FOLLOWUP: West Seattle Trader Joe’s closed because of power outage caused by early morning crash

9:11 AM: Thanks to everyone who’s texted us about this, reporting that West Seattle Trader Joe’s is closed right now because of a power outage caused by the flipped-car crash we reported early this morning. Angela, whose photo is in our original report, also sent this video:

One person went to the hospital via private ambulance, indicating their injuries were not life-threatening. Meantime, the City Light map says they’re hoping for restoration around 10:30 am – as with all outages, could be sooner, could be later.

9:22 AM: We just went over to the store to find out more. Lots of crews working out front on repairs. A Trader Joe’s staffer tells us they don’t know how long it’ll take – they’ve been warned it could be several hours.

12:05 PM: Still out, per the SCL map and per driving by. No restoration estimate now. Meantime, as noted in comments, SPD classified the crash as a suspected case of DUI.

SUNDAY MORNING NOTE: The SCL outage map shows the power still out. We hope to get over there around 9:30 to verify that the closure is continuing.

10:17 AM: We haven’t made it there yet but multiple reader messages confirm the closure continues.

NOTE: Our Sunday followup is here.

36 Replies to "FOLLOWUP: West Seattle Trader Joe's closed because of power outage caused by early morning crash"

  • Nooblonski December 2, 2017 (10:54 am)

    Thanks so much, careless driver.  Great job.  Not just you injured but thousands of dollars of loss to a nearby business.  Hope it was worth it for you.

    • Alki Resident December 2, 2017 (11:13 am)

      Whoa, do you know the circumstances of the crash? 

      • WSB December 2, 2017 (11:27 am)

        Usually we don’t but in this case, I hadn’t had the chance to check until now but – the crash is classified on Tweets by Beat as a DUI case.

      • Kathy December 2, 2017 (11:32 am)

        Alki Resident, do you really think it’s possible to flip a car if you are going the speed limit? Probably about 30 mph on this stretch? Seriously, I’m asking.

        • Michael December 2, 2017 (10:13 pm)


        • Joshua Reynolds December 5, 2017 (3:50 pm)

          Speed was the direct cause of this incident,as I was at a red light at Alaska and Fauntleroy the intersection of the crash, noticed a vehicle traveling North on fauntleroy at a “high rate of speed”  knowing the intersection and his rate of speed plus wet road conditions , went just like i knew it would, him hitting the curb and going airborn bouncing off trader Joe’s and going backwards upside down back on to fautleroy probably saved there lives, direct impact at that speed to a brick building would have ended a lot worse…..Glad no one was seriously injured.

  • Kathy December 2, 2017 (11:26 am)

    I  am glad no one was seriously hurt. I do hope SPD throws the book at them if they can prove they were speeding/impaired/distracted. Since driving seems to be considered more of a right than a privilege, they may be back on our roads as soon as they get their hands on a functioning vehicle. Hopefully after having learned a lesson?

  • me December 2, 2017 (11:31 am)

    Drivers are going way to fast in WS period

    • T December 2, 2017 (2:10 pm)

      I agree. Especially in the rain and snow we had a few months ago. Oh, and how about turning on your lights on grey/rainy days. Turn them on at night too it’s the law.

  • KD December 2, 2017 (11:50 am)

    Hisssssssss!!! Okay.. everyone put your claws back in!

  • KD December 2, 2017 (11:55 am)

    Great video reporting Angela! (the emergency light show must’ve been enough to wake one up!)

    • AngelaB December 3, 2017 (3:21 pm)

      Thank you, it was one of the worst sounds I have ever heard. Still can’t believe everyone walked away.

  • Diane December 2, 2017 (12:15 pm)

    good thing the firehouse is one block away

  • Ktrapp December 2, 2017 (1:00 pm)

    I hope TJ’s has a backup generator.  Anything refrigerated/frozen has to be rather questionable at this point, otherwise.  

  • KD December 2, 2017 (2:14 pm)

    ^^^  @ktrapp .. I see  TJ Frozen Food SALE!!

  • Diane December 2, 2017 (3:06 pm)

    and 2 trailers now in front of TJ’s, full of food 

  • just wondering December 2, 2017 (6:43 pm)

    And many people in Puerto Rico, a part of the United States, are still with out power for basic necessities after many months.

  • Anonymous December 2, 2017 (9:49 pm)

    Trader Joes has two trailers, fully functioning, one refrigerated, one frozen, in front of our store storing what we could from today’s outage. Backup generator went out soon after the incident. The early morning crew was there at 4 a.m. and products were already starting to become questionable.   Unfortunately due to food safety requirements by WA state they had to dispose of a wide variety of fresh and frozen foods. Due to the massive damage to the transformer, Trader Joes will most likely, but not indefinitely, be closed tomorrow until late evening, maybe even later. Seattle City Lights received a new transformer box for TJs but after a few hours realized that the electrical board was completely destroyed and Seattle Lights will have to individually install parts. It was such a huge loss for TJs, and their customers. TJs employees worked so hard to salvage what they could, we ask that you are patient and considerate of all of their losses, this is not an easy time for employees, hours were lost, lots of labor was endured especially considering the time of the year. TJs will be back on track to serving our community as soon as possible. Thanks for all your patience. 

    • WSB December 2, 2017 (9:54 pm)

      Thank you for the update. We noticed the lights were still out when we went by on the way to the crash, and figured we’d go by in the morning to check in.

