West Seattle, Washington
Sorry to be late with publishing today’s addition to the “go bag” we’re building together, one day/item at a time, here during Washington State Disaster Preparedness Month. Part of the reason we’re late is coverage of one of the smaller “disasters” that might wreak a little havoc in your life – or a lot: This afternoon/evening’s West Seattle power outage.
Usually, if an outage strikes, it’s a few hours at most. Then, there’s a situation like the windstorm power outages of December 2006, when some in West Seattle lost their power for more than a week (left). And if a major catastrophe like a big quake hit – it might take a lot longer to get it back, and, unlike those post-storm days, there might NOT be anywhere nearby where the power stayed on.
So, here we are on Day 6 of bag-building. (Remember, you can catch up at any time – any way that works for you – the goal here is just to get SOME preparedness into your life/home.) From Cindi Barker of West Seattle Be Prepared:
Today you should put “comfort” items in your bag. Toys for children, a deck of cards, a book, the things that can keep you busy should you have to evacuate to a shelter.
Bonus preparedness info: Cindi says the Seattle Times (WSB partner) earthquake story linked here the other day had a companion “pullout page” in the Sunday print edition – and now that guide can be seen online.
Catching up? Our previous PACK YOUR BAG! installments are archived here, newest to oldest.
Wednesday is National Walk to School Day. Anything special at your school? First one we’ve heard from is Schmitz Park Elementary, one of West Seattle’s most populous grade schools. Dave Allen shares this announcement:
Lace up those shoes and be part of National Walk to School Day this Wed., Oct. 9.
Parents will lead six different “walking school buses” this year. Join the walking school bus near you or simply walk on your own. Parents can drop off their kids with the walking school bus, or join in.
It’s easy, fun, and a great way to start your kid’s day with exercise and a “high five” for the environment. Walkers never get stuck in the morning school traffic, so walking is more reliable than driving – and often quicker.
Live too far to walk? No problem – just park several blocks away and walk from there. You’ll still get exercise and avoid the traffic jam.
The walking school buses will converge on the school in a formidable show of feet, then all walkers will meet at the flagpole at 8:25 am for a group pic.
P.S. Other schools have walking school buses which are regularly scheduled throughout the year – saving parents a ton of time. Hmm. That’s something to talk about…
The “walking school bus” routes for Schmitz Park on Wednesday can be seen here.
Just in from SDOT: As of Wednesday, they’re reversing the detour direction for the final phase of Delridge Way repaving – southbound traffic will keep flowing, northbound traffic will be detoured, instead of the other way, which is how it’s set up now. The city says this is necessary in order to:
· Simplify traffic control measures for ease of understanding for the traveling public
· Eliminate the buildup of excessive traffic at the intersection of Southwest Roxbury Street and 16th Avenue Southwest due to the detour
· Allow for a more natural traffic flow – southbound on Delridge Way in the original right lane
· Reduce the possibility of someone driving in the wrong direction.
The new detour will direct northbound Delridge Way Southwest traffic at Southwest Roxbury Street onto northbound 16th Avenue Southwest and then onto westbound Southwest Henderson Street to return to Delridge Way. This detour will remain in place until the project is complete at the end of the year.
To ensure the safety of drivers and pedestrians and to allow enough space for the crews to conduct this work, curb-side parking on Delridge Way will be inaccessible between Southwest Henderson and Southwest Roxbury streets until project completion.
If you’re interested in hearing more about this from SDOT, a rep will speak at the White Center Chamber of Commerce‘s monthly evening mixer tomorrow (Tuesday) at 6 pm at Bahn 88, 9418 Delridge Way SW.
Quick note so you can prepare: PCC Natural Markets-West Seattle (WSB sponsor) has a free recycling event Saturday (October 12th), 9 am-4 pm, with SBK/Green Century Recycling. The company’s home page has a list of what they take. Set a Facebook reminder here.
(SCROLL DOWN for updates)
2:12 PM: Don’t know how extensive it is because it’s not yet on the Seattle City Light outage map, but we’ve received multiple reports of a power outage affecting West Seattle Thriftway (WSB sponsor) and vicinity. Checking it out; more to come.
2:16 PM UPDATE: Our crew at the scene says lines are down by the Seattle City Light facility at 42nd and Morgan (photos added); traffic is being rerouted at 41st/Morgan. Still trying to determine the extent of the outage – let us know if you are without power. Thriftway is still open, with generator power.
2:24 PM UPDATE: Still no official word on this from SCL but it’s stretching into part of Gatewood (including the Caffe Ladro block) as well as across Fauntleroy to other businesses, according to commenters. Our crew did see SCL crews at their facility northeast of Thriftway.
2:35 PM UPDATE: Reached an SCL spokesperson – while their system shows dozens of calls about this, it’s not showing an official tally of who’s out, yet, so that’s why this is still not on their online map. They’re checking to find out why.
2:41 PM UPDATE: Here’s the scoop from SCL’s Peter Clarke: The outage in this area doesn’t show because it’s something of a “black hole,” an old part of the system (scheduled to replaced soon!). If you are out, CALL THEM because otherwise they don’t know! Another crew has to be sent out to replace the line that came down (we’re adding a photo shortly), and so they are estimating power might not be back until about 5:30 pm.
3:40 PM UPDATE: No new info – if you’re caught in the outage, please let us know when your power comes back, since there won’t be any other obvious signs, without the status map being involved. In a bit of irony, checking City Light’s website, we did find it’s the first day of Public Power Week.
