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.