West Seattle Weather Watch: Wind kicks up, power goes out

(scroll down for the latest updates)

(sailboat under tow between northern Lincoln Park and Vashon – that’s what drew the helicopters)
2:22 PM: Just went out a few minutes ago in Upper Fauntleroy. The forecast had called for wind up to 25 mph and it’s been kicking up for about the past half-hour. So far we have outage reports from Morgan Junction and Westwood (35th/Trenton), too. California/Fauntleroy intersection is out but it looks like it doesn’t go further north of the California/Graham intersection. Morgan Junction businesses appear to be out. We also have word of a sailboat that’s run aground and is getting battered by wind north of Lincoln Park, toward the south end of Beach Drive. (added 3:51, Rod’s photo of the sailboat – at left with the tug, with Coast Guard to the right)

Meantime, we’re also monitoring power reports via Facebook and Twitter – north West Seattle seems OK so far.

2:36 PM UPDATE: More than 2,700 customers affected, according to City Light (boundaries listed here, though they’re not always precise). And an update on the sailboat – it’s being towed in. We’ll have visuals in a bit. Other areas affected by the outage, according to WSB’er reports, include High Point. If you’re wondering about the helicopter(s) – they were/are checking out the sailboat situation.

2:48 PM UPDATE: Just talked to Scott Thomsen in City Light’s media department. Ours is the latest wind-related outage – some elsewhere in the city have been fixable fast, when crews determine where a wire went down or a tree went into a wire – this one hasn’t been traced to the source just yet so it’s too soon to say exactly how long it’ll take for the power to come back. (A concurrent and similarly sized outage in Greenwood was fixed within minutes, according to City Light’s latest online update.)

2:58 PM UPDATE: FYI if you’re not in West Seattle – at work off the peninsula, etc. – the wind has died way down, though the power’s still out (again, it seems to be Morgan Junction/Upper Fauntleroy/High Point/part of Westwood/Gatewood, etc. – no reports of outages on the northern half of the peninsula).

3:10 PM: Power just came back on in High Point, according to both David Ginsberg via Twitter and also what we saw while passing through 35th/Morgan. Still out here at HQ. Again, still seems that north West Seattle was relatively unscathed – a flicker here and there, and Gretchen at Square One Books (WSB sponsor) in Jefferson Square said they also lost it briefly – plus, in comments, Angel says all’s well in the Puget Ridge area. Morgan Junction business area — at least around the intersection — is BACK ON, says Angela, who’s at Tully’s (wi-fi too, she reports).

3:56 PM: Hour and a half now, for those of us still out. Gatewood/south Morgan Junction/Upper Fauntleroy/part of Westwood still the main spots – Beveridge Place (the actual street/neighborhood by the pub of the same name) says they’re still out. Also note that some intersections are still affected, like 35th/Holden, so if you come this way, drive carefully. No formal update from City Light yet but we’re about to call and check in to see if they’ve traced the longrunning part of the outage. As for the weather, Rhonda from The Mortgage Porter (WSB sponsor) points out that a wind advisory remains in effect for the city till 6 pm – though things have been quiet here for quite some time now.

4:20 PM: Two hours out now. Just checked back with City Light’s Scott Thomsen – he says 1,650 customers are still without power in the West Seattle area – crews are working along Gatewood Road and “bringing people on behind them” as they go along – no formal ETA for everybody, though. Also note that any “official” boundaries you see listed anywhere, even on the City Light site, are only approximations – that’s why the firsthand reports that you provide are so important – and we do our best to go out and verify, too. They do not have equipment enabling a precise read on exactly who is out where – that’s technology they’re working on for the future.

5:02 PM: Our power briefly flickered back on – then off. At the same time a few minutes ago, High Point went off again – then, we’re told, back on. Meantime, King County Wastewater Treatment reveals that Murray Pump Station at Lowman Beach lost power and overflowed – see that story here. And the sun’s out. We’re checking now on major intersections without power – 35th/Thistle, for starters.

