Update: West Seattle power outage, nearly 3,000 homes/businesses

(NOTE: As reported at the end of this story, the power was back on by 2-ish.)

(Admiral/California photo by Christopher Boffoli, added 12:46 am)
ORIGINAL 9:17 PM REPORT: Admiral District is out north of PCC, says Diane. We’re checking on it.

9:31 PM UPDATE: In addition to the reports in comments, Creighton e-mailed: “Karate class stopped, people standing outside of Circa. Traffic signals black.” Another phone caller says it started just after 9 as the wind really kicked in. Co-publisher Patrick is driving around the Admiral District to suss the boundaries – he says the southernmost point seems to be right between McDonald’s and PCC, across the street from West Seattle High School – McDonald’s is on, PCC is out.

9:41 PM UPDATE: Going west, we see the power on starting at 51st/Admiral. Seattle City Light says the outage totals almost 3,000 homes and businesses; their boundaries don’t jibe quite with what we are hearing, “cause and restoration are unknown as of this moment,” according to Scott Thomsen on the City Light media line; he’s also sent a news release that says crews are out working on the problem. This is one of three outages in the city right now.

9:48 PM UPDATE: Admiral is also out all the way down the hill to The Bridge, and Avalon is out too – till Genesee, when the lights come back on.

(photo by Christopher Boffoli, looking north from California/Admiral, added 12:53 am)
9:55 PM UPDATE: Patrick reports that parts of Harbor Ave are out, including Salty’s. Power comes on again at 1170 Alki building, he reports, and as he heads west along Alki Ave, no problems so far. (If anybody has an outage-related photo to share, please send, we’re out without a camera.)

10:10 PM UPDATE: Weather note – several people have called our attention to the fact that forecasting star Cliff Mass called the sudden storm turn, with this post headed “All Hell Is About to Break Loose.” Meantime, here’s video we happened to get right before 9 pm – we were on the ferry from Vashon to Fauntleroy, and the wind had kicked up, rain had blown in, all with a spectacular sunset as a backdrop:

No new update from the City Light media team regarding when this’ll be over. In comments, Garrett from the 1200 block of Alki says power’s on but cable’s out.

10:51 PM UPDATE: As discussed in comments, but in case you see this first and wondered, there was a very brief “fire in building” callout in The Junction, closed very fast, so no fire. No word yet of anyone getting their power back. We did get this photo from Colleen at 38th/Admiral – neighbors decided to have a backyard party:

10:58 PM UPDATE: Also among those out of power, so to speak, King County Council Chair Dow Constantine, who’s back home after his official County Executive campaign kickoff event tonight downtown. He says via Twitter re: the outage, “It’s great – for now.”

11:18 PM UPDATE: First, another great photo of the amazing sunset that arrived the same time as the wild weather – this is from Bonnie (taken around the same time as the video we added earlier in this story):

No reports yet of anybody getting their power out – it’s been two-plus hours now for many people – nor is there anything new from City Light on restoration estimate or cause.

12:35 AM UPDATE: Some reports in comments that the power’s back on in various spots. Adding some outage images by WSB photojournalist Christopher Boffoli (including the one below, showing Admiral Safeway). We will follow up later today with City Light re: what exactly caused the outage.

Thanks again to everyone who has shared information – particularly those who called, since this started in a rare moment when we were away from the computer (though always iPhone-equipped, which enabled a quick short initial report) – please keep the WSB # handy, 206-293-6302 – we do answer it 24/7 to make sure we never miss breaking news.

1:32 AM: More power just returned, per Tim in comments, 46th north of Admiral.

2:48 AM: City Light confirmed in a news release that the West Seattle outage was over by 2 am.

60 Replies to "Update: West Seattle power outage, nearly 3,000 homes/businesses"

  • Karl June 4, 2009 (9:24 pm)

    Seattle City Light’s Customer Service message states the power loss is from Alki Point to Roxbury, from the Puget Sound to Delridge. However, checking in with random folks: Fairmount Park, Alki & Bonair, E Junction, and Delridge & Thistle have power.