5:16 PM UPDATE: As some have commented and City Light has just verified, some of the power is back on.
(WSB photo: Crews working at about 5 pm)
SCL estimates 6:30 pm before everyone is connected again.
5:23 PM UPDATE: One WSB’er told us she had heard a rumor that a balloon was somehow involved – and, unprompted, SCL spokesperson Scott Thomsen has just told us this: “We received reports that mylar balloons could have been the initiating cause of the outage. When mylar balloons get tangled in power lines, they can cause a short, which would open the breakers on the line. When the breakers open, it does shake the equipment and a wire can come loose from a connector. The safety note here is to keep mylar balloons attached to weights that keep them from flying off so they don’t get stuck in the wires.”
6:34 PM UPDATE: The 42nd/Morgan spot where the wires had come down is reopened, our crew says after driving by a few minutes ago. But commenters are reporting some areas still without power. If that doesn’t change soon, we would suggest calling City Light to make sure they know you’re still out, since as discussed earlier this is an area where they couldn’t tell the extent of the outage without hearing from customers.
8:07 PM UPDATE: Comments and e-mails suggest everyone – or almost everyone – has the power back now. Let us know if you’re still out!
The backhoes that arrived last week at the Equity Residential development site in The Junction – 42nd/Alaska/California – started work today, tearing down the eastern building on the site, across 42nd from Jefferson Square. Short Instagram video clip (click here if you don’t see it below):
Once the 91-year-old eastern building is down, as reported here last week, teardown work will move to the 88-year-old western building at California/Alaska (which once housed a hospital, and had an upper story). The project is planned for two 7-story buildings with 200 apartments, ground-floor retail, and a shared underground parking garage. The businesses that used to be in the buildings were ordered out more than 14 months ago, since the owners originally had said construction would start in 2012; several closed (including Rocksport, Rubato Records, and the city’s Neighborhood Service Center) while the rest moved to new locations around West Seattle.
SIDE NOTE: This is now the fifth major development under construction in and around The Junction, after The Blake at 5020 California SW, Spruce (former “Hole”) at 3922 SW Alaska, 4730 California, and Oregon 42 (42nd/Oregon). (Scroll through the WSB development-coverage archive to see what else is on the way.)
4:16 PM UPDATE: Went back at mid-afternoon to see how far the crews had gotten:
The project itself is expected to be under construction for about a year and a half. According to related documents we found online, one crane – arriving in about 3 months – will be used for both buildings.
(Photos added 11:56 am)
10:05 AM: This is expected to be opening day for Quadrato, the sandwich/pizza/salad shop in The Junction that we first told you about in May. Proprietor Cary Kemp, who also owns Pizzeria 22 in the Admiral District, says that assuming the final health inspection goes as expected this morning, Quadrato (4302 SW Oregon) is expected to open for lunch around 11:30 am; regular hours starting tomorrow would be 11 am-8 pm daily; see its menu here. We’ll be checking in later this morning and will update.
11:20 AM: Just stopped by – it’s open! (Shown in the photo above this paragraph – part of the seating counter, the lighting, and the window facing SW Oregon. There are tables on the sidewalk, too.)
8:19 AM: In case you’ve seen/heard the big fire response in the 8400 block of 16th SW – first crews on scene say it’s a dryer fire and “has not extended,” meaning it hasn’t spread further, so they’re canceling some of the units.
8:24 AM: What units remain on the call are still affecting traffic on 16th – which is busier than usual because of the repaving work on nearby Delridge – so avoid the area for a while.
9:55 AM: SFD has published an update on the fire, including identifying the location as an assisted-living facility whose residents were evacuated as a precaution:
The first 911 call came into firefighter/dispatchers at the Fire Alarm Center at 8:08 a.m. reporting smoke coming from the back of the one-story complex located in the 8400 block of 16th Avenue SW. Engine Company 11 arrived to find the staff had already evacuated the residents from the facility.
Firefighters were able to contain the fire to a dryer in the basement of the building. The fire was tapped within 4 minutes of firefighter arriving on scene. The damage was limited to the basement area.
The building had several fire protection systems in place including a sprinkler system and a fire alarm system which sounded allowing for the safe evacuation of the facility. There were no injuries.
(Live view from the west-facing WS Bridge camera; other cameras are on the WSB Traffic page)
No new major road work/closures scheduled today/tonight; we’ll just be watching the usual routes in hopes of a quiet morning… One item of note: The King County website has launched a major redesign, which means:
We happened onto this early today while stopping by the WT site to verify that the 7-day-a-week season is close to this year’s conclusion – it’s three weeks away, in fact.
8:27 AM: If you haven’t seen our separate story on a fire response in the 8400 block of 16th SW – that’ll be tying up traffic in the area for a while, though the fire itself is a small one already reported as “tapped.”
8:56 AM: 16th SW is reopening, per scanner traffic. Meantime, for Arbor Heights residents, AH Elementary is changing its traffic patterns and parking as of this afternoon, per the school newsletter (where you’ll find an explanatory map).
5:31 PM: Backup on the westbound bridge, blamed on a stalled/abandoned car on the shoulder, with police on scene.
6:19 PM: Another update says two cars, with tow truck(s) on scene. Only one bridge camera (the one you see at the top of this item) is working.