WEST SEATTLE POWER OUTAGES: Trader Joe’s closed for a second day; 96 without electricity in Arroyos area

Two power outages making news today:

TRADER JOE’S STILL CLOSED: It’s now going on 36 hours since Trader Joe’s in The Triangle lost power after a rollover crash involving an allegedly DUI driver. We first reported the closure Saturday morning, hours after noting the 2 am crash. No official word on what’s taking so long – Seattle City Light and environmental-services crews were visible at the site yesterday but not so far today. The restoration estimate is now Monday evening.

Meantime, in the southwesternmost end of West Seattle:

96 OUT IN/NEAR ARROYOS: Just before 9 am, according to the City Light outage map, 96 homes lost power in the Arroyos area – see the screengrab above. The current restoration estimate is 7 pm, but the cause is not yet listed.

8:14 PM: Both outages continue. The Arroyos outage is attributed now to “equipment failure.” For Trader Joe’s, one source says it’s expected to be closed again tomorrow, awaiting a part. We’ll be following up with the company and the utility in the morning.

31 Replies to "WEST SEATTLE POWER OUTAGES: Trader Joe's closed for a second day; 96 without electricity in Arroyos area"

  • Bob H December 3, 2017 (2:18 pm)

    The Seattle City outage report say restoration Tuesday, Nov 6 by 6:00pm. Wow 4 days without power…hope they got the generator fixed.

    • WSB December 3, 2017 (2:29 pm)

      That’s an update from just a couple hours ago. I am hoping to be able to talk with SCL and TJ’s tomorrow.

  • Coffeedude December 3, 2017 (2:39 pm)

    That is a lot of product that will need to be replaced!  

  • Bob H December 3, 2017 (2:44 pm)

    Correction, power out until November 4, not November 6.

  • JanS December 3, 2017 (2:53 pm)

    the sad part about all of this is the monetary loss for TJ’s, both from
    losing product, and loss of revenue.  A DUI? will that person be
    responsible for any of that? I realize TJ’s has insurance, but there has
    to be repercussions  to the driver for all of this, doesn’t there? Just

  • ACG December 3, 2017 (3:35 pm)

    I suppose at the onset there was no way to know that this was going to be so prolonged, but too bad they couldn’t get the perishables out to the various agencies that provide meals for the homeless. 

    • Anonymous December 3, 2017 (11:33 pm)

      We really tried go salvage what we could. Due to WA food handling regulations, we could not donate or give perishable items that could possibly contain food borne illnesses. Considering that we only had a portion of our staff, working in the dark, and under desperate circumstances to salvage what we could, we were also unable to transport food to the food bank due to it being a Saturday evening. This is really an unfortunate situation, all of us at Trader Joe’s would have been more than happy to donate everything, but felt that it would be risky since alot of the fresh perishables had been sitting unrefrigerated on the shelves for a good about of time before we were able to get to them. Mind you, we are not a 24 hour store, we don’t have graveyard shifts, and the incident happened at 2 a.m… a small portion of our staff comes in at 4 a.m. and then 6 a.m., we did all we could to save what we could.

      • melissa December 4, 2017 (9:04 am)

        Thanks for what you did.

  • Beaker December 3, 2017 (3:36 pm)

    JanS. Willing to bet the driver has no insurance, or at best under insured. TJ’s insurance will probably be stuck with the bill.  TJ’s can recover their cost’s by raising the price of their food-meaning WE pay.

    • chemist December 3, 2017 (5:38 pm)

      You can have pretty good insurance but still not have enough property damage liability coverage to cover all of a trader joe’s.

  • Ken December 3, 2017 (3:47 pm)

    I was thinking the same thing JanS.  The clown that created this mess should be responsible for the loss of revenue to TJ’s;  the loss of the product that had to be destroyed; the cost of the rental of those trailers TJ’s had to bring in; plus the cost of the parts that City Light had to replace and the wages of the employees doing the repairs.   But knowing how the “system” works around here, he’ll probably just end up with a stern lecture.

  • KT December 3, 2017 (4:13 pm)

    …”No official word on what’s taking so long – Seattle City Light and environmental-services crews were visible at the site yesterday but not so far today…”  

    Now that is not right.  

    • Alki resident December 3, 2017 (9:37 pm)

      They probably have to order parts.

  • Diane December 3, 2017 (5:02 pm)

    from detailed comments on original story, the significance and length of this outage sounds like fault of the city, not having transformers more protected and/or upgraded, especially on this highly traveled roadway where any significant accident could have damaged the transformer; for instance, I haven’t had a drink in 36 years, and perfect driving record; what if my brakes went out and I hit that transformer?  go read Jim’s comments on first story about this outage; highly toxic dangerous leakage from damaged transformer, and end of Jim’s comment, “A look at Google Earth street view shows other than a couple of
    landscape rocks, this transformer had very little protection from the

  • Patrick December 3, 2017 (5:49 pm)

    The driver took out a certain panel that City Light did not have a replacement on hand for. The panel will arrive Monday and be installed afterwards. City Light does it’s best to maintain a low inventory.

