day : 29/08/2015 8 results

West Seattle power-outage update: Highland Park, Puget Ridge, and beyond go dark late Saturday night; some back on

(PLEASE SCROLL DOWN for newest info)

11:45 PM: We’re not sure of the extent yet, but power flickered here and apparently has gone out in at least part of Highland Park.

11:48 PM UPDATE: This is the biggest outage for West Seattle in this storm, by far. At least 2,100 customers, per City Light’s outage map. It’s stretching into parts of White Center and South Park. Adding a screengrab from City Light’s map. There are some reports of what looked like “explosions” so possibly a blown transformer in HP.

11:56 PM UPDATE: The map also shows Puget Ridge and part of North Delridge affected. And it shows what looks like two outages – one listed as 2,105 customers, another as 972, so more than 3,000 may be out.

12:54 AM UPDATE: If you have to do any early-morning driving, note that some stoplights are out – including 8th/Roxbury (which is dicey in even the best conditions) and 1st/Myers on the way to/from 509 – Roxbury had lights between those two spots, though.

5:45 AM UPDATE: As noted in comments, some of the 3,000 who were out have power back. Here’s who’s still out:

The map, however, is classifying these areas of West Seattle and South Park as three outages that started around 4 am, though if you compare you’ll see they’re part of the previous outage zone. The restoration guesstimate currently is noon.

6:46 AM UPDATE: Jeremy says in comments that Highland Park Way remains closed. We’ll be out checking on that when it’s a bit lighter – and will also be checking on a holdover from Saturday’s earlier problems, the dangling-tree-in-lines situation that had 35th SW closed between Avalon and Alaska.

7:47 AM UPDATE: SCL’s map has now adjusted the start time back to when the outage really started – about quarter to midnight last night – and the number of customers out now totals about 1,300.

9:40 AM UPDATE: We’ve mentioned the road updates in a separate story. And good news, more people have their power back – fewer than 800 are shown as being out now. Separate from the electricity, Comcast is reported to be out for some.

10:11 AM UPDATE: Now, about 443 still out.

2 PM UPDATE: Thanks to everybody for updating with comments! Tally’s down to 382 and the new guesstimate is 5:30ish – could be sooner (as were some of the restorations overnight) or later.

You can help! West Seattleites rounded up donations for firefighters battling the wildfires, and hope you will want to, too

Have you been wondering what you could do to help the firefighters who’ve been battling our state’s massive wildfires? This group of West Seattleites wanted to let you know, you can do what they did:

The photos are from Rachel, who explains:

Yesterday West Seattleites collected, organized and packed care packages for fire fighters helping battle the fires in eastern Washington. We’re headed to Gold Bar today to drop them off to the volunteer group who then drives the donations into the most-in-need fire fighter camps. If other West Seattleites would like to have similar donation drives, pop onto the Wildfire Donation Round-up Facebook page and you can see what donations are needed as well as drop off points. These people are doing amazing work! Thank you to all of the West Seattleites who helped!

Here’s a direct link to the page Rachel mentioned; it also includes ideas for helping fire victims and evacuees.

West Seattle Crime Watch: Stolen ‘old-school mountain bike’; condo-building mail theft

The weather has calmed and we’re on to other news. First, two quick West Seattle Crime Watch reader reports:

STOLEN BICYCLE: Derek first posted this in the WSB Forums:

My bicycle was stolen from my yard at 46th & Charlestown. Let me know if you see it?

Blue old-school mountain bike. Gary Fisher Hoo Koo e Koo. Bike pump, rear mountain rack with fender, and cat-eye headlight & tail lights.

It’s not worth a lot of money, but it’s been my main ride since 1993.

He hasn’t turned up a photo to share, but says his bike looks a lot like this.

STOLEN MAIL: From Nathan:

I live in the condos at 3271 Avalon Way and it appears that someone broke into our mailboxes last night. I’m on the HOA board, and someone else on the board has already contacted police about it, so I assume there will be a police report about it eventually.

It appears that someone used a crowbar to pry into the mailboxes. Hopefully other condos/homes were not affected.

