Utilities – West Seattle Blog… http://westseattleblog.com West Seattle news, 24/7 Sun, 20 May 2018 07:40:52 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.9.5 SCAM ALERT: Fake utility callers at it again http://westseattleblog.com/2018/05/scam-alert-fake-utility-callers-at-it-again/ http://westseattleblog.com/2018/05/scam-alert-fake-utility-callers-at-it-again/#comments Fri, 11 May 2018 23:47:29 +0000 http://westseattleblog.com/?p=916426 We hope everyone’s aware of this scam by now but just in case – we got a call from Luna Park Café a little while ago, and they had just received the infamous utility-scam call. Businesses are a favorite target of these scammers, who claim your power’s about to be cut off unless you pay some money right now. Utilities including City Light say they don’t do business that way. But if you get a call like that and somehow fear you might be in arrears, you can call the utility to be sure. All the info you need is here.

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West Seattle power outage: 100+ customers in south Arbor Heights/Arroyos/Seola http://westseattleblog.com/2018/04/west-seattle-power-outage-100-customers-in-south-arbor-heights-arroyos/ http://westseattleblog.com/2018/04/west-seattle-power-outage-100-customers-in-south-arbor-heights-arroyos/#comments Mon, 23 Apr 2018 11:26:29 +0000 http://westseattleblog.com/?p=914725

4:26 AM: Thanks for the tip about an outage in the south Arbor Heights/Arroyos/Seola area. Seattle City Light‘s map says 106 homes are without power; no cause listed so far. (This is near the area where City Light plans to start a project soon to replace underground cable, with an informational open house this Wednesday.)

7:45 AM:: As commenters note, SCL has since updated to blame a tree.

1:25 PM: Restored since our last check a couple hours ago.

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POWER PROJECT: Seattle City Light to start South Arbor Heights/Arroyos work soon; informational ‘open house’ next week http://westseattleblog.com/2018/04/power-project-seattle-city-light-to-start-south-arbor-heights-arroyos-work-soon-informational-open-house-next-week/ http://westseattleblog.com/2018/04/power-project-seattle-city-light-to-start-south-arbor-heights-arroyos-work-soon-informational-open-house-next-week/#comments Wed, 18 Apr 2018 21:25:43 +0000 http://westseattleblog.com/?p=914249

Seattle City Light says it’s starting work soon on its project to replace underground cables for “enhanced electrical reliability and efficiency” in South Arbor Heights and The Arroyos, so if you have questions about the project, a drop-in open house has been announced for one week from today: 5:30-7 pm at Southwest Library (9010 35th SW). SCL says the work “will require installing new conduits, vaults, and other associated work. Streetlights will also be replaced as part of this work.” The work is expected to start in early-to-mid-May, on California SW between SW 106th and 107th. This will be a long-running project, per SCL: “Civil construction is estimated to last approximately 1 1/2 years. Additional streetlight work will follow.”

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WORK ALERT: Water-main replacement soon in Upper Alki http://westseattleblog.com/2018/03/work-alert-water-main-replacement-soon-in-upper-alki/ Fri, 30 Mar 2018 01:23:34 +0000 http://westseattleblog.com/?p=912655 Starting next week, Seattle Public Utilities will be replacing a water main on Hobart Ave. SW [map] in Upper Alki. It’s “part of a citywide water main restoration effort,” SPU says. They expect to start work next week, with the project lasting about six weeks, mostly Mondays-Fridays 7 am-5 pm. SPU says they hope to reopen the street during non-work hours. The project is also expected to include “two short (about 1 hour) and two long (about 8 hours)” water shutdowns, with advance notice for residents who will be affected. Questions? Brian Eng is project manager – brian.eng@seattle.gov or (206) 386-9744.