5:40 PM: We’re back! How about you?

6:30 PM: City Light confirms “all but a few” are back. They’re blaming the outage on “part of a tree.”

69 Replies to "West Seattle Weather Watch: Wind kicks up, power goes out"

  • herongrrrl March 16, 2010 (2:23 pm)

    Big flicker here on Beach Drive a few minutes ago, but so far the lights are still on.

  • andrea March 16, 2010 (2:23 pm)

    yep…power’s out just North of Lincoln Park…grr

  • Ttshutterbug March 16, 2010 (2:25 pm)

    Gatewoid Hill is out.

  • Jon March 16, 2010 (2:26 pm)

    Yup, same on Gatewood hill. No juice!

  • Jer March 16, 2010 (2:26 pm)

    Out in High Point

  • mmd March 16, 2010 (2:27 pm)

    What’s with the KOMO news helicopter hovering above 6500 block of Beach Drive? Seems pretty windy to be out.

    • WSB March 16, 2010 (2:31 pm)

      MMD, I added this to the story. There’s a sailboat getting roughed up – we’re heading that way to check on it – it’s apparently being tended to.

  • Hollyplace March 16, 2010 (2:27 pm)

    Out on holly place

  • Elissa March 16, 2010 (2:28 pm)

    Out at Kenyon and Fauntleroy, Lincoln Park.

  • Sue March 16, 2010 (2:28 pm)

    I’ve been wondering if power would go out – I’m downtown, but the sound of the wind slamming into the building has been a bit disturbing for quite some time. My husband is home and says power is still on (Fauntleroy/Dawson) but was flickering. It better stay on for Lost tonight. :)

  • ryecob March 16, 2010 (2:30 pm)

    High Point is out

  • MrOctober March 16, 2010 (2:36 pm)

    Hmmm… 2nd time it’s gone out like this with conditions that are far from severe. What are they using to hold the wires up these days, paperclips?!

  • mmd March 16, 2010 (2:39 pm)

    Looks like the sailboat is being towed now. Doesn’t look like there are any passengers. Helicopters eveywhere….must be a slow news day.

  • Sam B. March 16, 2010 (2:39 pm)

    Any estimate when power will be restored?
    What was the cause of the outage?

  • pigeonmom March 16, 2010 (2:43 pm)

    Flicker at Sunrise Heights. Lights still on. Qwest DSL went out for a few minutes, back on now.

  • Bonnie March 16, 2010 (2:44 pm)

    Fauntlee Hills here and ours flickered but didn’t go out.

  • ssl March 16, 2010 (2:45 pm)

    Morgan and 37th Ave SW does have power at this time.

  • Kari March 16, 2010 (2:48 pm)

    Still out @ the bottom of Lincoln park way.

  • Kelly March 16, 2010 (2:50 pm)

    Big flicker a little while ago but we are still with power @ 49th & Graham.

  • lina March 16, 2010 (2:56 pm)

    Anyone out near 35th and roxbury/arbor heights? I am at work in Magnuson Park in the north end (where the wind is starting to calm down a bit) and I am curious about whether or not I will come home to power…


  • KM March 16, 2010 (3:10 pm)

    Power just came back on in the Morgan Junction!

  • Hollyplace March 16, 2010 (3:10 pm)

    2 fire trucks just went past the Morgan junction

  • guinivere March 16, 2010 (3:13 pm)

    lights back on at highpoint

  • j March 16, 2010 (3:14 pm)

    Back on at Graham and 41st.

  • HPC March 16, 2010 (3:15 pm)

    My husband is in Morgan junction right now. Our house is out (on 4000 block of Othello), Ladro is closed, Starbucks is closed.

