WINTERS.

    • WSB November 6, 2015 (9:02 am)

      By the way, we’ll be publishing our followup on this today. For the neighborhoods in question, though, this isn’t “their” line – it’s a line along a greenbelt-lined stretch of arterial, not fronted by homes, and when a storm (or storm aftermath) takes out a tree, and then a line, the effects stretch for quite some way.
      .
      Re: style, (a) we have only one editor, and (b) I would have put a comma between WINDY and WET. – TR

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