Now, the rest of the story

Fascinating tidbits in today’s papers revealing some factors in the slow restoration of power:

This P-I article says Seattle City Light hadn’t done a fullscale drill (for this type of giant outage) in three years, though the reporter writes, “ironically, one was planned for today.” Really? Four days before Christmas? Same article mentions that the City Council and Seattle City Light bosses have a meeting Friday to start scrutinizing how things worked (and didn’t). Want to let the council know ahead of time what you think? Here’s how.

-Buried in this Times story is an even more revealing tidbit, highlighted below. (So will that change now? Maybe not, as later in the article, the SCL person bemoans the utility’s failure to “outsource” the way Puget Sound Energy does. Though SCL’s apparently “transforming.”)

When the storm struck, about 30 of Seattle City Light’s lineman positions were vacant, largely because of tight budgets, said Chris Heimgartner, the utility’s director of transmission and supply. That’s equivalent to a quarter of the utility’s 28 four-man crews.

3 Replies to "Now, the rest of the story"

  • Dorcas December 21, 2006 (11:05 am)

    Still no power on the corner of SW Raymond and Fauntleroy- about 6 buildings affected. Seattle City Light says 17 crews are in our area working today- hopefully we will be up and running by the end of the day.

  • dq December 21, 2006 (12:19 pm)

    Thanks to our fearless WS Blogger, I used the link provided and got in touch with Councilman Conlin (who is in charge of Utilities). He wrote back immediately: “I really regret the frustrating experience you are having, and believe that both communications and response should have been handled in a more effective and efficient manner. We will hold a public hearing on January 3 to collect other accounts, and will work to make sure the system improves.”

  • dq December 21, 2006 (12:28 pm)

    ps I shouldn’t say that Councilman Conlin is “in charge” of Utilities, but rather that it falls under his area of responsiblity.

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