day : 20/12/2006 12 results

‘Tis better to light a single candle than …

December 20, 2006 8:38 pm
|    Comments Off on ‘Tis better to light a single candle than …
 |   December 2006 windstorm | West Seattle businesses

… Well, no, actually, flashlights are better than candles. We prefer ’em since a candle-sparked house fire in childhood. So we set out tonight to see if there are D batteries to be found anywhere in West Seattle. Our non-scientific sample revealed: NO. Not even at the Harbor Avenue 7-11, for heaven’s sake. Other notes from Power Patrol: Morgan Junction and environs remain dark (including Fauntleroy almost all the way to L-Park), and now the Fauntleroy/Cali traffic cop’s gone (just a commute thing?); and no juice yet to 57th Ave SW, from just south of Alki Ave all the way back to the bluff — apparently the northernmost powerless pocket in WS. This situation is painful for everyone affected, but tonight we’re feeling especially blue for the M-Junction businesses smacked by today’s re-outage, particularly the indies like Pet Elements, Teriyaki & Wok, Abbondanza, etc. Hope they’re back up by tomorrow. We’re planning to rise early to check on things, if tonight’s weather (starting to rustle the bushes even as we type) doesn’t keep us up.

And on the seventh night

Guess we weren’t the only ones thinking a traffic cop would be a good idea at Fauntleroy/Cali … one is on the job there now. Otherwise, no progress in the re-outage that’s epicentered just east of the intersection (see midday photo below) … not only is M-Junction dark, so is a significant stretch of Fauntleroy heading southwest from there, plus the big stretch of Beach Drive before and after the original tree blockage. Maybe the re-outage is why City Light’s outage total went up between the early afternoon and late afternoon updates (was 5,300, now 5,900). Some are starting to ask, now that this crisis (and for those without power, it IS a crisis) is almost a week old, where’s the mayor? Especially considering so many of those still without power are right here in his back yard?


A cry in the darkness

Thanks to the reader who mentioned this sign at Highland Park Way & Othello … a few thousand West Seattleites can sympathize:


New advice from, and about, City Light

But first, one bit of advice from us … avoid the Cali/Fauntleroy intersection (M-Junction) if you can till you hear the power’s back (and we promise to keep checking) … as the evening drive home approaches, things are getting ugly down there, with ferry traffic, etc., and no stoplights to moderate. (Really wish they’d send a police officer to help direct traffic.)

Now, as for City Light … their outage-update page has some interesting new suggestions, such as “things to check if your neighbor has power but you don’t.”  And both SCL and some WSB readers urge you to keep calling if your power’s still out, instead of assuming they’re on the case. 684-7400 is the outage-reporting number; 684-3000 is the number for reporting downed lines. City Light says a little over 5,000 “customers” are still out; sort of seems like they’re almost all here in WS.

Morgan Junction: not back yet

December 20, 2006 2:17 pm
|    Comments Off on Morgan Junction: not back yet
 |   December 2006 windstorm

Thriftway is open (with low lights again, as was the situation during Outage I), but nothing else in that vicinity (poignant little handwritten signs are tacked to most business doors); City Light crews are still working like mad in that blocklet along Morgan on the store’s north side. Also noticed that the re-outage is stretching directly east up Morgan – the light’s out at 35th/Morgan. Elsewhere – for the person who asked about 32nd/Thistle, no problems there, we saw outdoor lights along 32nd in the blocks on both side of Thistle. Some other folks are e-mailing to ask us about their areas; we’ll check them out as quick as we can.

Re-outage update

Looks like about half the re-outage area is back on. Heading south on Cali, up the hill, the first sign of power was an outdoor light at Cali & Austin. Morgan Junction businesses, still out. To the east, 35th/Thistle light was back. Someone just left a comment wondering about 32nd/Thistle — when we head out again in a bit, we’ll check that out. And we’ll keep you updated on Morgan Junction, where the substation area is still cordoned off. Funny how this sort of thing changes your mindset; we’ve laughed in the past about suggestions that emergency-preparedness kits make great gifts … just heard that pitch again on the car radio, and now we’re not laughing. At all.

Possible good news

December 20, 2006 12:31 pm
|    Comments Off on Possible good news
 |   December 2006 windstorm

We left our old-school answering machine “on” at home as a way of testing remotely whether the power is back on … just called, it picked up, that could be good news for the Morgan Junction-and-southward re-outage; will pack up and go check in person now …

Midday update

At an Alki coffeehouse now … apparently there is a powerless pocket near here too; we’ve heard at least three people talking about it, including the very nice gentleman who yielded his table to us (after seeing us wandering sadly around the place looking for an open power outlet).

Back in Morgan Junction and points southward, still no power as of when we left the house again just before 11:30 … that’s two hours re-outaged, and counting. Not sure how far south this stretches, but the 35th & Thistle stoplight is out, and to the north, we didn’t see signs of outagelessness till the first stoplight on Cali Ave north of Fauntleroy (Graham?).

Couple miscellaneous non-outage notes: The Starbucks drive-thru at 35th/Fauntleroy IS open (saw cars going thru as we took a convoluted route to Alki); and if you’re looking for Christmas cheer, there’s a note on the door of Spud Fish & Chips on Alki saying Santa will be visiting 2-4 pm today, tomorrow, and Friday. (Can we go ask Santa for a stable source of electricity, on behalf of all good little Western Washingtonians everywhere?)

New outage’s possible cause

We’re currently stationed in The Junction but a friend tells us that power lines are dangling near the Morgan Junction substation (just north of Thriftway), so that may be the culprit. City Light and the fire department are there.

What we were going to say BEFORE the power went out again …

December 20, 2006 10:03 am
|    Comments Off on What we were going to say BEFORE the power went out again …
 |   December 2006 windstorm

… is, be sure you’re ready for anything tonight. The Weather Service says the wind could have some 40 mph gusts, which might be strong enough to bring down trees left weakened after last week’s Wind Wallop. (The Times sounds even more dire about the whole thing, mentioning possible 50 mph gusts.) We found firestarter logs this morning over at McClendon’s. So we’re set on that front. And given the apparent fragility of the whole power system, we’re darn glad we didn’t stock up on food once the original outage ended in our neighborhood Monday morning … there’s not much in there right now … come to think of it, we better go get a bag of ice just to protect what we DO have.

Off again

December 20, 2006 9:53 am
|    Comments Off on Off again
 |   December 2006 windstorm

Just as we were finishing a post ruminating about the possible fragility of the power fixes in the face of the next storm … EVERYTHING WENT OUT AGAIN. Grabbed the laptop and headed out. No power in Morgan Junction; fire engines converging on Thriftway. Not sure what happened. We had seen City Light trucks in the vicinity of the Northrop sinkhole shortly before this … perhaps a planned outage to get somebody else on line? We can only hope? Stand by … sigh …

Open, or almost

Did the ex-Rainier Roaster Starbucks drive-thru quietly open already? Haven’t been by in daylight in a few days; happened past it late last (Tues) night and noticed the reno work looked pretty darn done. Drove all around, didn’t see anything obvious like “NOW OPEN” or “OPENING (WHENEVER),” but the drive-up window even has hours posted (open @ 4:30 am weekdays, 5:30 am weekends). Called the number on its “coming soon” page on the Starbucks site; no answer. Will check it out tomorrow.

The posted hours, by the way, mentioned it’ll be closed Christmas. We’re going to find out which of WS’ many fine coffeehouses will be open at least for a while on Christmas, so we can post it here by Friday or so … in honor of all the Christmas mornings we’ve spent in desperate searches for the ol’ triple tall, wishing someone had collected that info somewhere.