Heads up for Fauntleroy ferry-terminal users and people who drive/ride/walk in the area: The wrapping-up-soon Barton Pump Station Upgrade Project just north of the terminal will close the north lane at the terminal for two weeks around the clock, starting next Monday (March 2nd). It’s “to enable construction on a retaining wall,” says Annie Kolb-Nelson from King County, adding: “Flaggers will be onsite during busy commute times to guide traffic.” P.S. Full details are on the newest flyer.
In addition to the Admiral Way road work on Tuesday/Wednesday (thanks again to Mike for the tip; we noticed today that the no-parking signs are up, confirming it), two more FYIs for the week ahead:
UTILITY POLE REPLACEMENT: This work has been under way for months and Shauna says her neighborhood, SW Kenyon between 39th and 41st in Gatewood, appears to be next, with no-parking signs up and new poles already delivered. Outages often accompany pole replacement work; Shauna hadn’t received any such notice, but we’ll be checking with SCL tomorrow. Checking around the City Light website, by the way, we noticed something interesting – an explanation of why new utility poles tend to, well, stink for a while.
SFD AT MURRAY CSO: Doug Marsano from King County says the Seattle Fire Department will use the million-gallon-tank construction site across from Lowman Beach for drills next Saturday:
Please be aware that the Seattle Fire Department plans to conduct drills at the project site for 3-4 hours on Saturday, February 28. You can expect to see fire trucks and personnel working at the site that day, but no project work is currently scheduled. More information about the Fire Department’s plans will be provided next week. Please contact the project hotline: 206-205-9186 with any questions or concerns.
(Photo courtesy SPU)
Update from Seattle Public Utilities: Repair work has finished early for the culvert that carries Pelly Creek and storm drainage to the outfall in the north section of the Lowman Beach Park seawall. The work started last Wednesday, was projected to last up to 10 working days, but was complete by this morning, according to Elaine Leung of SPU. Engineers will continue to survey the seawall weekly for the next few months.
West Seattle utility-work alert: Early warning of possible waterlessness for a day or two or three next monthFebruary 7, 2015 at 10:17 am | In Utilities, West Seattle news | 4 Comments
If you live along 36th or 37th SW between SW Brandon and SW Morgan, you should get that alert in your postal mail today or Monday, says Seattle Public Utilities, which wants to make sure you know about a big but relatively brief project that might affect your water service at some point March 11th, 12th, and/or 13th, and mailed the notice to “the project area” on Friday. Depending on what they find, it might just be a prelude to something even bigger. But at least you have five weeks now to plan ahead. (If you can’t see/scroll through the notice above, here’s the PDF version.)
10:57 AM: The power outage affecting more than 60 homes on western Charlestown Hill is in its 10th hour and the estimated time of restoration has been pushed back again until after 1 pm. We’re waiting to hear back from Seattle City Light on details regarding the “equipment failure” listed on the outage map as its cause, and we’ll add an update here when that information is available.
1:33 PM: Still out, according to SCL map, which now describes restoration as “pending.” SCL spokesperson Scott Thomsen tells WSB, “The crew working on this outage is still trying to determine what piece of equipment failed. This can be a challenge with underground facilities where you can’t just look at the cable and see whether it is intact or damaged. They work through a progression to identify the section of line where the problem exists, including checks on transformers and connections. In some cases, it can require digging up the last section of cable to find the damaged spot and make the repair.”
3:37 PM: Just checked the outage map, and this is no longer listed – if you don’t have your power back, though, be sure City Light knows!
4:46 PM: Update from SCL’s Thomsen – an underground-cable failure caused this outage, as was also the case in an early-morning outage in southwest West Seattle about two weeks ago.
Thanks to the person who texted to let us know about this: Another early-morning power outage. This one is affecting 81 customers, according to Seattle City Light‘s outage map (desktop version here, mobile version here), in three spots – Roxhill and south of northeast Arbor Heights. SCL’s map says the cause is under investigation and estimates restoration time by 6 am, though we always caution, that’s a guess – could be sooner or later.
