FOLLOWUP: About those weekend power problems

Two weekend power problems called for a little more followup with Seattle City Light, and today we got responses. First – the “cable failure” blamed for Saturday afternoon’s outage, which at its peak took 3,760 homes and businesses out of power, from Westwood to White Center. Some asked if that might have resulted from a problem such as theft or a collision. No, it was spontaneous, says SCL spokesperson Julie Moore, adding it was a “large primary underground cable” that crews were able to isolate and fix.

Then on Sunday morning, around 7:45 am, a power “flicker” affected a wide area of West Seattle. It was relatively brief, and unlike many “flickers,” no longer-running outage ensued, so we didn’t report on it, but we did ask Moore about it too. She says it “was caused by a breaker, which protects the rest of the line from extra voltage. They are intentionally sensitive and can cause electricity to blink when they are triggered and acting as intended.”

7 Replies to "FOLLOWUP: About those weekend power problems"

  • Peter S. December 15, 2020 (6:07 pm)

    “Spontaneous” ??  That’s a PC way of saying inadequately maintained, not replaced/upgraded as scheduled/needed, or premature failure.  On the whole, I think SCL does an admirable job and I’m beyond grateful for the men and women who restore our power in inclement weather, but I don’t think power cables autonomously decide to call it a day:



    • a result of a sudden impulse and without premeditation:
    • WSB December 16, 2020 (5:39 am)

      “Spontaneous” was my word, not theirs (that’s why it’s not inside quote marks). Seemed appropriate at the time.

  • cjboffoli December 15, 2020 (7:51 pm)

    Ah. So that’s what happened on Sunday morning! I woke to find my Internet out and half of the ground fault/arc fault breakers in my electrical panel tripped. My security system actually logged the event as being at 7:52am.

  • Rebecca December 16, 2020 (7:01 am)

    ahhhh, sunday’s flicker explains why the computer system at my business completely failed. this is the third time this year alone that an event like this has severely mangled the power system! grrr

  • Patrick W December 16, 2020 (9:47 am)

    My 220 watt power is out still, it went out last night. I’ve never lost half my power before. 

    • Gary December 16, 2020 (12:29 pm)

      Call City Light and have them check the wires going into your house.

  • Lola December 16, 2020 (9:57 am)

    The one on Sunday Morning our Power blinked and the dryer stopped.  My husband thought the dryer was going out but he checked the breaker all was fine.  He unplugged pulled the dryer out, cleaned behind it with the vacume and cleaned the filter and hose and it started working again.  He thought maybe a power surge, but one chore checked off the list of cleaning behind the dryer. 

Sorry, comment time is over.