FOLLOWUP: Here’s how Seattle City Light explains Sunday’s power outages

As promised, we asked Seattle City Light today for details on what caused Sunday’s outages affecting more than 3,200 homes and businesses in West Seattle, from North Delridge to Harbor Avenue. First, to recap, as reported here yesterday afternoon/evening – 107 customers went out at 11:30 am, another 3,100 at 2 pm. Most of the second group had power back about an hour later, while for the rest, it took later. Here’s how SCL spokesperson Julie Moore explains it:

We saw a few pole fires yesterday, including the two that caused the outages in West Seattle. After a dry period, when there is a mist as opposed to a sustained rain, it is not uncommon for insulators to track (leak electrical current), which can cause a fire. The first one was a pole at 2833 SW Yancy St. This was on a lateral line that only impacted those customers fed from that line. The second one was a pole at 3022 SW Bradford St. For this one, we needed to shut down the feeder that feeds the lateral, which is why it initially impacted a greater number of customers. We were able to restore the bulk of the customers (all but 455 of the 3,000+) pretty quickly through switching. The rest were restored once we completed repairs.

The two pole-fire locations are just a few blocks apart.

5 Replies to "FOLLOWUP: Here's how Seattle City Light explains Sunday's power outages"

  • Mj September 13, 2021 (6:41 pm)

    A lot of people got out for a walk during the outage

  • 1994 September 13, 2021 (7:31 pm)

    With so many recent power outages I wonder if we should be concerned for the winter season?

    • waikikigirl September 13, 2021 (7:47 pm)

      1994 –  my thoughts exactly. After every power outage I say to my husband “weren’t we going to get a generator”? 

    • Rod September 14, 2021 (6:53 am)

      We should be concerned for the future!  I hope that SCL has a “shovel-ready” infrastructure plan in anticipation of federal assistance….do they?

    • Jay September 14, 2021 (9:45 am)

      It seems like there are fewer these days. I think in 2017-2019 we had multiple outages per month. In 2018 I had three big 3D prints ruined by outages in just one month. These days it seems like power goes out once every several months and only 1-3 times in a year instead of all the time. This is in North Admiral.

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