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UPDATE: City Light discovers what caused the brief, widespread power outage in West Seattle http://westseattleblog.com/2018/03/brief-power-outage-anybody-else/ http://westseattleblog.com/2018/03/brief-power-outage-anybody-else/#comments Sun, 25 Mar 2018 03:05:18 +0000 http://westseattleblog.com/?p=912274 8:05 PM: At HQ here in Upper Fauntleroy, we lost power a few minutes ago for something more than a flicker. Checking around on Twitter, other areas – Morgan Junction, South Delridge, Gatewood, for starters – confirmed it happened there too. And via scanner, we’re hearing a report of something that sounded like “an explosion” near Delridge/Thistle – emergency responders are checking.

8:18 PM: Still a mystery. We went to Delridge/Thistle to look around, nothing in view, power on. No outages have turned up on the SCL map. Strange because in our decade-plus of tracking outages, almost invariably, a flicker in one place accompanies an outage elsewhere. We’re attempting to reach a City Light spokesperson.

8:31 PM: Just talked to an SCL spokesperson. They don’t know what caused it either, but have crews headed this way to investigate.

9:35 PM: City Light says their crews found out what happened: “The cause was due to a blown lightning arrester (equipment failure).”

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Harbor Island power outage; wires down at 1st/Spokane http://westseattleblog.com/2018/03/harbor-island-power-outage/ http://westseattleblog.com/2018/03/harbor-island-power-outage/#comments Wed, 07 Mar 2018 18:45:30 +0000 http://westseattleblog.com/?p=910744

10:45 AM: Thanks for the tip about a power outage on Harbor Island. The City Light map confirms 200+ customers out both on Harbor Island and east, around Spokane St. east of Highway 99. SDOT reports downed wires in 1st/Spokane vicinity.

11:01 AM: Eastbound Spokane is blocked west of 1st; stoplights are out on E. Marginal at, and north of, Spokane. The light on Spokane east of the low bridge is out too, though the bridge itself appears to be operating normally.

12:04 PM: Texter says they have power back, and the SCL map confirms the outage is partly resolved.

12:39 PM: The map shows Harbor Island is all back on except for a few spots south of the low bridge.

4:28 PM: Added above, a photo of the power pole that was hit, causing the outage. About two dozen customers are still shown as out, along Spokane between 99 and 4th Ave. S.

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Brown water reported east of West Seattle Junction http://westseattleblog.com/2018/03/brown-water-reported-east-of-west-seattle-junction/ Sun, 04 Mar 2018 19:35:59 +0000 http://westseattleblog.com/?p=910532 In case you’re experiencing it too, reader Brian, who contacted Seattle Public Utilities about brown water in the 4800 block of Fauntleroy Way SW, says he’s been told it’s the result of SPU line-flushing in the area this morning. SPU always advises calling 206-386-1800 if your water is discolored – there are several potential causes, and sometimes they won’t know until they start hearing from customers. Brian says SPU told him to “use water as little as possible for the next few hours to not further agitate the trust. It should take 3 to 8 hours to clear up.”

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WEST SEATTLE POWER OUTAGE: Riverview boom, and a reminder http://westseattleblog.com/2018/02/west-seattle-power-outage-riverview-boom-and-a-reminder/ http://westseattleblog.com/2018/02/west-seattle-power-outage-riverview-boom-and-a-reminder/#comments Sat, 24 Feb 2018 23:42:43 +0000 http://westseattleblog.com/?p=909881 3:42 PM: There’s a small Seattle City Light outage in Riverview right now after what a tipster texted us was a boom that they suspect involved a transformer. The SCL map notation attributes the outage to “equipment failure.” Meantime, we want to remind you that the forecast calls for things to get windy tonight and early tomorrow, possibly gusting up to 33 mph – no official alert, but there wasn’t one last Sunday either, when gusts took down trees and took out power, so you’d be wise to be ready just in case.

10:05 PM: Jen says in a comment that the power was restored around 9:15.

P.S. Forecasters are still predicting a windy night and early morning – keep everything charged!