    • Diane December 3, 2017 (4:11 am)

      thanks for all the details; what a bummer; you know everyone in WS can hardly wait to get back into Trader Joe’s and buy buy buy

    • John R December 4, 2017 (1:07 pm)

      We patiently await your reopening and pledge to coninue to support you as an appreciated part of our community…

  • Jim December 2, 2017 (11:21 pm)

    I went by there this morning about 9:00 AM. All the NRC (National Response Corporation) vehicles outside indicated to me that the transformer must have been busted open. So this is a hazardous waste clean-up first and foremost. PCBs are always a concern when it comes to transformers.

    • Anonymous December 3, 2017 (12:27 am)

      Most definitely,  they were right there the whole time seattle lights was there. Such a huge, huge, ordeal that could have been prevented.. 

      • Diane December 3, 2017 (4:09 am)

        how could it have been prevented?  do we have potential hazardous waste issues like this all over the city?

        • JW December 3, 2017 (9:38 am)

          Diane, the person who chose to drive while impaired (as reported by Tracy in comments above) could have called a cab or Uber then none of this would have happened. 

          • Diane December 3, 2017 (4:10 pm)

            JW; I thought you meant something about the transformers being preventable; of course drunk/impaired driving is preventable, so I thought that was a given; with Jim’s info that “A look at Google Earth street view shows other than a couple of landscape rocks, this transformer had very little protection from the roadway.”; that seems like a HUGE issue to address; any type of significant accident on that highly traveled roadway could have caused damage to that transformer and put anyone nearby at risk; I wonder if police/firefighters even knew the danger of toxic leakage, since you can see several people standing & sitting nearby in the video right after the accident

        • Anonymous December 3, 2017 (9:43 am)

          Referring to the drunk driver. Drunk driving accidents can always be prevented. 

        • Jim December 3, 2017 (12:47 pm)

          Transfomers are oil filled for the purpose of cooling. Even the one hanging on the pole outside of your house. Seattle City Light has removed all transformers with known PCB concentrations greater than 46 PPM. They have a project to remove an additional 1500 transformers with lesser amounts of PCBs. And test an additional 18,000 transformers with unknown concentrations. PCB use was phased out in the 1970s. But transformer leaks are all treated very seriously.

          A look at Google Earth street view shows other than a couple of landscape rocks, this transformer had very little protection from the roadway.

          • WSB December 3, 2017 (1:01 pm)

            Thank you for the context. I won’t be able to get more info from City Light until tomorrow but this also all makes a little more sense of what we heard on the scanner right after the crash – police were told to stay back because of a possible leak – I thought I heard them say radiator, which didn’t make sense because certainly there are fluid leaks at car crashes all the time and I’ve never heard toxicity concerns but now I’m thinking, aha, maybe it was the transformer. (This crash also is teaching me to check power status after all crashes … we might have known about the Trader Joe’s status sooner on Saturday if I had.)

          • Diane December 3, 2017 (4:00 pm)

            THANK YOU Jim for the detailed info about transformers; had no idea; I’m guessing majority had no idea; with that level of potential hazardous toxicity, especially with increased density and traffic, seems like an issue to take to our D-1 rep to address fixing this issue in WS asap

  • Community Member December 3, 2017 (7:39 am)

    Is Anonymous speaking for Trader Joe’s?

    Anonymous said, “this is not an easy time for employees, hours were lost, “

    Employees’ hours should not be lost in this situation. TJ is a major international corporation. I would expect that any employees who have been scheduled to work will still be paid for their shifts.

    West Seattle Blog – can you find out more about employee pay? -Thx

  • Junctionite December 3, 2017 (8:14 am)

    I agree with Community Member, employees who were scheduled to work this weekend should be paid for these shifts. Trader Joe’s is a large company, not a Mom and Pop organization, this is not too much to ask them as a member of the community.

  • miws December 3, 2017 (9:22 am)

    I agree too that T.J.’s should pay the employees. That was my first thought on reading Anonymus’ comment earlier. And, Junctionite’s comment about T.J.’s being a large company as opposed to a Mom-n-Pop echoes my thoughts exactly.  Pay the employees, maybe a little bonus to any that may have been called in in emergency, or stayed past a scheduled shift, as opposed to already being there on night-stock duty.

    T.J.’s can (should be able to, IMHO) get reimbursed by their insurance co. and the insurance co. can go after the insurance co. that the driver hopefully has. 


  • Anonymous December 3, 2017 (9:50 am)

    Rest assure, all of the employees that were scheduled will get paid for their hours. I work at Trader Joe’s and was there yesterday. Trader Joe’s is such a great company, they will definitely have the best interest of the employees in mind.

    • Anonymous December 3, 2017 (10:16 am)

      By saying “hours were lost”, I was referring to physical hours worked, not that employees wouldn’t get paid. Sorry for the confusion.

  • miws December 3, 2017 (11:45 am)

    Thanks for the clarification, Anonymous, that makes me feel better and reinforces what I believe about T.J’s being a good company. 

    Due to living a few miles away in the South Delridge area, not having a car, and having some health challenges, it is not convenient for me to shop at T.J.’s and I’ve only been to that location twice. Once with a friend not too long after the store opened, and then again, on my own, a little over a-year-and-a-half ago. The last trip confirmed the difficulty that I knew I’d have, as that I had to stop a few times to catch my breath and rest my left arm (cane in right hand), on my way up the hill along Alaska to the Junction to the bus home. (One of those little, wheeled carts, is not an option).

    However, I did enjoy those two visits, as well as the probably fewer than ten visits over the years to the Burien store while riding along with friends. 

    I also enjoy reading the Frequent Flyers when they come in the mail. :-) 


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