Update: ‘Underground cable failure’ blamed for early-morning power outage in Arbor Heights/FauntleroyJanuary 22, 2015 at 6:24 am | In Utilities, West Seattle news | 8 Comments
6:24 AM: We’ll be asking Seattle City Light this morning about the hourlong early-morning power outage that affected about 4,700 customers in southwest West Seattle. Our apologies for missing it in real time; looks unofficially like it started sometime after 3 am, and ended by 4:20 am, and it appears to have been in what was the primary area of the windstorm outage last weekend (see the screengrab in this tweet from @kjkjal). Whatever we learn from SCL, we’ll add here.
8:44 AM: Though the power was back relatively quickly, SCL’s Scott Thomsen tells WSB, crews are still working on it: “The first thing they did was to isolate the area where they believe the problem exists and re-route power from other circuits. That put all our customers back in service. The crews are still patrolling the line to find out what caused the outage and make repairs.”
5:16 PM: We checked back with Thomsen to see what the crews had found. He replied: “Crews determined that the outage was caused by an underground cable failure. This underground cable is near the substation and feeds the overhead lines in the area that experienced the outage. The damaged area has been isolated and power continues to be routed into the area from an alternate path until permanent repairs can be made.”
Two new reports of the scam phone callers who claim to be from Seattle City Light, alleging you owe money and are at risk of imminent shutoff if you don’t pay them. This came in last night from Dan at Peel and Press in Morgan Junction:
My employees at Peel and Press just got a call from someone claiming to be Seattle City Light stating that they were going to shut off our power in one hour and that they needed to confirm our billing info. My employees took down the name and number and then called me. I called back “Mr. Allan Grey” and he went on about how my last two payments weren’t cleared and they would be shutting off my power in the next few minutes. He wanted me to confirm my card number and exp date. I asked him to reference the last 4 numbers of my SCL account because something didn’t seem right and I had a feeling this was a scam. He assured me I could wait for my power to get shut off so I would know it was real. I again asked for the last 4 digits and he hung up. I called Seattle City Light and just as I expected my power bill was up to date and no issues with my service. Claimed to be Allan Grey – Ph. 1-800-237-3081
WHAT YOU CAN DO ABOUT IT: City Light has scam-protection advice for you here.
(SCROLL DOWN FOR NEWEST INFO! And in case you need these, City Light outage hotline 206-684-3000 **** Click for mobile version of SCL outage map)
(Updated City Light map screengrab, as of 2:10 am)
1:40 AM: After midnight, the wind kicked up, as the National Weather Service had warned it was likely to do. There’s word of a tree down at a house in the 1300 block of Alki SW and possibly a slide too. (Added: Photo from Suzanne, showing one of the firefighters who were working on the downed trees in that area:)
And power’s starting to go out around the city – including the first West Seattle power outage report, in the Fauntleroy/Lincoln Park area. We’re watching the map. (added) Just got texts from Arbor Heights and north White Center about power woes there too. Let us know in comments or via text (206-293-6302) what’s up where you are.
1:45 AM: The southwest-end outages are now on the City Light map. We’ll add a screengrab – or, wait, maybe not yet; just got a text from Admiral.
1:56 AM: The Admiral outage is on the map as a small pocket, 9 customers; from Gatewood through Fauntleroy and into Arbor Heights/Arroyos, more than 4,700 customers (homes/businesses) are out.
2:07 AM: Map has now added a pocket of 100+ customers out in The Junction, and the Admiral pocket has grown to about that same number. We’ll change the screengrab. Note we have added the City Light outage hotline AND link to mobile version of the outage map, atop this story.
2:26 AM: The National Weather Service upgraded the alert to a “high wind warning” (see it here) as of about 20 minutes ago, in effect through 8 am. Our area’s holding at about 5,000 customers without power, just under half the SCL total. The “estimated time” for restoration is 8 am but keep in mind, that’s always just a guesstimate, could be earlier or later.
3:17 AM: SCL now blames a tree, somewhere, for the biggest West Seattle outage, the 4,700-customer outage in Morgan/Gatewood/Fauntleroy/Arbor Heights/beyond. The wind’s been much calmer the past hour or so, at least from our listening spot.
3:37 AM: About a quarter of those in the biggest outage zone apparently have their power back – the count has dropped from 4,700 to 3,600. By the way, no reports of any injuries so far into all this.