    Lost power in N Admiral at 9:00 after a very brief power loss and power restore.

  • Sofia Goff June 4, 2009 (9:25 pm)

    Avalon way is out of power.

  • MrJT June 4, 2009 (9:28 pm)

    power is on at Belvidere and Manning

  • seab June 4, 2009 (9:30 pm)

    power on 37th and holly

  • WSB June 4, 2009 (9:30 pm)

    thanks all, we just got off a ferry ride (during which the storm hit) and the phone started ringing about the outage – Patrick is on his way to Admiral, I’m calling the City Light media line from here. No problems in Upper Fauntleroy – TR

  • Kendra June 4, 2009 (9:30 pm)

    The power is on at Highpoint.

  • Andy June 4, 2009 (9:32 pm)

    We live at 45th and

  • eigenwijs June 4, 2009 (9:33 pm)

    It’s on at 40th and Edmunds near the Junction. Never even flickered.

  • Shorty June 4, 2009 (9:33 pm)

    Powers out at 39th & Lander

  • Saints Fan June 4, 2009 (9:34 pm)

    Power on at Juneau/Cali

  • me June 4, 2009 (9:38 pm)

    NO outage in lower Fauntleroy either.

  • Erik walum June 4, 2009 (9:39 pm)

    Out at California/palm

  • wind June 4, 2009 (9:40 pm)

    The wind (mini tornado?!) completely snapped in half our sun umbrella on our deck (it was brand new :(

  • chs June 4, 2009 (9:40 pm)

    Power out at Luna Park

  • Jim June 4, 2009 (9:43 pm)

    Nice Andy….

  • Branden June 4, 2009 (9:48 pm)

    Harbor ave is out

  • Noreaster June 4, 2009 (9:54 pm)

    Power is on at Alki/53rd but Comcast phone/tv/Internet all disappeared about an hour ago and are still out

  • CD June 4, 2009 (9:55 pm)

    Ahhhh heat wave is over! My dogs will be so happy!

  • Karl June 4, 2009 (10:04 pm)

    How do you take a photo of a power outage at night?

  • Click! June 4, 2009 (10:09 pm)

    power on at walnut/hanford (just south of pcc/ws high school), but flickered. Haven’t checked the store (California/College).

  • AN June 4, 2009 (10:12 pm)

    Power out on the west side of 44th Ave SW, between Hinds and Hanford.

  • Muttleys June 4, 2009 (10:12 pm)

    Power still on at Muttleys(California and Hanford), lets hope it stays that way!!

  • WSB June 4, 2009 (10:13 pm)

    Karl, you’d be surprised. People dining by candlelight. Or doing something by flashlight (my avatar on our @westseattlenews Twitter account is from a winter power outage, my laptop and a little lantern and the aircard). Or if you have a very sensitive camera and you’re aiming west, the dark streetlights may still silhouette. No big deal. I’m about to add video from when the storm kicked up during the ferry ride we were on JUST before this all happened – TR

  • diane June 4, 2009 (10:13 pm)

    re: How do you take a photo of a power outage at night? Comment by Karl
    funny; I was thinking same thing; just imagine, Safeway totally dark, PCC totally dark, etc, etc

  • hopey June 4, 2009 (10:14 pm)

    re Cliff Mass’s blog post: he literally posted right as the system hit at Fauntleroy. I had just come inside from battening down the hatches after the first blast of wind, and saw that he had posted 20 minutes earlier… about the time the first gust hit my back yard. Weird timing!

  • kinws June 4, 2009 (10:15 pm)

    Wow! So grateful we haven’t experienced the same over here west of 35th Ave. All I can think is this isn’t a good night for the outages…windows are open to cool down from the heat wave and now power is out, making it an intruders/burglars dream scenario. Keep safe Everyone and hope you get your power back quickly!

