POWER OUTAGE UPDATE: Why 43 customers on Charlestown Hill lost electricity for 14+ hours

9:55 PM: Thanks to those who just messaged to let us know about a power outage on Charlestown Hill. The Seattle City Light map shows 43 customers out as of just after 9 pm, no cause yet, restoration estimated by 3 am (but remember, it might be sooner … or later). Let us know if you see an SCL truck in the area – that’s usually the main clue about the outage’s origin.

10:07 PM: The SCL map has updated to blame this outage on unspecified “equipment failure.”

5:52 AM: Still out, the map says, now estimating restoration is still a few hours away.

12:01 PM: The power is finally back after 14+ hours. We asked City Light’s Scott Thomsen about the cause and why it took so long to fix. His reply:

The outage you asked about was caused by the failure of a piece of equipment called a limiter. A limiter limits the amount of current flow to protect equipment from power surges.

When it blew, the surge that was then allowed damaged an underground cable, which had to be repaired. Finding the exact damage spot on an underground cable can be challenging, sometimes involving digging up different spots to check its condition. This one did take a long time to find the damage and repair it.

3 Replies to "POWER OUTAGE UPDATE: Why 43 customers on Charlestown Hill lost electricity for 14+ hours"

  • Glenn October 20, 2017 (2:09 am)

    I suspect equipment failure. I heard a loud pop (not quite an explosion) at the same time the neighborhood went out. Still out at 2am. At least it’s nice and quiet and dark without street lights. 

  • Just Wondering October 20, 2017 (8:23 am)

    I didn’t know there was a second “Charlestown Hill”! 

    I only knew about the one between 46th and 47th, that is used for sledding when it snows!

  • Alex October 20, 2017 (8:59 am)

    Still out almost 12 hours later 

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