STORM COVERAGE: Windy in West Seattle; power-outage updates; downed trees; 35th SW closure

(PLEASE SCROLL DOWN for updates – most recent one, 5:53 pm)

11:34 AM: The wind has arrived – as the National Weather Service warned it would – and the first outages are on Seattle City Light‘s map: Both small, both blamed on trees, one on Seola Beach Drive in southwesternmost West Seattle, one in Westwood near 34th/Cloverdale. We’ll be tracking the storm here throughout the afternoon – if there’s tree, power, road, etc. trouble where you are, please let us know (after you’ve alerted the authorities) – thanks!

12:27 PM: As Taz just pointed out in comments, there’s a new outage by Constellation Park, south of Alki Point. Since the wind’s out of the south/southwest, that’s the side of the West Seattle waterfront feeling it the most – we’re further down Beach Drive by Emma Schmitz right now – see the short phone-video clip above.

12:43 PM: The Alki Point-area outage is now up to 138 customers, according to the SCL map, which has added a new West Seattle outage, in North Delridge.

12:51 PM: Along with a tree that’s been leaning against wires and a fence just north of West Seattle Stadium over the NB lanes of 35th SW for a while (added above: photo of that tree, sent by Chuck Jacobs – thanks!), we now have a report that a tree’s down on Highland Park Way.

(Photos from Sarahjean – [updated] Sylvan Way branch cleared by her husband, first photo, and bus riders, 2nd photo)
1:12 PM: According to MetPatrick via Twitter, the HP Way tree/branch is cleared out of the roadway. While we’re in a sunbreak, it won’t likely last – dark clouds heading up from the south/southwest and rain is still in the forecast.

1:36 PM: New updates in comments (thank you!) – a tree blocking Marine View Drive at California. By the way, in case you wondered, waves vs. shore action is not too bad because low tide was at 11 am and high tide – fairly high, 11.7 feet, since the moon’s full – isn’t until about quarter till 6 this evening. (added) Be careful wherever you walk/ride/drive – lots of tree branches and twigs down too – WSB’s Christopher Boffoli sent this from 35th SW by Our Lady of Guadalupe:

2:19 PM: The tree over NB 35th SW north of West Seattle Stadium, mentioned earlier, now has police blocking the outside NB lane and yellow tape closing the sidewalk from the south side of the stadium entrance:

Crews are stretched around the city, so it might be a while before this can be addressed, and it will be tricky because it’s on the other side of the fence along 35th. Elsewhere – looks like this tree did some damage to a vehicle – the texter described the location as North Delridge, near Pearls:

Newest outage on the map is near 28th/Holden, as of of less than 10 minutes ago, another small one, at least as gauged so far.

2:43 PM: The Alki Point outage has been upped to 190 customers, with restoration guesstimate around 7 pm (remember, those are really just guesses, but it’s what you’ll see on the SCL outage map); commenters have mentioned an outage east of Fairmount Park but that one doesn’t seem to be on the map. Look here for what IS showing; call 206-684-3000 if you’re out and not sure the utility knows already.

Above, a photo texted to us from 25th/Cloverdale – note the vehicle under the tree. The wind warning remains in effect until 6 pm.

3:21 PM: Drove the length of Marine View Drive, now all clear (aside from twigs, needles, stems here and there, like just about every road we’ve traveled today).

3:32 PM: Via e-mail, Chas says 35th is now closed at the scene of the tree mentioned earlier – we’ll head back out to check in a moment. West Seattle still has five outages on the map, the biggest one, the 190 customers out south of Alki Point.

And, via text, another tree-branch-on-vehicle, this time 24th/Holden:

If you’re wondering what happened to the predicted rain – showers remain in the forecast throughout the day, then potentially heavier rain tonight.

4:55 PM: 35th is indeed blocked off by police – though Metro’s getting through – between Alaska and Avalon, until the unsafe-tree situation is handled. We’ll be checking back. The wind, meantime, has calmed, even here in the southwest-exposed area where we are. For some, the afternoon’s weather was pure fun:

Thanks to Gary Jones for the photo from Alki Point.

5:09 PM: Kristin reports another dangling-tree-against-wire-over-road situation, this one over the west side of Sylvan between High Point and Delridge. She has reported to authorities. And Guy sent us this photo of one at 39th and Manning:

Do be sure to report these – start with City Light at 206-684-3000 – their crews are still slammed all around the city right now so you might not see anyone for a while, but it doesn’t mean you’re not on the list. Speaking of City Light, the map shows a new, small outage, this time in Seaview, near 45th and Findlay. That means seven pocket outages around WS.