5:57 AM: Checking on SCL’s progress – the big West Seattle outage (now attributed to equipment failure) has halved again, now fewer than 2,000 (looks like the latest chunk of restored customers happened around 5 am). The Admiral and Junction pockets (~100 each, now blamed on trees) are still out. If you are out and don’t see your area included on the map, be sure to notify SCL at 206-684-3000 to make sure they know.
7:24 AM: Looks like no additional West Seattle restoration in the past hour and a half – still just over 2,000 customers out, and the estimate is now “pending.” Via Twitter, SCL says the main problem with which they’re dealing now, here and elsewhere in the city, is downed lines, including one near 44th/Roxbury.
8:32 AM: In terms of businesses affected, looking at the current outage map, it doesn’t look like many are still out BUT the Endolyne/Fauntleroy mini-business district appears to be in the outage zone. We are off to check and will add whatever we find. Meantime, Ocean View has lost power again, according to a text. And we’re sticking this story to the top of the site, but if you scroll BENEATH it, you’ll see our list of “what’s up today” including game-related changes and places to watch – or, click here.
8:37 AM: In all, 5,000 **more** homes/businesses just lost power, so we have 7,000 total in West Seattle. ***UPDATE*** Within minutes, that area (southeast West Seattle, White Center) got it back, though the SCL map doesn’t reflect yet.
9:17 AM: Now out and about. Went to Fauntleroy/Endolyne first, spotted City Light crews:
— West Seattle Blog (@westseattleblog) January 18, 2015
Power in that area JUST came back on but Endolyne Joe’s (WSB sponsor) tells us they won’t be ready for customers until about 11. Next door, The Original Bakery is closed because of the outage – they can’t simply reopen now because as the sign says, they lost their early-morning baking time:
9:49 AM: Spotted City Light at the Junction outage scene too, on SW Oregon:
— West Seattle Blog (@westseattleblog) January 18, 2015
According to commenters, both the Junction and Admiral outage pockets (less than 200 customers each) were caused by trees taking out wires/lines in alleys. (Added below: Photo from Gina, showing the Admiral scene. Thanks also to Sarah for sending one.)
10:42 AM: The entire southwest area is now back on, according to the map, texters, and commenters. Now it’s down to the 300 or so residences in the Junction and Admiral pockets, neither of which appears to be affecting businesses.
12:04 PM: Game time, and the number of West Seattle customers still out after 11+ hours is down to 114, per City Light.
3:36 PM: Just a handful still out, per SCL. The weather is continuing to calm, according to the forecast, but there was a bit of thunder about half an hour ago. (No, it was NOT from the stadium, but might as well have been, given what was happening in the game right about then!)
Two weeks after a Seattle Public Utilities contractor started night work cleaning sewer/storm lines at the Fauntleroy ferry dock, SPU has announced an extension: “The concrete slurry found in the pipes is a higher strength than we had expected. Therefore, the contractor will discontinue with the jet and hydro cleaning efforts and move to a milling process to grind the slurry from the pipes. The equipment and noise levels will remain the same as before.” Part of the north ferry-loading lane will continue being coned off while this work is done. It’s now expected to continue 9 pm-5 am through January 30th.
(Map courtesy Seattle Public Utilities)
Busy week for utility-related projects in West Seattle – along with the advisories recapped in our daily traffic watch, here’s the explanation of drilling activity you might notice later this week:
Seattle Public Utilities (SPU) will conduct soil testing as part of the SW Orleans St Sewer Replacement Project which will repair the sewer mainline in the SW Orleans St right-of-way, west of the intersection with 30th Ave SW. We will use the results of these soil tests to help us replace the sewer line next year.
Soil tests allow us to determine current underground conditions around the existing sewer line. A crew will drill 15 to 20 foot deep holes to take soil samples. After taking samples they will fill the holes and restore the surface. At one location they will install a groundwater monitoring well. The map on the back of this page shows the two drilling locations.
Work is expected to begin on January 14th and will take one to two days. Normal work hours will be between 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. After the drilling, we will be onsite periodically to measure groundwater levels in the monitoring well.
