West Seattle, Washington
Now at Caffe Ladro, closer to our outage zone, and it’s the only thing anyone in the place seems to be discussing. Meantime, in the 8 or so hours since we bought our wi-fi card, we’ve learned more about WS wi-fi than we ever expected to learn. Such as … wi-fi at Starbucks costs $ (you have to pay T-Mobile); just about everywhere else (Tully’s, Uptown, CL), it’s free, but look closely if you need to plug into an outlet … Carosello up on 35th, for example, has free wi-fi, but no plugs.
What else we have learned tonight: The radio stirred up a controversy over how fast crews are working to plug us back in. Some Seattle City Light crew members allegedly called this blogger turned talk-show host to say they were supposedly being sent home too soon. Then the top dog of SCL himself called in to refute it. He did say most crews would be resting midnight-7 tonight, before embarking on another 17-hour day. (Online, SCL has just posted an update time-stamped 10 pm tonight, even though it was only 9:21 pm when we checked it.)
Also on the radio … a lady from King County Public Health, who reminded us about the dangers of carbon monoxide, and also confirmed that pretty much everything in our fridge was toast by midday Friday. Sigh.
As for what else we’ve seen re: dark zones tonight: On the north side of the Beach Drive tree blockage, not much has changed since last night. Along Beach itself, everything is fine until Me-Kwa-Mooks, then it’s out till just past Beach Drive Terrace (including everything up along Jacobsen Road). Then from BD Terrace, all is warm and bright including the Menashe light display; right after that, it goes dark again, up till The Tree.
We also saw a few powerless pockets on Delridge, one around a dark stoplight at Brandon, and another area near Home Depot (though HD itself seems back to normal).
If you left home because of the outage and are wondering whether you’ve got juice again, e-mail us and we’ll be happy to look after dusk tomorrow. As for tonight, we’re headed back home to rally ’round the fireplace. Glad we insisted on one when we bought our old but sturdy house so long ago. Stay safe!
Still trouble on the southwest side of WS, our neighborhood included. Lincoln Park Way, from Fauntleroy all the way down to Beach, is out. So is Lowman Beach, where you can hear the deafening rumble of a city truck which we believe is supplying power to the underground pump station there. The south end of Beach Drive, heading north from Lowman, is out, and the street is still closed at Atlas, two blocks before you get to the fallen tree. We’re in The Junction now, where things are bright and busy, and heading north to see if there are any pockets of powerlessness. (Still the oddest pocket we’ve found today is the one little area west of Westwood, sandwiched between “normal” areas along 35th and at the shopping center.)
Wireless connectivity achieved! So our updates may be a bit more frequent. Power at home NOT achieved, however. It seems to get closer by the hour — we recently saw some outdoor lights on, just a couple blocks away. (The city’s just posted a 2 pm update on the City Light home page; the information is somewhat murky, however, mentioning certain “isolated” areas may experience “extended outages” of up to 4 days – is that four MORE days, or four days counting back to 1 am Friday? The Times has a 1:20 pm update with info that’s not a whole lot clearer, except to confirm what many of us already knew — the WS outages are mostly in the “western part of West Seattle.”)
But enough about us. Westwood Village now seems to be entirely back up and running — we spun through there on the way to our current Morgan Junction-ish locale, and all seemed to be restored, though not necessarily all area homes — the stoplight about a block west of the shopping center, on Barton, was still dark.
We’ve also been to The Junction and noticed something mildly interesting — with all the folks out eating at restaurants, the dumpsters on the alley behind the west side of Cali Ave are overflowing. Boy, the trash crews are going to be busy tomorrow. (We might as well start tossing out what was in our fridge, I guess.)
Power is now back at Morgan Junction — the Starbucks, Tully’s, Thriftway, Caffe Ladro, everybody. However, further to the south, some neighborhoods … like ours … are still out. We heard a City Light person say on the radio that 16,000-ish “customers” (which could mean twice as many people, if not more) are still out of power, mostly on the “south” side. How come the north side got its power back first? Is this another north of the Ship Canal/south of the Ship Canal type thing? Oh well, no time for whining.
Late last night, after our last post, we drove around some more. Besides our neighborhood, much of the rest of the outage areas are “pockets.” In Arbor Heights, Shorewood, the area between White Center and Burien, we saw one block off/one block on/etc. We also were at Southcenter for a while — the entire mall was brightly lit and full of people, but as soon as you headed south, Toys R Us and beyond, pitch black.
Another place full of people last night (besides of course our beloved West Seattle Junction) — Downtown Seattle. We thought we’d pop down for some holiday cheer, while trying to stay away from our cold, dark house … couldn’t get a parking spot. Every lot, full. Should have taken a bus. Oh well, next time.
Hope you’re not having trouble with asthma … you’ve probably noticed how much smoke is hanging over the city, since so many people need to use wood for heat … not wishing for rain but when it does come back, at least it will clean out the air!
Back to the power thing for a moment … just noticed on the City Light site that they were promising to “leaflet” neighborhoods without power. Our area is not in the list of neighborhoods mentioned. Maybe it’s time to call and make sure they KNOW we’re out?
But I do have to say, it’s a blessing that we are able to travel a short distance and get food, warmth, Net service, etc. We have friends on the eastside who not only are without power at home, their business districts, gas stations, etc., are out, and Puget Sound Energy is making noises about some of that restoration taking a week or more.
More later … keep letting us know what’s going on where you are by posting comments or e-mailing us. We’re going to The Junction a bit later (we’re online outside WS at the moment) to check out whether Bakery Nouveau has really opened, among other things. (Almost forgot to mention – as of early this morning, power at Westwood Village was still spotty; Target is open on low power … will check other businesses later for the next update.)