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WEST SEATTLE POWER OUTAGE: 181 Alki customers http://westseattleblog.com/2018/02/power-outage-181-alki-customers/ Thu, 22 Feb 2018 11:34:58 +0000 http://westseattleblog.com/?p=909662

One power outage so far – 181 customers along 62nd SW in Alki lost electricity just after 1 am. No cause listed but just as we were typing this, our tipster says it came back on.

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POWER OUTAGE UPDATES: 370+ customers in Gatewood, Upper Fauntleroy; 4,100+ restored in Shorewood, WC; new outage along part of Roxbury http://westseattleblog.com/2018/02/west-seattle-power-outage-150-customers-in-gatewood-upper-fauntleroy/ http://westseattleblog.com/2018/02/west-seattle-power-outage-150-customers-in-gatewood-upper-fauntleroy/#comments Sun, 18 Feb 2018 22:59:09 +0000 http://westseattleblog.com/?p=909345

2:59 PM: First significant power outage in West Seattle since the weather got blustery on Friday – more than 150 customers in Gatewood and Upper Fauntleroy, including WSB HQ, per the City Light outage map. More to come.

3:09 PM: The cause isn’t listed yet but the restoration guesstimate is 9 pm – as always, we caution that it can be fixed a lot sooner (like that recent 1 1/2-hour outage) or much later. Meantime, a much-bigger outage has just happened in the White Center/Shorewood/north Burien area – 4,100+ customers:

4:04 PM: SCL blames the White Center-and-beyond fire on a tree. Meanwhile, we’re checking out a brush-fire call in west Gatewood that’s blamed on downed wires – we don’t know if it’s related to the outage but it’s not far. Separate coverage here.

4:23 PM: As noted in comments, the big outage to the south has been resolved, as verified by the SCL map. The outage east of Lincoln Park, not yet.

5:53 PM: New outage as of a little over an hour ago – two pockets on SW Roxbury in the 26th/28th area, and we’re told that is affecting Roxbury Safeway. We’ll be checking there in a bit.

6:46 PM: Roxbury Safeway has some power inside but cold cases are covered and there’s no external lighting. Meantime, the outage in our HQ area, east of and uphill from Lincoln Park, is now listed as 371 customers. Still a 9 pm restoration guesstimate, but no cause – the wires-down fire is likely related.

9:34 PM: Still in the outage zone but we did see a couple City Light trucks a few blocks away while we were on our way back here a short time ago. The restoration guesstimate has been pushed back to ~1:29 am but please remember, it’s not based on anything scientific, as City Light itself will tell you, so it’s just a guess. Some important things to remember:

-It’s cold but in trying to stay warm, you need to follow carbon-monoxide-safety rules.

-Wondering about the safety of food in your refrigerator? Read the FDA advice and guidelines.

2 AM: Our power came back on around 1:30. Now there’s a new 90-customer outage along Walnut.

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UPDATE: ‘Vault fire’ blamed for West Seattle, White Center power outage http://westseattleblog.com/2018/02/west-seattle-power-outage-7/ http://westseattleblog.com/2018/02/west-seattle-power-outage-7/#comments Mon, 12 Feb 2018 03:17:35 +0000 http://westseattleblog.com/?p=908693

FIRST REPORT, 7:17 PM: Getting word of a power outage in Westwood and South Delridge. More to come.

7:19 PM: Hearing from Highland Park and White Center too. And the SFD log says it’s a vault fire at 22nd and Roxbury.

7:26 PM: On our way to check out the fire scene. Meantime, we’d suggest avoiding Roxbury in that area. And remember that dark stoplights are all-way stops. More than 3,000 customers are out, according to the City Light map.

7:39 PM: Roxbury is blocked by the emergency response, which is near Holy Family. Our crew just arrived in the area. SFD is investigating smoke coming up from a utility-hole cover. For those asking what a “vault fire” means – “vault” in this case is an underground installation of utility equipment.

7:43 PM: The fire is apparently not huge – some units are being dismissed. The City Light restoration estimate is 2 am but PLEASE remember, as we always point out in outage situations (and as SCL itself acknowledges), that is just a guess … could be back on much sooner, or much later.

