West Seattle, Washington
Two notes about the aftermath of the windstorm that hit early this morning:
POWER-RESTORATION WORK CONTINUES: After almost 22 hours without electricity, hundreds on Harbor Avenue SW are back online as of about half an hour ago. They were working in two spots – California/Harbor (photo above) and across from the entrance to Jack Block Park – when we went through the area just after 10 pm. That was the biggest remaining pocket but hundreds are still out in eastern West Seattle, primarily parts of Puget Ridge, and as a result:
LATE START FOR SOUTH SEATTLE COLLEGE’S MAIN CAMPUS ON MONDAY: As announced tonight:
Due to a power outage, South Seattle College (West Seattle campus only) will have a delayed start until 10 a.m. on Monday, Jan. 7. All classes starting before 10 a.m. are cancelled.
Any other changes, cancellations, delays – please let us know so we can report them too.
MONDAY P.S. As reported here, the college is now closed all day.
Thanks to the proud parents who were first to share the news: The West Seattle High School Cheer Team has qualified for state competition for the first time ever. Head coach Jasmyne Agregado – who shared the photos and gave us permission to publish them – says the team got first place in both its divisions. She adds, “Not only is a qualification for State an amazing accomplishment in itself, but to make a great accomplishment even greater, our athletes are the second-highest-scoring team this year in our division!” That’s the Non-Tumbling Co-ed division, the coach explains.
The state competition is February 2nd in Battle Ground. 20 athletes are currently on the WSHS Cheer Team; this is the third year Agregado has led the team, and the second year for co-coach Nadine Nguyen.
Family and friends will gather next Saturday (January 12th) to remember James “Jim” Schultz. Here’s the announcement:
James was born April 4, 1950 in Seattle, passed away October 28, 2018.
He is survived by his wife Cindy, son Harley, stepsons John and Eric, Eric’s wife Robin, and grandchildren Justin, Draeven, Lydia, Charlotte, and Colton, as well as his brothers John, Norman and his wife Trina, Jeffrey, sister Virginia, nephews Anthony and Aaron, and niece Ashley. He will be greatly missed by His family and friends.
There is a celebration of life on January 12th, 2019, at the Eagles in White Center, 10452 15th Ave. SW, from 2 pm to 6 pm.
(WSB publishes West Seattle obituaries by request, free of charge. Please e-mail the text, and a photo if available, to firstname.lastname@example.org)
ORIGINAL REPORT, 6:03 PM SUNDAY: This weekend we’ve heard from several readers pointing out that the Beach Drive speed humps south of Emma Schmitz Memorial Overlook have been removed, and wondering if they’ll be replaced. The signage is now covered.
Apparently nearby residents were not notified, as some of them are among the readers who’ve contacted us. We’ll be asking SDOT first thing tomorrow, but in the meantime, we’re mentioning it so area drivers/riders are aware and in case someone out there does know what the removal is all about. These speed humps date back to the ’00s and are on a straightaway section that was particularly popular with street racers; Beach Drive then got another set, near Constellation Park, just two years ago.
UPDATE, 12:42 PM MONDAY: SDOT spokesperson Dawn Schellenberg tells WSB the speed humps WILL be replaced, but not for a while:
The speed humps were damaged, and we removed them so that they wouldn’t be a hazard. Multiple maintenance visits had been made and they’d reached the point where we could no longer maintain them. We anticipate replacing them with permanent (asphalt) humps this summer in the same spot and generally the same configuration.
1:53 PM: That’s the reason Harbor Avenue SW is closed by Jack Block Park – as we first reported in a 3:33 am update during our overnight storm coverage, the wind (gusting up to 60 mph) took down a pole and wires. Bicycles and pedestrians were being allowed through when we walked in for the photo a bit earlier. The 300+ Seattle City Light customers out in that area represent the largest outage remaining on the map for West Seattle, but SCL still has more than 9,000 customers out in more than 100 separate outages around its service area, so its crews have a lot of work ahead. Some restoration work might temporarily lead to new outages, SCL explains (which has happened in parts of unincorporated North Highline, including North Shorewood, as crews work on a broken pole that handles three “feeders”).
5:17 PM: More than 500 customers are still out in West Seattle, including the 300+ in the Harbor vicinity, one of 100+ different outages remaining on the SCL map.
8:56 PM: New outage reported in Admiral area; we flickered in Fauntleroy.
11:42 AM: Thanks to everyone who texted/e-mailed about this: Storm debris aren’t all that people are cleaning up this morning. Someone littered multiple West Seattle neighborhoods overnight with flyers like that one, in plastic bags with small rocks, promoting a white-nationalist group called Patriot Front. So far, we’ve received notes and photos (including the one above) from people in the Alki area and in neighborhoods west and northeast of The Junction. One finder reported it to SPD and tells WSB that police were coming to pick up the bagged flyers and had already responded to at least one other report, with a plan to consolidate the reports in one case. Though we haven’t heard of this group circulating its materials in West Seattle before (at least one other has), web searches show it’s turned up in other Puget Sound communities including Bellevue, as well as other states, such as Texas, where the group is reported to be based, with its founder having been cited there last year for breaking a postering law. The group’s website also lists “actions” such as having vandalized an anti-hate billboard in Tacoma.
