Gatewood/Morgan outage: THIS explains it!


Now that power and cable are back for people in the south Morgan Junction/west Gatewood area that was without power till about 5:30 this morning, we seem to have learned about the culprit. Area resident Vlad Oustimovitch sent the photo above (thank you!), explaining it was “a large Big Leaf Maple tree that came down on the 4000 block of SW Orchard Street at 4:15 pm yesterday. It tore out the power and cable lines and blacked out the whole street, and I suspect other streets as well. Nobody was hurt, but there are skid marks 10 feet away from the downed tree where a car driving on the street was almost crushed. I came down soon after, and the driver was shaking as he looked at what just missed him. Crews were out early in the morning and had the street cleared and power on by 5:35 am. Impressive job, they did it all in the dark. Cable was restored a few hours after that.” 5:25 PM ADDITION: One more case of “When Trees Attack!” from yesterday’s storm. Hotwire Coffee proprietor Lora Vickrey e-mailed this photo of the tree that came down outside the Junction post office. Nobody hurt, Lora reports, but some folks passing by at the time were shaken up!


9 Replies to "Gatewood/Morgan outage: THIS explains it!"

  • RobertSeattle October 19, 2007 (11:34 am)

    What’s the city doing about putting powerlines underground in and around heavily forested areas?

  • Eddie October 19, 2007 (11:56 am)

    Robert – What are you doing about committing to pony up the $$$$$$$ that it would cost “the city” to put powerlines underground?

    Nobody wants new or more taxes taking money out of “their” pocket, but everybody can think of how the mythical money in “my” pocket could be spent!

    And, given a finite number of dollars to spend to benefit the public, which makes more sense: putting some powerlines underground or providing safe transportation cooridors with adequate capacity (for today and the future) in and out of west seattle, and through the city?

    My “vote” is for the latter.

  • Erik October 19, 2007 (12:08 pm)

    Powerlines only get put underground on blocks where city/county council members live. That’s so they have less to knock down when they’re…hiccup… driving home.

  • RobertSeattle October 19, 2007 (12:59 pm)


    I wasn’t making a statement pro or con on this, was just curious. I realize the initial investment of undergrounding is $$$ and maintenance can be $$ too but maybe in certain areas it would just make sense to do.

  • Digg October 19, 2007 (1:10 pm)

    I agree with both of you, it sure would be nice to put the lines under ground but the $$$ investment to do so would never be approved, but it sure would be nice. But probably would never make it to the suburbs like W. Seattle.

  • JumboJim October 19, 2007 (1:37 pm)


    In case you missed it – we (in West Seattle) are IN the city. That means not a suburb – although I supppose we’re suburb-like in feel, density, etc. That’s all changing daily though…

    I still contend this place west of the Duwamish is *the* Seattle (since it all started at Alki) and everything east of that big bridge over the Duwamish is just East Seattle but I haven’t been able to start a groundswell on that one yet.

  • Dj October 19, 2007 (1:57 pm)

    I agree with Robert. The initial investment, while high, would be worth it, especially in heavily-forested areas. WS has a certain charm brought upon by the foliage amongst the housing (at least in a lot of areas). Moving powerlines underground would improve the aesthetic, as well as making things safer.

    @Eddie: please consider including the word “decaf” in your next Starbucks order… In direct answer to your question, personally, I would happily vote in favor of an additional tax assessment in support of burying power lines. Of course, I’d want some guarantee that it would actually happen, especially after the whole monorail thing (where I happily paid more in the hopes of better transit options through Seattle and beyond).

    Of course, I speak only for myself…


  • chas redmond October 19, 2007 (3:04 pm)

    You can petition to have lines undergrounded on a block by block basis – it’s roughly $1000 per foot of frontage per lot. See how far you get in signing up your block. My house alone, since it’s on the corner, would come in at roughly $110,000. Yes, we’ve been down this path before – it is more expensive than sidewalks by about four times. How many sidewalks has the city actually built in the past year – ZERO. Did you attend the BTG open house and see the costs associated with even minor projects?

  • Mags October 20, 2007 (7:29 am)

    The people who pay for the moving the lines underground are the people who are served by the particular pole and everyone who is served has to agree to the City Light assessment. I have a BIG pole in my yard that City Light has had an easement for 50+ years. In order to remove it and put wires underground, it was 10k when I moved in 17 years ago. Unfortunately, the two houses below us that are served by the pole would not agree to the assessment (it didn’t block their view because it is behind their houses), so even when the pole fell over a couple of years ago, we just got a nice new pole. I can’t imagine how expensive it would be now, didn’t even ask as all same people still live here.

Sorry, comment time is over.