There will be two drilling locations in the public right-of-way as shown on the (above) map. The crew will work in one work area at a time.
More trucks Monday as Murray Combined Sewer Overflow Control Project million-gallon-tank concrete pour continuesJanuary 11, 2015 at 12:55 pm | In Utilities, West Seattle news, West Seattle traffic alerts | Comments Off
The concrete pour that started Friday will continue tomorrow at the Murray Combined Sewer Overflow Control Project site – a million-gallon tank under construction across from Lowman Beach. That’s according to an update from project spokesperson Doug Marsano from King County Wastewater Treatment. Like Friday, that means up to 10 trucks an hour, starting at 7 am, and it might continue beyond 6 pm.
10:01 PM: Thanks to the caller who tipped us to the power outage that’s affecting almost 200 customers near South Seattle College (WSB sponsor) and to the east, along the Duwamish River. It’s on the Seattle City Light map now (screengrab added, above). The map’s guesstimate of restoration time is just before 1 am, but please keep in mind, it could be much sooner or much later – no word of the cause yet.
P.S. See the mobile version of the SCL map by going here. If you’re out but in a different area, be sure to call 206-684-3000.
10:38 PM: Most of those affected are back on; the outage map now shows 18 still out, in the pockets off West Marginal Way SW. SCL still hasn’t disclosed the cause.
11:27 PM: We now have a response via Twitter:
@westseattleblog Cause was a faulty part on a utility pole. Crews quickly isolated/fixed the issue and restored power. Thank you
— Seattle City Light (@SEACityLight) January 11, 2015
The outage map shows two customers in the industrial area along the Duwamish are still out.
The twice-postponed concrete pour at the Murray Combined Sewer Overflow Control Project will start tomorrow (Thursday), according to an announcement this evening from the King County Wastewater Treatment District. This one will bring up to 10 trucks per hour into the Lowman Beach area, starting at 7 am, according to KCWTD’s Doug Marsano. They might work into the evening, past the general 6 pm end time, if necessary. Marsano’s alert says, “The site will be very busy while the pour occurs, so please avoid the east of the 7000 block of Beach Drive SW to the extent possible.” If you have questions or concerns, with this or any other part of the million-gallon-storage-tank project, the hotline is 206-205-9186.
(WSB photo of Dakota substation site last month, as cleanup was beginning)
West Seattle’s first community-group meeting of 2015 is tomorrow, as the Seattle Green Spaces Coalition continues strategizing how to preserve some if not all of the greenspaces currently known as surplus substations. All are welcome at 3 pm Sunday at High Point Branch Library (35th/Raymond). The coalition started out focusing on the surplus substations in West Seattle, whose future has been on the line for more than a year now, and then expanded to a citywide focus, with a lengthening list of sites of concern so far, including at least 10 ex-substations from Ballard to Delridge. As a result of their efforts, the city is studying the possibility of an “Open Space Opportunity Fund,” but that might not come soon enough; the announcement of tomorrow’s meeting says, “We have a short window for action and really need your help!”
3:45 PM: Update on the water problem mentioned earlier in our daily traffic watch:
SW Admiral Way westbound lane closed at SW Spokane Street; Seattle Public Utilities performing an emergency repair on water service line:
One westbound lane of SW Admiral Way, at SW Spokane Street (underneath the bridge), will be closed while Seattle Public Utilities (SPU) crews make an emergency repair to a water service line. SPU expects the lane to be reopened by 9 pm this evening.
9:13 PM UPDATE: As of less than an hour ago, the crew was still working and the road was still wet; in addition to the lane closure toward the bottom of the Admiral Way hill, access to Admiral via westbound Spokane St. under the bridge was closed off. We’ll be checking the scene in an hour or so (please let us know if you see it reopen sooner) and will also check it for the morning commute since it’ll be well below freezing tonight.
11:55 PM UPDATE: Crews were still working at the scene as of our return visit a short time ago. Looks like it has the potential to be treacherous for the morning commute but rather than speculate, we will check back before starting our daily traffic/transit coverage ~6 am and will include an update on what it’s like and whether you might do better to consider an alternate route.