  • Garrison June 4, 2009 (10:16 pm)

    Power is on, but cable is out at 1238 Alki

  • Karl June 4, 2009 (10:18 pm)

    Guess my left brain had over-powered the right half… Should set up a tripod camera on Admiral with slow shutter speed and narrow aperature to get the white and red stream of motor vehicles flowing in the dark…

  • Vanessa June 4, 2009 (10:18 pm)

    Can you believe my neighbors have a blazing fire going on in their little back yard fire pit……Ashes and red hot cinders flying up swirling all over our decks and roof in this crazy wind……I’m hosing things off and ready to call the cops. Can’t yell at them, their damn music is too loud. NUTZ !!!!

  • gayle emmick June 4, 2009 (10:21 pm)

    Admiral Way is out…..Barnecut’s Shell, Met Market , Jack in the Box etc….

  • Michael June 4, 2009 (10:29 pm)

    Now…how can we blame the City for this?
    And LOL, just when I read through the comments and said to myself, “wow, people are handling this well,” I see the comment four above mine. So much fear…

  • JH June 4, 2009 (10:29 pm)

    At least we had an amazing sunset! I also heard there was a rainbow over the city…I’m a little jealous I’m on the border of the power outage! It could be fun in warm weather!

  • Karl June 4, 2009 (10:29 pm)

    Do not want a repeat of NYC July 13-14, 1977… Be ever vigilant folks.

  • WSB June 4, 2009 (10:31 pm)

    We saw the rainbow from the ferry – from that view, it started right over the Fauntleroy dock. P.S. If anybody gets their power back, please post ASAP. I will probably take the laptop out and rove in a bit but we’re in the no-problem zone (as opposed to winters gone by) so we won’t know otherwise. I just talked to Scott @ City Light again and he’s got nothing new – TR

  • Colleen June 4, 2009 (10:34 pm)

    Still out at 38th and Admiral–and atually just sent over a photo my brother took on his phone–the neighbors are all out in the back with a camping light waiting it out (and having me call with updates from the blog)

  • Lp June 4, 2009 (10:36 pm)

    Live one block from the mayor. Power still out, but snow plows are here.

  • PSPS June 4, 2009 (10:43 pm)

    What’s going on in the Junction area? Many fire & police units racing there with lights and sirens.

  • diane June 4, 2009 (10:47 pm)

    I’ve been hearing tons of sirens California/Hinds

  • Ken June 4, 2009 (10:50 pm)

    Real-Time 911 says there’s a fire at 4545 42nd Ave SW — I believe that’s apartments for the elderly, hope everyone’s OK there.

  • WSB June 4, 2009 (10:50 pm)

    There was a shortlived fire in building callout. Closed really fast so apparently nothing.

  • WSN Helen June 4, 2009 (10:51 pm)

    From car free to power free. I kind of love it. 9pm this evening was eerily beautiful.

  • Ken June 4, 2009 (10:52 pm)

    Actually, the incident at 42nd SW is closed already — maybe was a false alarm caused by the power outage or something? Looks like about 15 units of various types were sent, no wonder it was so noisy.

  • Mookie June 4, 2009 (10:56 pm)

    Power’s out on the east side of 35th between Andover and Dakota, possibly farther…streetlights and houses all dark.

    I saw the rainbow in the sky earlier before things got wild, on my way home from having ice cream at Full Tilt. The sky was getting filled with humidity and dust and seemed weirdly pink, the rainbow when I saw it was subtle, but discernible. Neat!

  • Islewrite June 4, 2009 (10:58 pm)

    Well, all of us at SW Pool’s water aerobics class were oblivious to any wind or storm. We walked out and thought, “Getting pretty dark…I’ll bet the storm will be here soon.” Meanwhile, as we cross Hanford in N. Admiral, we realize that everything is black and that our umbrellas, etc, have already made their flights from our backyards! Next door in the back yard, a big part of a tree came down…no injuries or loss, apparently. We drove around. A few hardy souls still trying to make it a Taco Thursday at the Alki Tavern, but it’s pretty sparse out there.

  • Christopher Boffoli June 4, 2009 (11:06 pm)

    I just drove through the intersection of California and Admiral. What a death trap. Why is it that people think that when the traffic light is out it means they can cruise through at 40 mph and not stop?! The Admiral district is really cool and creepy. I was actually really surprised that so many houses were so dark. I would have thought that outdoorsy and earthquake-prepared people would have more battery powered lighting on hand.

