UTILITIES: Outage planned Saturday for pole replacement – plus, what to do if you see a problem pole

That’s part of a notice a resident “south of Solstice Park” shared with us on Wednesday. The notice didn’t go into details about the reason for the “planned outage” so we asked Seattle City Light today. SCL’s Scott Thomsen explained that as the utility continues inspecting poles for potential replacement, several in that area have “moved to the top of the list” and will be replaced on Saturday. He believed the outage would affect “dozens” of customers, all of whom should have been notified directly already.

SIDE NOTE – WHAT IF YOU SEE A PROBLEM POLE? This gives us the opportunity to share informatioon we obtained recently after another reader emailed wondering how to report a leaning pole in his neighborhood. Neither we nor the reader could find the answer on SCL’s website; the reader didn’t think the pole was in imminent danger of falling, so he contacted SCL the next weekday morning. He told us the utility sent out a crew, with a replacement pole installed shortly thereafter. Meantime, we asked SCL’s Julie Moore how to report a pole problem. Her reply:

Throughout the city of Seattle and the utility’s suburban franchise cities, Seattle City Light has a network of more than 90,000 utility poles. These utility poles carry power lines as well as communication lines for other entities (e.g., phone, broadband, and fire department signals). The services carried on the poles vary from neighborhood to neighborhood and street to street. Occasionally, utility pole replacements are necessitated by a variety of reasons, including infrastructure upgrades to add space for new equipment and structural instability from old age, weather, wildlife, and even vehicle-pole collisions.

If you see a utility pole that you believe may potentially be structurally unsound, it can be reported in several ways:

*Call 206-684-3000
*Submit an online service request
*Report through Find It, Fix It mobile app

To assist our crews with finding the correct pole, please include the pole number, which is on a yellow and black tag about six feet up the pole.

If you believe it is an emergency (e.g., the pole has fallen, could fall imminently, or lines are down), call 911.

2 Replies to "UTILITIES: Outage planned Saturday for pole replacement - plus, what to do if you see a problem pole"

  • Kersti Muul May 17, 2019 (4:19 pm)

    Also:Problem poles aren’t just ‘leaners’. Sometimes insect infestation happens. If you notice piles of sawdust at the base of pole, it can indicate structural damage. Old poles often split also.Planned outages ensure faster work for crews, be patient!

  • SKE May 18, 2019 (3:23 am)

    I reported the pole in the front of my apt. building. It very clearly leans and is has numerous huge cracks up and down it. I mean cracks that are 2-3 inches wide. Some of my residents have even mentioned it to me. They responded, to my surprise, quite quickly. Just  a couple of days. Then I got an email stating that the pole is fine and is actually a newer one! Not surprised.  It is very far from being new. So nothing will be done and and no replacement is scheduled. Go figure. . . . 

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