  • waikikigirl December 3, 2017 (6:06 pm)

    Do you mean Dec 4th?

  • J Lardizabal December 3, 2017 (6:47 pm)

    We lose power in the Arroyos several times each year. So often, that most of our neighborhood has invested in generators. We need relief from Seattle City Light: a permanent solution to repeated outages. 

    • WSB December 3, 2017 (7:54 pm)

      That’s part of why we’re noting even double-digit power outages now, for a record of recurring areas.

    • Lorrie December 4, 2017 (8:29 am)

      There is no relief coming from City Light, just perpetual rate increases.  

  • aa December 3, 2017 (9:44 pm)

    There are several comments / assumptions here about food wasted,  not going out to agencies, am I missing something because  I don’t see any information in this report about loss of food..  Do you know that TJ’s didn’t put a call out to offer donations?  There are several  TJ’s in the area, maybe the perisbles were transferred.  And the crack about how they will raise prices and we are going to take the hit?   So much judgement with no facts to back it up. Why, when faced with a situation with not enough information do we so often assume the worst when there’s just as much chance of a good outcome?  

    • Anonymous December 3, 2017 (11:39 pm)

      I assure prices won’t go up and the community will no way endure any kind of impact from this loss. 

  • Toni Reineke December 3, 2017 (10:22 pm)

     The transformer that is impacting the Arroyos is on the southwest corner of my property. Thank you to Diane for including the comment “highly toxic dangerous leakage from damaged transformer.” I wouldn’t have known that I should avoid the area due to its toxicity.

    This morning I heard what sounded like a truck backing into something and then watched the crew jettison some outer clothing from the bucket they use to reach higher spots (called a cherry picker?). They then placed a traffic cone at the site and then left for the day. They came back about 8:30 and at 10:20 are still working.

    I hope they get power restored soon for my Arroyo neighbors! 


  • Question Authority December 4, 2017 (8:51 am)

    All the comments about highly toxic dangerous leakage are over exaggerating and causing unnecessary fervor and worry.  Due to advances in technology and the laws regarding components out in public those devices are filled with mineral oil “like you rub all over yourself.”  Don’t drink it, but don’t go shrieking in horror either as your home has worse products you clean with.  And, not every component is on the shelf just like when your car needs a part and it will come in tomorrow from out of town.  One more, the Arroyo’s are a wind swept coastal enclave subjected to above normal wind speed, hence your system takes a beating.

  • Jort December 4, 2017 (9:50 am)

    It is a real shame that one person’s poor decision making, coupled with a tool that allows them to do extensive damage, caused this to happen. It is my great hope that this person will never sit behind the wheel of a vehicle ever again in their lifetime.

    • WSB December 4, 2017 (9:55 am)

      Meantime, regarding the Trader Joe’s outage, followup to come as fast as I can write it but I have spoken to City Light.
      -Their repairs were done by Saturday night. Some equipment owned by TJ’s was also damaged and that’s what they’re waiting on before reconnecting.
      -There were NO PCB’S in the transformer – it’s newer and contains only “vegetable oil.”

      Store still closed as of when we went by a short time ago. – TR

      • Toni Reineke December 4, 2017 (10:56 am)

        Yay for vegetable oil! Thanks for the reassurance, WSB!


  • L December 4, 2017 (10:28 am)

    > One more, the Arroyo’s are a wind swept coastal enclave subjected to above normal wind speed, hence your system takes a beating.

    That must be some ferocious wind to knock out the Arroyos’ underground wiring…

    • Toni Reineke December 4, 2017 (10:57 am)

      The transformer they’re working on is above-ground, carried on a telephone pole.

  • Lon December 4, 2017 (2:32 pm)

    Scott Thomsen, spokesperson for Seattle City Light, was kind enough to quickly answer some questions about the Arroyos infrastructure situation by email.

    “Seattle City Light has been working to improve the reliability of electricity service in the Arroyo Beach area. In 2010, we used a process called cable injection to extend the life of underground power lines in your neighborhood. Some of the lines had deteriorated so much that we could not use the silicone injection process and they were placed on a list for replacement. That project has been developed and is expected to start construction in the first quarter of 2018. It will take a year to complete all of the cable replacements. Part of the reason the project will take so long is that the old cable was buried directly into the ground. Modern practice is to use conduit and duct banks to protect the underground cables from moisture and acidic soils. We will have to build and install all of those since none currently exist for this area.


    In the meantime, we are working to restore service to your home. Crews have already replaced three transformers and several connectors called J-boxes that had failed. More work is still needed. A fresh crew was brought on to continue that work.


    We recognize that any outage is an inconvenience. This outage has taken much longer to fix than we would have liked. We apologize for the delay and appreciate your patience while the crews continue their work to get you back in service.


    Scott Thomsen

    Seattle City Light”

  • I'mcoveredinbees December 4, 2017 (7:57 pm)

    I just want to thank Trader Joe’s for your awesomeness in all areas. Wish you all the best getting open and restocked!

    Also want to thank SCL. Lots of people slagging in them in these comments but these people work hard! They’re always out IN the storms doing everything they can and I am always impressed with how quickly they work. Thanks, SCL!

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