City Light finds West Seattle problem after QA dog death

You might have heard about the dog electrocuted on Queen Anne because of an “energized metal plate” over a streetlight power vault. Tonight, Seattle City Light reveals that a subsequent call from a worried High Point resident led them to a malfunctioning streetlight. From an SCL media advisory tonight:

“We received a call from a customer who believed that a streetlight in her neighborhood may not be working properly,” says Superintendent of City Light Jorge Carrasco. “Crews investigated the streetlight on Tuesday, found that there were exposed wires in the lamphead and immediately repaired it. There was no damage or injury associated with this malfunctioning streetlight.”

According to tonight’s advisory, Carrasco will brief the media tomorrow on the utility’s plans to check the system’s 20,000 metal streetlight poles and 10,000 metal streetlight-vault covers, and to fix any that need repairs. Meantime, if you suspect any kind of trouble with a streetlight – even if it’s just burned out – the city has long had a reporting system set up: Find the online form and phone number here.

17 Replies to "City Light finds West Seattle problem after QA dog death"

  • Noelle December 8, 2010 (8:07 pm)

    Wonderful to catch that before anyone got hurt! Very good work! With this story in mind, I will be keeping a better eye on the street lights around here from now on!

  • Tina December 8, 2010 (11:00 pm)

    Our dogs will not walk on the metal plates, and our pug is afraid of them and will go around them if she can if she cannot go around she parks. Then you have to pick her up and carry her over it.
    I wonder how many are not properly grounded?

    • WSB December 8, 2010 (11:25 pm)

      Tina – we’ll be at the briefing tomorrow morning, barring huge breaking news keeping us on the peninsula, and hopefully we’ll be able to find out – TR

  • Wendy Hughes-Jelen December 9, 2010 (12:24 am)

    Um yeah that was me (of course). Sophia has been acting weird around the pole for a couple months. They only ran a line to it about 4 months ago becuse it was one that has never worked and it took years to get them out here to fix it. Once they ran a line to it then it was on 24 hours a day. Then Sunday night we were also walking a friends dog and she touched the base, a bolt or something, and started as if she had been shocked but mildly. I called the next day. I should have put 2 and 2 together sooner and not just thought my dog was being a drama queen. Leave it to Sophia. Now I have to train her to stop being scared of it, that’s going to take some work.

    • WSB December 9, 2010 (12:26 am)

      First the coyote, then the streetlight. Yikes! So where is it? I was figuring I’d have to extract that info from SCL this morning.

  • Wendy Hughes-Jelen December 9, 2010 (12:43 am)

    In front of my building on the west end, in the front yard of our townhouse condo building. There’s a small child iving right there and I went and told my friend Sunday night to steer clear after I figured it out. I didn’t get shocked when putting my head on the lamp post to listen to it – I thought perhaps it was a mgHz thing that the dog was responding to – I looked weird walking around putting my ear to street lights. But I ruled that out. Any juice was at the base. I don’t think there was enough to kill but the dog also did not put a full foot on it, just tapped it. It might have been her nose or her foot, she bolted pretty quick. I was watching her to see if she had a reaction since Sophia wouldn’t go near it, wanting to confirm it’s not just my dog. Once I could do that I got right on it. I am glad they responded so quickly, I was super impressed and surprised – isn’t that sad??

  • Ex-Westwood Resident December 9, 2010 (8:56 am)

    Simply amazed at the thought process of SCL/SDOT!!!

    SCL puts up the lights, connects them to electricity, then leaves it to the DOT to perform checks on it?!?!?!

    What is wrong with this picture….I’ll tell you what it is. You have an agency that specializes in electricity (SCL) leaving the maintenance and up keep of electrical equipment to an agency that specializes in transportation!?!?!

    City planning/thinking at its best!!!


    SCL should have purview of ALL item city owned that is hooked up to the power grid…NOT SDOT!!!

  • bolo December 9, 2010 (10:25 am)

    “Meantime, if you suspect any kind of trouble with a streetlight – even if it’s just burned out – the city has long had a reporting system set up: Find the online form and phone number here.”
    Well, the reporting system is set up, but the repair system? I have been reporting the {numerous}{majority?} burned out streetlights along West Seattle bridge for more than a year.

    • WSB December 9, 2010 (11:34 am)

      Some of the concerns here are addressed by the story we’ve just published from the SCL briefing – they are taking over all streetlight inspections, and they also reiterate that the hotline is the place to call.

  • Robert December 9, 2010 (12:10 pm)

    I’m glad no one was hurt Or lost a pet as in Queen Anne. Saying it was an isolated inciden really hurt their credibility because they had no way of knowing without testing the whole network

  • Robert December 9, 2010 (12:13 pm)

    Have they said how long it would take to test all of them.

    • WSB December 9, 2010 (12:22 pm)

      to get to all the metal poles citywide will take till first of may, I thought i wrote that in story…for the immediate Greenbridge/etc. checks, next 2 weeks – TR

  • Marcia December 9, 2010 (4:36 pm)

    How terrible!!

    I live one floor above from where the dog died.

    There were some horrific, loud cries from the dog which I overheard. At first I thought a dog had been hit by a car. The view to the sidewalk was obstructed.

    Now, to hear what took place is so tragic.

    Also, it could have happened to our property manager. I saw him outside cleaning the sidewalk that week!

  • doggril December 9, 2010 (7:04 pm)

    ex-westwood – Nothing in the article indicated SDOT was involved with this. The reporting form is on SCL’s website. Why do you think otherwise? Also, why do you think that a transportation agency would not have expertise with streetlights? That’s part of the transportation infrastructure…

    • WSB December 9, 2010 (7:24 pm)

      doggril, I’m at a story and can’t pull up the URLs at the moment but SDOT was accountable for inspecting these lights – that was acknowledged at the Seattle City Light briefing I covered today.

  • Ex-Westwood Resident December 10, 2010 (7:34 am)


    When the story was first reported on KING 5 news about the dog being killed they stated that SCL places the street lamps, but SDOT was responsible for the preventive maintenance and upkeep of street lamps.

    SCL should be responsible for all things electrical used by the city. Would you have SCL repair potholes?

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