5:53 PM: Thanks to Thom for the photo of crews working by Bar-S Field, in/by the Alki Point outage zone:

Meantime, the rain’s back, with the second intense cloudburst right now in less than half an hour.

6:58 PM: Checked while out a few minutes ago, and 35th remains blocked between Alaska and Avalon. One more traffic note – Dave warns that it’s slippery on the ramp from the bridge to NB 99.

7:25 PM: The SCL map shows the South Alki outage fixed – please let us know in comments if that’s not the case.

8:32 PM: In case you didn’t see this in comments – the “boat taking on water/minor” call that briefly brought a sizable SFD response to Beach Drive involved a boat with no one on board, according to a neighbor who says it belongs to someone who lives in the area and adds that SFD pumped some water out of it before departing. Now, a view from early this morning, before the wind kicked up – Ken Pendergrass made this serene time-lapse video from his Duwamish Head balcony:

Ken says the recording covers a time span from around 7 am to 10 am.

11:52 PM: We’ve launched a NEW story to cover the big new outage that just happened in Highland Park and beyond – go here.

Duwamish Tribe chair takes recognition fight to Interior Secretary in West Seattle: Report #1

(WSB photo by Tracy Record)

Quick first report on this, since we’re going into storm coverage: Within the past hour, Duwamish Tribe chair Cecile Hansen met U.S. Interior Secretary Sally Jewell – whose department denied federal recognition to the Duwamish, again, two months ago – semi-unexpectedly. Hansen and representatives of two activist groups, the Coalition of Anti-Racist Whites and Rising Tide Seattle, had gone to what they believed was Jewell’s North Admiral home to deliver a letter inviting her to meet with tribal leaders. (A representative of the groups, which issued a media advisory, told us last night they had no reason to believe Jewell was home from D.C., but they had decided to do this now anyway.)

At what they believed was the correct house, a man answering the door said it wasn’t. The group headed back to the sidewalk to read their letters of invitation anyway. Suddenly, a member of the group looked across the street and pointed to a woman loading items into the trunk of a car in a driveway, saying he was sure THAT was Secretary Jewell. Indeed, it was, and everyone trouped across the street. Jewell, a WS resident since her days as CEO of REI, stopped for a few moments to talk and listen, making no commitments on the issue, describing it as “complicated.” Hansen described that reaction afterward as “political runaround.” She says the tribe is taking their fight to court, again. We recorded this all on video and will publish it as part of a second report later.

TRAFFIC ALERT: Battery St. Tunnel reopens

8:59 AM: If you’re heading out of West Seattle, take note that you won’t be able to get past Seneca Street on NB 99 for a while: There’s a crash at Western, and the Battery Street Tunnel has been closed both ways because of “weather conditions,” according to SPD. We’ll update when this changes.

9:28 AM: No ETA yet for when this will be cleared, so if you have to head north, avoid the Viaduct/Highway 99. Here’s the closest SDOT camera – refresh our page to see the newest image:

10:06 AM: The tunnel has reopened.

West Seattle weather: ‘High Wind Warning’ in effect until 6 pm

The weather alert that started as a “Wind Advisory” has been upgraded to a “High Wind Warning,” in effect through 6 pm tonight. The National Weather Service says the strongest wind is expected 10 am-4 pm, out of the south at 20 to 35 mph, with gusts up to 45-50 mph. That’s a fall-strength storm, as the NWS points out.

Seattle teacher-contract talks: What the district says is happening

Contract talks for Seattle Public Schools teachers and other professional staff are expected to continue through the weekend; Monday is the last day of the current contract, and classes start nine days later, on September 9th. While the Seattle Education Association hasn’t released a new public statement on how talks are going, the district has; the update sent out on Friday night was its first one since August 20th. The only specific update it contained was this:


SEA has proposed a salary increase of 21% over a three year contract period — in addition to the Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA) from the state (25.8% total over three years). The district has listened to concerns and has increased the salary compensation proposal to 8.2% over the same three year period—in addition to the state COLA (13% total over three years). Providing a 13% increase over three years would enable our teachers to be among the highest paid in the state, which they well deserve.

SEA members are still scheduled to meet this Thursday (September 3rd) to vote on either a tentative settlement or potential strike. (For more backstory on the current talks, see the discussion that followed our last report.)