  • changingtimes June 4, 2009 (11:18 pm)

    ha ha ha thats hilariouse boffoli! just because my mom gave me a earthquake kit the other day with a wind up radio and wind up light…..im not laughing at her anymore :)))

  • Dale Swanson June 4, 2009 (11:36 pm)

    Power out from the steel plan all the way upAdmiral, through California. Took left to go south on 49th–halfway to Charleston and lights are on. Exactly opposite of windstorm a few years back.
    To the smartarse and the snowplows get over it. It SNOWED way more in W/SEATTLE then other parts of the seattle and I can attest no one plowed my street for weeks, and that west of California-Admiral was severly rutted. That doesn’t sound like preferential treatment for the Mayor and I don’t even care for the guy.


  • Jeemac June 4, 2009 (11:52 pm)

    Confirmed that power is back on at harbor ave and 30th ave sw. Good night all

  • JanS June 5, 2009 (12:29 am)

    Admiral District back on as of about 10 minutes ago..at least on 42nd just east of Safeway ;)

  • What The June 5, 2009 (12:44 am)

    This reminds me of The Doors song “The End”

  • Mookie June 5, 2009 (1:02 am)

    Streetlights and porch lights back on, east side of the 4000 block of 35th. Hooray!

  • Tim June 5, 2009 (1:27 am)

    Power back on just now North of Admiral on 46th Ave Sw

  • Karl June 5, 2009 (1:45 am)

    Power restored!

  • Mr. Matt June 5, 2009 (3:03 am)

    Wow power was out since ~9pm?!?
    Man I’m glad I went to the Far show after work. I would have been mildly annoyed to come home to no power after that not-so-strong storm. I noticed power was still out in the Admiral Junction @ almost 1am or so but had no idea it had been going on for that long.

  • WSB June 5, 2009 (3:19 am)

    Yes, almost five hours for some. We got the first call right after 9 pm.

  • Cheryl June 5, 2009 (5:58 am)

    Guess there are advatages to having a 3 yr old w/ an 8p bedtime. We were well into dreamland by the time any of this was in full gear. Normally I work after she goes to bed, or watch some telly… Doubtful either would have been avail (Comcast out).

    Didn’t even hear the wind b/c we have fans on at full blast, so the only indication there was a storm at all was when I started reading her books at 8p it was bright & sunny, then suddenly & completely dark at about 8:15p (as if the sun had set, which wasn’t possible so early in the eve).

    Glad we never lost power (55th & Alki), being without the fans in this heat would have sucked! Btw, really great sunset & storm pics, video, comments, etc.

  • Gina June 5, 2009 (8:34 am)

    My house would have been one of the totally dark ones. Went for a walk, noted the PCC had power, so if needed I could go there the next morning, came home, used squeeze powered flashlight to find phone that has no electrical functions, plugged that in just in case, and went to bed after looking at stars. The moon made enough light to see a bit. I wanted to see stars, but the moonlight and that crazy “Bing Thing” still made the sky too light for good star watching.

    I forgot that I had been running the dishwasher when the power went off! Boy, that sure woke me up when power came back on!

    No power in the spring sure beats no power in the winter!

  • JenV June 5, 2009 (9:00 am)

    wow. I live on 36th/Dakota, and never lost power or cable last night. It’s funny how it seems to jump from block to block.

  • kittylove June 5, 2009 (10:16 am)

    looks like i missed the power outage by a half a block.

  • CountingCoup June 5, 2009 (6:59 pm)

    Was in Safeway when the power went off… Two complete blackouts followed by backup lights (battery???).

    The first black out in the store, was followed by a whole set of screams! ahhhhh Fortunately the few cash registers that were working were still working on battery I presume allowing the customers to finish our shopping.

    BTW the kudos to the cashiers who had long lines and just went with the flow… An erie silence in Safeway made me realize just how much background music is really playing on normal days.

    My house in Admiral was without power, which came on sometime during the early AM hours thankfully, to provide me a warm shower in the morning…

    All in all, I never felt safer and content, you have to love West Seattle…

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