(Image from SDOT camera on the bridge, saved early Monday – note the dark zone in the center)
If you have driven the West Seattle “high bridge” after dark/before dawn in the past week or so, you’ve no doubt noticed the stretch of non-working lights between Highway 99 and the bridge crest. (And this isn’t the first trouble since the LED lights were installed last year.) After multiple inquiries, we mentioned last Friday that city sources had confirmed Seattle City Light was on it. So why aren’t they fixed yet? We followed up today with SCL, whose Scott Thomsen tells WSB:
After we got reports of the lights being out, we had a line service crew do a patrol and inspect the lights that were out. They determined that the cause for the majority of them was a failed piece of equipment called a breaker/contactor. The part is on order. It is scheduled to be delivered Jan. 5 and will be installed as soon as it arrives. Then, the crew will do another patrol to assess any remaining lights that are still out.
(WSB photo, December 5th)
In case you’re keeping track – King County Wastewater Treatment has just changed the dates again for the next big pour at the Murray Combined Sewer Overflow (CSO) Control Project across from Lowman Beach. It’s now set for Monday and Thursday of next week, January 5 and 8th, exactly one month after the first big pour, which brought about 20 trucks an hour to the site – twice the amount expected for this one. The county also notes that crews will not be working at the site New Year’s Day. Here’s the full update (PDF) the county sent late today.
If you use, and/or live near, the Fauntleroy ferry terminal, heads up: One week from tonight, two weeks of potentially noisy nighttime work will start at the terminal. It’s not a Washington State Ferries project; a contractor for Seattle Public Utilities will be doing cleaning work. Here’s the notice, forwarded to us by an area resident who received it this week and thought it might be of interest to people beyond the immediate neighborhood, too:
We contacted SPU for more information about this; Ingrid Goodwin confirmed that once the work starts, it’ll continue on weekend nights as well as weeknights, and she adds: “SPU’s contractor may decide to work consecutive nights or take some nights off – depending on the weather and other work conditions.” We asked if this was regular maintenance or response to some sort of problem; her reply: “This work is in response to a recent CCTV (close circuit TV) inspection performed on SPU sewer pipes that found concrete slurry partially blocking. There was an attempt to remove the slurry during normal business hours but due to the high tides, we decided to move the cleaning effort to off hours during lower tides. This will allow a broader window of opportunity for SPU’s contractor to clean, which will also reduce the number of job site setups and breakdowns needed to complete the work.” As for the source of the slurry – that’s another followup.
Another “pit” update tonight – this time, for the Murray Combined Sewer Overflow Control Project‘s million-gallon-tank pit across from Lowman Beach. As tank construction begins, King County Wastewater Treatment says the next two major concrete pours – with half the truck volume of the big one earlier this month, but sizable nonetheless – are now postponed until after Christmas. Click (if you’re on the home page) or scroll for the full update:
Scammers are still at work out there, trying to steal your money by making you think you are at risk of utility cutoff. We’ve reported this before (including earlier this fall) and today Seattle City Light is out with another alert:
As temperatures continue to drop and the importance of keeping your home warm rises, scammers are taking full advantage of the situation by targeting utility customers; threatening to shut off power unless payment is made to a fraudulent bill collector.
Seattle City Light is receiving 25 to 30 reports per week from customers targeted by such scams, often some of Seattle’s most vulnerable residents. Scammers commonly target non-English speaking individuals, elderly, and small business owners.
(TOPLINE: Power restored after a little more than one hour; ‘cable failure’ blamed)
11:01 PM: Thanks to everyone who’s been calling and texting – as of a few minutes ago, more than 4,100 homes/businesses have lost power in north West Seattle. Don’t know why yet. More to come.
11:08 PM: Just added screengrab from City Light map showing where the power’s out. Commenters and texters report something that resembles a possible transformer explosion preceding the loss of power.
@westseattleblog we live next to Delridge substation, heard what sounded like two explosion with bright flashes.
— Lindsey Hurd (@lindseyhurd) December 14, 2014
City Light site guesstimates restoration by 2 am but remember – that’s just an estimate, could be sooner, could be later.