7:49 PM: Our crew just checked on the detours. If you are headed east, you’ll be rerouted at 21st/Roxbury; if you’re headed west, you’ll be rerouted at 17th and Roxbury.

8:01 PM: We also checked on Westwood Village businesses – the QFC to Marshall’s side is all/mostly out, but other businesses are on. Will also be checking on downtown White Center, which is in the outage zone too, per SCL’s map.

8:14 PM: Per comments, texts, and firsthand sightings in the field, we have word at least some have their power back already. SCL’s map says the outage is down to 1,300+ customers, less than half the initial number.

8:35 PM: As shown on the updated map above, almost everyone still out is south of Roxbury. That includes downtown White Center:

We’d heard police say via scanner that they had been told they could reopen Roxbury. We’ve also just seen a tweet that Route 560 is no longer rerouted off Roxbury – we’re heading back to the zone to verify.

8:41 PM: Just checked the SCL map and it shows just about everyone back on. If you are NOT – please be sure SCL knows – 206-684-3000. Thanks again to everyone for the updates, including first word of the outage – 206-293-6302 is our breaking-news hotline, 24/7.

9:24 PM: We did verify that Roxbury is open again; when we went through, the 16th/Roxbury signal was in flashing-red mode, though, so another reminder, that means stop all ways.

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Water-break repair work on 35th SW north of Fauntleroy http://westseattleblog.com/2018/01/water-break-repair-work-on-35th-sw-north-of-fauntleroy/ http://westseattleblog.com/2018/01/water-break-repair-work-on-35th-sw-north-of-fauntleroy/#comments Sun, 28 Jan 2018 02:03:29 +0000 http://westseattleblog.com/?p=907382

6:03 PM: Thanks for the tip about a water break on 35th SW north of Fauntleroy. Just went to check; the crew is working on the NB side of the road, directing traffic 1 lane at a time, and expects to be there a few hours.

SUNDAY MORNING UPDATE: Checked back to be sure the road was fully open again. It is.

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UPDATE: Water trouble in east West Seattle Junction area, fixed http://westseattleblog.com/2018/01/water-trouble-reported-in-west-seattle-junction-area/ http://westseattleblog.com/2018/01/water-trouble-reported-in-west-seattle-junction-area/#comments Wed, 24 Jan 2018 14:22:38 +0000 http://westseattleblog.com/?p=907079 6:22 AM: We have reports of low water pressure in the area of 40th SW between SW Oregon and SW Alaska. One reader says they’ve called Seattle Public Utilities and were told there’s a water break. On our way to check.

(Photo posted in comments by Mark)

6:39 AM: No crew on site right now but the water is flowing on the east side of the street, southward toward SW Alaska from the vicinity of a hydrant at midblock. No traffic effects.

(WSB photos from here down)

7:53 AM: Neighbors report in comments that a crew is there now.

10:13 AM: As commenters reported, LA Fitness (sign above) is indeed closed – we just went by to verify. They hope to reopen by mid-afternoon. And 40th is closed between Oregon and Alaska because of the work.

11:16 AM: We also just got a text that Sound and Fog – which is across SW Alaska on 40th – is also closed because of the water break. If you know of any other businesses affected, please let us know – we’re making phone calls in the meantime, but unlike a power outage, there’s no information on the exact area affected, so we’re just making guesses for starters. (added) We just checked with West Seattle Bowl, for example, right next door to Spruce (the building that houses LA Fitness) – the bowling alley and its restaurant DO have water.

11:36 AM: Across the Fauntleroy/Alaska intersection, The Whittaker (WSB sponsor) tells us they’re without water, but we need to check individually on how/whether that’s affecting the businesses in their building. (added) We called CityMD, which says they’re closed to walk-in patients until the water’s back on, but you can call to make appointments.

12:07 PM: SPU’s Andy Ryan tells us the water “should be back on for customers by 1 pm. Crews will do some flushing to minimize the dirty water caused by the shutdown, and will remain at the jobsite this afternoon, completing the repairs on the hydrant.”

