POWER OUTAGE UPDATE: Highland Park/Riverview outage finally off the map as of early Monday

(EARLIER COVERAGE: Saturday storm effects, here; Saturday night/Sunday updates on this outage, here)

9:14 PM: Going on 36 hours after the strongest gusts of Saturday’s windstorm, Seattle City Light has 252 separate outages left to fix, six of them in West Seattle, according to our check of its map a few minutes ago (screengrab above). The biggest, by far, is the one toward the lower right, 382 homes/businesses out in Riverview/Highland Park since about 11:45 pm Saturday night. Seattle City Light crews have been working along the Highland Park Way hill – which remains closed to traffic – all day:

(Photo by Alan Robertson)
That view is from a couple hours after our mid-afternoon check:

(WSB photo by Patrick Sand)
The tree-lined hill has long been a trouble spot; some who live along it put out a sign of frustration after six days without electricity following the December 2006 windstorm. SCL is not commenting on specific outages; its “estimated restoration times” remain a source of frustration for many because they continue to change – as of right now, for example, this one has an estimate of 1:30 am, but that’s moved back more than a few times. Around its service area, which stretches beyond the city-limit line in both the north and south, SCL estimated earlier tonight that it will have everyone back on by Monday afternoon, but it cautions in this online update that it had to focus first on major feeder lines in the hardest-hit north areas. Even before the windstorm arrived, authorities had said damage/outages could be worse because trees still have all their leaves this time of year, making them heavier and more vulnerable, especially in the kind of deluge that hit late last night, around the time Highland Park (and initially, beyond – 3,000 customers at its peak) went out.

REFRIGERATOR/FREEZER SAFETY: We know from experience too – four no-power days after the aforementioned 2006 storm – if you’re in the outage zone, you are wondering about what’s in your refrigerator/freezer. Here’s some info about that.

1:38 AM: The most recent projected restoration time for this remaining outage has passed and it’s now, 26 hours in, listed as “pending.” The two northernmost mini-outages, meantime, have fallen off the map.

2:42 AM: Alan reports in comments that his neighborhood is back on – and the outage map has lost the Riverview and vicinity splotch, so it seems the last of the Saturday night outage is finally fixed. Let us know if you’re in West Seattle somewhere and still out.

10 Replies to "POWER OUTAGE UPDATE: Highland Park/Riverview outage finally off the map as of early Monday"

  • R0b0 August 30, 2015 (11:15 pm)

    Sometimes doing the best they can is not good enough. Passing back the estimated time for restoration of power FOUR TIMES is worse than no info at all. Eighteen hours ago we could have moved food to a friend/relative’s. Some of us could have donated it to the food bank! There are plenty of people in this area that can’t afford to lose a freezer full of food that they scrimped for and stocked up on sales to help their family’s money go a little further. This same area was one of the last to be restored in 2006 as well. Asking where is the breakdown is doesn’t equal being ungrateful to the people working to fix the lines.

    Riddle me this; isn’t the electricity network supposed to be a grid where one fault won’t bring down the whole? Is this related to the closing of all the local substations? Are we just supposed to shrug our shoulders when the next predictable outage lasts this long?

  • Ray August 31, 2015 (12:22 am)

    Yes, it is roughly a grid. No, it is not meant to be fault tolerant and do dynamic rerouting.

    Trees happen. They are all over the place here. It is difficult when you have to deal with wet., slippery hillsides, moving earth, tree trimming and them removal and then work on rewiring, rehanging, etc.

    The crews dealt with and continue to deal with a lot of outages, a lot of damage. They cannot be everywhere at once, and they tend to be directed to areas with the largest amount of outages.

    Sorry you were out so long. You should have been a little more proactive and gone and bought ice and considered other options, just in case. After the big winter storm of 2008/2009 when I was without power for 6 days in that subfreezing weather I swore I would never freeze like that again. I bought a generator as well as a heater that can be used inside a house. You have to take responsibility for yourself.

  • Alan August 31, 2015 (2:40 am)

    Powere just came on at 14th & Holly.

    • WSB August 31, 2015 (2:41 am)

      The map shows the entire 382-customer splotch gone … so that might finally be the end of it. Thank you for the update!

  • Nicole August 31, 2015 (5:35 am)

    Still no power for us :( but at least they’re investigating it …

  • JC August 31, 2015 (8:55 am)

    To Ray: Well said and excellent response back to R0b0. We all need to understand that these crewmen who are out, cleaning up all the debris, and replacing damaged poles, are working around the clock. Some of these guys have gone 24 hours with no sleep and small breaks. So they are doing the best they can.

  • trickycoolj August 31, 2015 (9:42 am)

    Drove through HP Way this morning. The power lines look just as bad as the ones along 101 south of Forks last weekend. Good luck. At least you have running water unlike all the folks on wells out on the Peninsula.

  • Todd August 31, 2015 (9:49 am)

    After we took a walk Sat. morning to check out Highland Park Way and we saw the damage, we knew it was going to be a while. The tree came down from up the hill, landed squarely on the power lines and snapped the top of one of the poles along HPW.
    HPW was closed all day and we finally got power back at about 2:30 am this morning.
    City Light had a big job this weekend, and though we all want our power back ASAP, I understand all of the work they need to do.
    Thanks, guys!

  • R0b0 August 31, 2015 (2:56 pm)

    Well I see that my post reads a bit sharp. My apologies, I wrote it as a response to the previous thread on the outage and should have left it there.
    I really do appreciate the hard work of the people working on the lines. My cousin has been a lineman for 28 years and has traveled from Toronto to new Orleans to get the lights back on. It’s hard work done by dedicated people who care.
    That doesn’t mean we shouldn’t ask leadership at city light if there is a better way to keep service lines more robust and protected. It also isn’t wrong to point out that the communication to customers was misleading. If they hadn’t kept saying that power restoration was only a few hours away, and then repeatedly pushing the time back incrementally over and over again, more people would have realised they needed to take action. Believing what the utility was telling us does not mean I lack personal responsibility. I could have plugged in my fridge to the generator I bought after the big outage in 06. We were hearing that the situation wasn’t dire, so I didn’t want to subject my neighbors to the generator noise unnecessarily. Many can’t afford a generator, but people could have bought ice or made other arrangements if they were given accurate information.

  • Alan September 1, 2015 (12:33 am)

    I do appreciate how hard those guys worked. I do think that there could be a better job on estimating. I’ve been in the position of trying to fix something and having hordes of people wanting to know when it would be done before I even had identified the problem. I think the first estimate of 12:30pm was a throw-away time. But we then were told 3:30, then 5:30, 9:30 and finally 1:30am with an actual completion about an hour after that. I think that by the time they changed it to 3:30, a supervisor on the ground would have known that 3:30 wasn’t going to be doable. Maybe there was too much work going on and it was just someone in the office bumping the time up via an algorithm.

    If the office doesn’t have the ability to communicate with the field supervisor, everyone would all be better off with a pessimistic estimate. Under promise and over deliver.

    Again, I do appreciate the work and do not agree with the 3rd World Country comments. I still had clean water coming out of my tap and, thanks to a gas hot water heater, I still had a nice hot shower.

Sorry, comment time is over.