11:13 PM: Denny tweets that the apartment-rich zone along Avalon is affected:
@westseattleblog power out here on 35th & Avalon. Lots of cars not able to get into their parking garages. Hope no one's stuck in elevators
— Denny Lee (@DennyJLee) December 14, 2014
11:24 PM: In fact, the SFD 911 log indicates a couple “elevator rescue” calls, on Avalon and Alki.
11:29 PM: City Light just tweeted for the first time, but no information beyond what we’ve already gotten from the outage map – “early estimate” of restoration ~2 am, no cause verified yet, not even with all these reports of an explosion preceding it.
11:43 PM: From City Light’s site, “what to do in case of an outage.” We’d add from experience – unplug major appliances unless you have great surge protectors; last outage, a computer we didn’t unplug was damaged when the power surged back on. One other point while we await updates – while the outage affects more than 4,100 “customers,” it affects many more people; a “customer” is an account, a home, a business, sometimes an entire multi-unit building.
12:04 AM: Multiple reports that the power’s back on.
12:12 AM: The map now shows everybody back on – so if you’re not, please call City Light, 206-684-3000. The only indication of its cause appeared on the map in the past 20 minutes or so – “equipment failure.” We might not be able to get further details until Monday.
12:18 AM: Scratch that; we do have a little more information from SCL via social media: “Cause was underground cable failure leading from substation.”
ORIGINAL REPORT, 11:40 AM: With so much construction and utility work around town these days, the crew working outside Salon 08 on SW Genesee east of 42nd might not have drawn a double take this morning. But the reason for its presence was unusual – a hit-run driver crashed into the gas hookup out front and did a little damage to the bricks in the facade. It happened sometime before 4 am – that’s when the Seattle Fire Department was called out to investigate a possible gas leak; the tipster who sent us word of it said the driver would have been a “silver hatchback” that “fled the scene on 3 wheels.” The salon, however, is open for business as usual.
ADDED 6:30 PM: In comments, Rich says the suspected hit-run car ended up near his Lowman Beach-area home. We’ve also received a photo via text and e-mail showing what’s said to be the car in question:
Rich says police told him they knew whose car it was – we are checking to find out if a suspect was arrested.
10:53 AM: Another widespread power outage that’s mostly south of us – but it’s affecting the lights at a key intersection on the southeast edge of West Seattle, a texter just confirmed, saying the 4th/Roxbury/Olson lights are out (treat it as a stop-all-ways intersection until they’re back!). Here’s the City Light map showing the outage affecting areas of South Park, North Highline, south White Center, Top Hat, and Boulevard Park.
11:28 AM: Except for Boulevard Park and vicinity, the SCL map now shows most have their power back. (For the record, here’s a screengrab showing the full area that WAS affected.)
9:05 PM: One spot of easternmost West Seattle is part of a big power outage that otherwise is mostly southeast of West Seattle. The City Light map shows more than 3,400 homes/businesses out in eastern White Center, Top Hat, and parts of Burien. No word yet on the cause or estimated restoration.
9:31 PM: The outage map has updated and the WC/TH section has apparently been fixed, leaving a section of Burien still out.
10:18 PM: City Light says a tree is to blame and those still without power might not get it back until 4:30 am or so.
ORIGINAL REPORT, 1:53 AM SUNDAY: Just before 9 pm, Kevin tweeted about that water break on 52nd SW just south of Charlestown. We checked it out (and recorded that quick clip of water bubbling up through the street) just before 1 am – and Seattle Public Utilities hadn’t been there yet. Another neighbor, Andrew, who also had tweeted about it, told us neighbors were moving their cars in hopes of avoiding the inevitable ice – the temperature’s already at the freezing mark and expected to drop into the 20s before sunrise. This is just before the Charlestown Hill drop toward Alki. We’ll check back after sunrise.
9 AM UPDATE: Still going at dawn, per yet another neighbor.
11:08 AM UPDATE: Jeffro mentioned another water break in comments. We found it at 53rd/Dakota – similar situation, water bubbling up from the street, so we Instagrammed it:
SPU had been there and also to 52nd/Charlestown, where we stopped again, painted some notes on the street, and, according to 52nd SW neighbors, said they’d be back:
3:28 PM: Tweeted update from the neighborhood:
— kevin ziemer (@kevzum) November 16, 2014
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