1:30 PM: A commenter says water is back on at Spruce.

2:33 PM: Sound & Fog has reopened. So has 40th SW. The signs were off the door at LA Fitness but we have to head back that way to send someone in to verify that they’re operational.

3:24 PM: LA Fitness confirms it’s open again too.

4:07 PM: And last but by no means least, SPU’s Ingrid Goodwin has answered some followup questions:

What happened? We strongly suspect that a car hit the hydrant based on where it broke and the force needed to cause the type of damage that occurred (damage occurred to critical hydrant parts that were underground).

Why did the water main have to be shut down? Normally, crews can simply shut off the hydrant valve to make the repair. But because the hydrant valve was damaged, they were forced to shut off the water main to stop the break, which unfortunately led to temporary water shutoff for customers.

Why so much damage? The hydrant that was hit was very old, installed about 40 or 50 years ago. The types of hydrants SPU has been installing for quite a while are “break-away” hydrants that are designed to break away or withstand being struck by vehicles. The new hydrant that was installed today is a break-away hydrant.

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SEEP STOPPED: Action finally taken at chronic water-on-road spot at California/Orchard http://westseattleblog.com/2018/01/seep-stopped-action-finally-taken-at-chronic-water-on-road-spot-at-california-orchard/ http://westseattleblog.com/2018/01/seep-stopped-action-finally-taken-at-chronic-water-on-road-spot-at-california-orchard/#comments Sat, 20 Jan 2018 05:53:26 +0000 http://westseattleblog.com/?p=906700

That long-running sight at California and Orchard in Gatewood – water (or ice, on the December day we photographed it) on the road, coming from the southeast corner – may finally be a thing of the past. It’s been a problem for some time – you can even see it in Google Street View from last fall. Some neighbors contended that it had to be a pipe break of some time, but Seattle Public Utilities investigated and was adamant that its tests showed it was groundwater. That assessment even wound up marked on the sidewalk at the corner:

SPU says it’s a “seep” like so many others around the city, from a water source in the ground – springs, for example. You’ve probably seen them in other spots around West Seattle; one that comes to mind is along California Way between Harbor SW and Hamilton Viewpoint. SPU told us they’ve identified more than 150 “surfacing groundwater” spots around the city, and shared this map:

SDOT and SPU have been collaborating to investigate trouble spots like these, though even once they’ve been identified, finding a way to fix it – and/or the money to do so – can be a challenge.

In the California/Orchard case, neighbors had been working with City Councilmember Lisa Herbold, insisting something had to be done about the chronic water on the road, which also was leading to moss/algae growth on the sidewalk. Initially, the city said all it could do was be sure that SDOT salted/sanded the spot when it froze over. But then came a breakthrough, Herbold reported this week: “Drainage and Wastewater operations staff discovered an abandoned stormwater pipe. This allowed SPU to correct the problem of the water collection because they could use the abandoned stormwater pipe as a connection to newly route the water away from the street surface.” She added that, “The observations of residents in this area monitoring the occurrence of this accumulation of water was critical to the identification of a solution.”

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UTILITY-WORK ALERT: 45th SW closure by Madison Middle School http://westseattleblog.com/2018/01/utility-work-alert-45th-sw-closure-by-madison-middle-school/ http://westseattleblog.com/2018/01/utility-work-alert-45th-sw-closure-by-madison-middle-school/#comments Tue, 16 Jan 2018 02:37:15 +0000 http://westseattleblog.com/?p=906396

For much of the rest of the week, 45th Avenue SW by Madison Middle School – between SW Hinds and SW Spokane – will be closed to all vehicle traffic but school buses. Seattle Public Utilities says it’s a sewer-repair project, and should be complete by the end of the week. They’ve distributed flyers along the street and talked with the school, but just in case you’re a 45th user who is outside that notification scope, this is an FYI. (Thanks to the person who tipped us to this!)

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