  • MrOctober March 16, 2010 (3:16 pm)

    Still out south of Holden & 37th…

  • Angel March 16, 2010 (3:20 pm)

    South Seattle Community College area is okay

    • WSB March 16, 2010 (3:22 pm)

      Thanks, Angel, we don’t get enough reports from northeast WS in cases like this – and hadn’t driven that far to look yet. Appreciate it – TR

  • miws March 16, 2010 (3:21 pm)

    Came back on in the Thriftway block of California about 3:08-ish!


    Big thanks to the City Light crews for keeping the outage (in my area anyway) to under an hour!



  • buddsmom March 16, 2010 (3:28 pm)

    Lina, I just called home in Arbor Heights and the power is on.

  • JG March 16, 2010 (3:31 pm)

    Power still out here at Othello & California, south of Morgan Junction.

  • Sam B. March 16, 2010 (3:40 pm)

    Beveridge PL SW still out, west of California & Fauntleroy.

  • David March 16, 2010 (3:43 pm)

    Power is still out here on Beveridge Place……

  • Jeff March 16, 2010 (3:56 pm)

    Power still out on Gatewood Hill.

  • karen March 16, 2010 (4:02 pm)

    Kids at Gatewood were excited to have no power! Unfortunately all after school activities were canceled.

  • MargL March 16, 2010 (4:14 pm)

    Hopefully it’ll be back on in Gatewood before the Westside Symphonette concert!

    • WSB March 16, 2010 (4:16 pm)

      I was just thinking about that.

  • Julia March 16, 2010 (4:17 pm)

    Power still out on Beveridge Pl SW. Always the last hold out . . .

    • WSB March 16, 2010 (4:21 pm)

      I just added to story, 1,650 customers still out – so it’s not just you and us ..

  • sw March 16, 2010 (4:21 pm)

    The taps still work at the Bev Place Pub, right? That’s really all that matters.

  • brian March 16, 2010 (4:31 pm)

    I’m sorry, but my last power bill was north of $300, and while I understand that this is a self-inflicted wound, why is it that these exorbitant energy rates don’t buy us some preventative maintenance? Ever since the snowstorm that swept mayor Forehead into obscurity, and I lost power for four days while my friends in other more rural communities sailed on bathed in heat and light, I have wondered about this. West Seattle is usually hardest hit by the meekest of storms, and the last to be restored.

  • Lauren March 16, 2010 (4:44 pm)

    Preach it, Brian. We were out for 5 DAYS in the big Hurricane of 05 (was that 05? I’m forgetting), and I know there were pockets down by Alki that were even longer. I even considered getting a generator after the most recent outage, since I have little faith in the infrastructure’s abilities to handle stresses.

  • Kevin March 16, 2010 (4:45 pm)

    Power ON in Arbor Heights area around 100th and 42nd. We just went to the Roxbury Safeway and there did not appear to be any power outage evident in that area either.

  • DB March 16, 2010 (4:45 pm)

    Ha- I was out for 12 days and only got my power back on by actually flagging down a City Light crew on the street. Once they stopped for me, the repair took less than an hour. 12 days… and 1 hour.

  • wseye March 16, 2010 (4:55 pm)

    All it takes in Gatewood is for someone to sneeze, and the power goes out.

  • Lauren March 16, 2010 (5:01 pm)

    And it’s allergy season…..maybe I should look into that generator thing again.

  • MrOctober March 16, 2010 (5:04 pm)

    Yeah what is with Gatewood? It goes out during the least severe conditions and is out the longest! It just flickered on for a second… then out again. Big tease from City Light. This is crap!

  • RS March 16, 2010 (5:04 pm)

    Power still out a block south of Morgan on California…

  • Curt March 16, 2010 (5:11 pm)

    A flicker a few minutes ago, but then out again here on Wright Ave. Just shy of three hours now…

  • JM March 16, 2010 (5:14 pm)

    Was in Costco on 4th between 2-2:30PM & the lights flickered there as well.