1:35 PM: We’ve since heard from multiple sources that this was done last night in Edmonds, too.
11:35 AM MONDAY: SPD confirms the investigation and has just posted about this on SPD Blotter. The post says tips can be called in to SPD’s Bias Crimes Unit at 206-684-5550.
11:33 AM: If you’ve seen the big Seattle Fire response headed to Harbor Island, it’s for a rescue operation at Vigor Shipyard. SFD reports “a worker who was doing maintenance on a tank in the dry dock … fell in.” Per scanner, the fall was about 12 feet. The worker is reported to have minor injuries but access is difficult because there’s only a small hatch for accessing where the worker fell, so SFD is developing an extrication plan.
11:50 AM: Radio communication indicates the worker – described as in stable condition – has been reached and is about to be lifted out for treatment.
No calendar-highlights list today because of the overnight windstorm, but if you check the calendar itself, you’ll see a few events including this – the West Seattle Rainbow Girls‘ annual Christmas tree recycling event at the Masonic Center in The Junction. We just went over to be sure the storm hadn’t changed their plans and confirmed they ARE there in the parking lot (40th/Edmunds), taking trees by donation until 1 pm (that’s an earlier cutoff time than announced) – that’s Laurel in our photo. Unlike curbside recycling, you don’t have to cut your tree into sections to drop it off.
12:30 AM: The National Weather Service says the gusts predicted in its High Wind Warning alert for our area are definitely on the way within the next few hours. They’ve already kicked up on the coast. We’ll be on watch as always; updates to come.
1:40 AM: It’s here. “Things are escalating quickly,” the NWS confirms.
1:51 AM: First outage reports are in, from Admiral. (update) 3,100+ customers in NE West Seattle – here’s a screengrab of the outage map:
2:05 AM: Also now 400+ further south.
2:15 AM: The NWS reports a 60 mph gust at Sea-Tac. (Its own HQ in North Seattle lost power and is on a generator now.) … Alki is part of another 4,000+ now out. Part of The Junction too. Updated map screengrab:
Remember that while SCL assigns estimated restoration times, those are in essence just guesses. Going on 50,000 customers now out service-area-wide (about 8,000 of those in West Seattle) so it’s going to be a while. Keep your fridge closed to maximize the amount of time what’s in there will be OK. (Other outage-related advice is here.)
2:51 AM: Top gusts so far around the region, including that 60 MPH at Sea-Tac, are listed here. Meantime, a traffic note: A crash on SB 99 just north of the West Seattle Bridge exit had someone pinned in their car so all SB lanes are blocked for a “rescue extrication” response. 2 people are hurt.
3:33 AM: The period of strongest wind was predicted to be “brief” – it’s been about two hours now, and it sounds a little calmer out there, so here’s hoping it’s peaked. Meantime, another traffic note: EM reports in comments that a pole and wires are down on Harbor Avenue SW by Jack Block Park, which is closed there as a result. … West Seattle power outages holding at ~8,000 customers. If you are awake when yours is restored, please let us know, in comments, or by texting our hotline (206-293-6302) – SCL doesn’t have an online public record of outages so reader reports are valuable for our archives; thank you!
4:03 AM: Power progress – part of the first big outage zone is back on; commenter in Luna Park reports restoration, and what was a 3,100+-customer outage including that area has now dropped to 1,900+. Another note: While we’ve focused on West Seattle outages, points south in North Highline/Burien are out too – City Light serves them, so you can check the same map. And if you’re curious about other areas, such as Vashon, the Puget Sound Energy outage map is here. (While PSE only provides gas service in our area, it’s the electric utility for many other communities.)
5:55 AM: Thanks for the updates! More power restored (see comments); now about 5,000 still out. … SFD has a “full response” headed to a house in the 2600 block of 38th SW, but it sounds like they’re downsizing, not a major incident.
6:05 AM: Most units are being dismissed from that call, now described as likely a “light fixture.”
8:28 AM: Now that it’s light, it’s on to storm aftermath. Looks like about 600 customers are still out, scattered around West Seattle, of 22,000+ service-area-wide. No reports of injuries – haven’t heard yet of any major damage in our area, but if you have any info to share, we continue to appreciate reports/tips, in the comments or whatever other way works for you – thank you! … Here’s a Weather Service explanation of why it got so windy, so fast.
11:44 AM: City Light warns that some people “in the south end” might lose power again for a few hours while they work on a complicated repair involving a “broken pole” where three feeder lines converge.