  • DML March 16, 2010 (5:15 pm)

    Father in law still out on Murray Ave, NE of Lowman Park.
    Did someone mention last year that our electrical infrastructure out here is pretty pitiful? Sure looks like it in some areas. Anyway–here’s to the hard working crews.

  • miws March 16, 2010 (5:20 pm)

    As RS mentioned, the power went out again in the Thriftway block, but came back on in probably less than five minutes.



  • MrOctober March 16, 2010 (5:21 pm)

    City Light trucks now at the corner of Kenyon & 37th SW… Let’s get it fixed guys!

    • WSB March 16, 2010 (5:36 pm)

      Thanks for the City Light location. I have somebody out looking for them.

  • MrOctober March 16, 2010 (5:31 pm)

    They’re literallly driving around in circles over here… What a joke. Time to earn that union pay & benefits! Get er done!

  • Stu Smalley March 16, 2010 (5:33 pm)

    The video was stormier than the actual weather. I almost vomited. Take a video class and buy a tripod if you expect to post video and not make people throw chow.

  • Teresa Tenge March 16, 2010 (5:35 pm)

    Big pop and puff of smoke on the wires at 39th and Kenyon at 2:20pm.

  • Pat March 16, 2010 (5:38 pm)

    WSB – Any news yet on the Westside Symphonette concert this evening? Will Gatewood School be open?

    • WSB March 16, 2010 (5:51 pm)

      Pat – I’m going to see if I can reach somebody via the old-fashioned “phone,” which otherwise I try to avoid. Stand by. I’ll post a separate item if I reach somebody.

  • Jon March 16, 2010 (5:43 pm)

    Power back on on Othello, says the spouse in the house.

  • Brian R March 16, 2010 (5:52 pm)

    Back on five minutes ago here above Lincoln Park at Fauntleroy and Kenyon. Everybody get ready to pro-rate your power bills…

  • onceachef March 16, 2010 (6:03 pm)

    Does anyone else have the urge to turn on EVERYTHING after a power outage? I don’t know why but I do! :)

  • Chuck and Sally's Van Man March 16, 2010 (6:46 pm)

    I didn’t pay a lot of attention to last night’s weather forecast, but it sure seems to me they missed this one BIG TIME! Anyone else rolling their eyes at the local weather forecasters as they try and gloss over the fact they completely missed another significant weather event? Relatively speaking for our area, anyway.


  • villageidiot March 16, 2010 (7:02 pm)

    My tent just got its power back on yaaaaaaay..

  • miws March 17, 2010 (7:24 am)

    Hey Stu! Get some Dramamine!



  • Hal Snyder March 17, 2010 (9:14 am)

    It really is sad that such a nice area as West Seattle is draped in over head power cables like a third world village…

  • BeenThereDoneThat March 17, 2010 (9:55 am)

    Lived in WS 18+ years. Never dealt with power outages until 4 years ago and now they are increasing in size, frequency and duration.

    Does Seattle do preventative maintenance or only brek/fix work?

  • MrOctober March 17, 2010 (12:05 pm)

    I actually saw a city light guy going up my street and checking the poles/wires not more than a couple weeks ago… It’s the trees. Here’s the reply from City Light dispatcher:

    Trees in the wires not too far from your address was the cause of your outage yesterday.  

    There were a number of outages due to the brief blast of wind that came through in the afternoon.

    FYI, the last outage was restored at 04:32 this morning.  There was quite a bit of damage.

    Hopefully that answers your question.


  • westside1 March 18, 2010 (3:17 pm)

    TOXIC POLES installed at Bar S Field: I was at Bar S field this afternoon and I watched as the Seattle Parks Dept. maintenance crew was placing old telephone poles as barriers in the parking areas. They were clearly pressure treated with something (perhaps creosote), but fact of the matter is – do you want your kids touching them, sitting or climbing on them? If that gets on their hands and clothes, it WILL get in their mouths and/or your car, furniture…

Sorry, comment time is over.