UPDATE: Tree cuts power to 14,000+ West Seattle, White Center, South Park homes, businesses, schools

12:43 PM: Thanks for all the tips! Power’s out for many – we have reports from High Point to White Center so far – South Park too. Seattle City Light maps more than 14.000 homes and businesses out in the early going.

12:54 PM: The total is holding steady at 14,000+. We were spared here at HQ in Upper Fauntleroy – just a flicker – but our server is running slow under the traffic spike; we’re also updating Twitter. Just heard on the scanner that this is believed to have been caused by a tree being cut and hitting wires in the 6700 block of 25th SW.

1:08 PM: Obviously with such a wide area out, there are businesses and schools out (please let us know, or comment below, if you have any specifics) – also traffic signals, so if you are out on the road, please treat those as all-way stops.

1:21 PM: Our standard power-outage reminder – though SCL’s map has an estimated restoration time, those times, as we’ve learned over 15+ years of covering outages (and also hearing directly from the utility), are NOT based in any specifics an generally are way off – restoration could happen a lot sooner or a lot later, so don’t base any decisionmaking on the estimate. Meantime, NO word so far of any early dismissals at affected schools.

1:36 PM: Commenter says Southwest and South Park library branches are closed because of the outage. … SCL now confirms the tree report and says crews are on their way.

1:47 PM: Other closures include Southwest Pool. … More on the cause, from SCL’s Jenn Strang: “A tree took down two feeders, which resulted in a large number of customers affected. City Light anticipates that we will be able to get the majority restored early this afternoon but there may be a smaller group of customers that will be out for a longer period of time.”

1:57 PM: South Park is back on (thanks to commenter Lesley for that news) – the SCL map shows that lowers the total of customers currently affected to about 13,000. (Added, commenter says South Park Library has reopened.)

2:06 PM: More power just restored, per texter and commenters in High Point and elsewhere. (Added) Map shows 9,000 still out. Here’s the updated SCL map:

Basically, most of the north half of the original outage zone is back on. Commenters note that’s brought some businesses and schools back on line, too.

2:20 PM: And as commenters are noting, even more are back on – now down to fewer than 400 customers still out.

3:07 PM: Texter sent this photo of the downed-tree scene:

Those who are still out are mostly in proximity to the scene.

3:14 PM: Southwest Pool has confirmed it too has reopened.

5:59 PM: SCL says everyone has their power back.

124 Replies to "UPDATE: Tree cuts power to 14,000+ West Seattle, White Center, South Park homes, businesses, schools"

  • Lesley May 5, 2022 (12:45 pm)

    South park too

    • WSB May 5, 2022 (12:52 pm)

      Added that as soon as the map came up. Thanks.

      • Lesley May 5, 2022 (1:39 pm)

        Just came back on in south park. 14th and director

        • WSB May 5, 2022 (1:57 pm)

          Thank you!

  • D Pilon May 5, 2022 (12:46 pm)

    It’s out in Arbor Heights

  • West Seattle Mad Sci Guy May 5, 2022 (12:48 pm)

    Agave Cocina had a lot of lights flickering. Then the internet on my phone and their internet went down. Their internet came back but my phone still is down.

  • Jeff B May 5, 2022 (12:50 pm)

    Power out on 3900 block of SW 107th St – SCL’s outage map isn’t including SW 107th St currently.

  • Robert J Schmidt May 5, 2022 (12:50 pm)

    A glitch at 26th and 112th. All’s good now.

  • WSlifer May 5, 2022 (12:50 pm)

    Out in Fauntlee Hills.

  • Riomama May 5, 2022 (12:55 pm)

    Out by Westwood. 

  • wlcg06 May 5, 2022 (12:57 pm)

    WSB or others: Any explanation as to what happened? Thanks

  • n7oep May 5, 2022 (12:59 pm)

    Just heard on SPD radio about tree/wires down 6700 Blk 25 SW which might be the cause of the outage. Someone cutting down a tree. That’s just south of the main substation so could explain the sizable outage.

    • WSB May 5, 2022 (1:05 pm)

      Yes, I already have that added above. Thanks.

  • EB May 5, 2022 (12:59 pm)

    @26th ave sw/juneau; heard a series of loud bangs accompanied by shaking overhead wires.

    • Katrina May 5, 2022 (1:08 pm)

      Huh. Sounds like the nearby transformer might have blown. I’m down the street  from you. Strange that our power hasn’t been affected, but it often isn’t. 

  • Julianne Jaz May 5, 2022 (1:01 pm)

    Power’s out here at SW Trenton and 18th…  

  • Kersti Elisabeth Muul May 5, 2022 (1:02 pm)

    Power outage extends on 35th Avenue terminating at Southwest thistle

  • Sukie May 5, 2022 (1:03 pm)

    Our block on Austin is not on the outage map but I’ve called City Lights to confirm we’re out too.

  • East Coast Cynic May 5, 2022 (1:06 pm)

    Out in Westwood too:(

  • Sylvan Way Res May 5, 2022 (1:10 pm)

    Makes sense. I heard the chainsaw being used for about 15 minutes then about 4 loud “booms”

  • Susan May 5, 2022 (1:10 pm)

    I live on 25th and heard the chainsaw followed by large booms and lights flickering. I hope persons cutting the tree( s) were authorized and not campers in the woods.

    • Matthew May 5, 2022 (1:22 pm)

      I agree, Seattle has to much infrastructure to be cutting random trees

    • anonyme May 5, 2022 (2:32 pm)

      I’m seeing numerous trees being cut illegally (too large, too many, being cut by fly-by-night ‘tree trimmers’ without training – or permits).  When I report to the city there is no response.  Surprise, surprise – yet another illegal activity in Seattle with NO enforcement.

  • WS Res May 5, 2022 (1:12 pm)

    Wild. Doing OK in the 5000 block of 40th.

    • Buck May 5, 2022 (1:23 pm)

      Still out at Cloverdale business park, how long will it take to fix?

  • Seanfancy May 5, 2022 (1:13 pm)

    Soooo many boom boom booms!!!

  • Danny May 5, 2022 (1:16 pm)

    I live very close to where the trees were cut down.

    I had just stuck my head out the door, because it sounded like somebody was felling trees dangerously and felt/heard one crack and hit the ground hard.

    Right as I thought “wow these guys are going to hurt someone” they hit the power line and I watched all the transformers on my street blow.

    (Note that I couldn’t see the trees, just heard it, but sounded very close)

  • Sun May 5, 2022 (1:16 pm)

    People are stopping when they don’t have a stop sign. Doing ok treating controlled intersections as 4 way stop.

  • Jesus May 5, 2022 (1:16 pm)

    There’s no power in chife sealth international high school

  • Lola May 5, 2022 (1:17 pm)

    A tree on the 6700 block on 25th fell on power lines. 

    • WSB May 5, 2022 (1:19 pm)

      As noted above. It was apparently being cut.

  • Gretchen May 5, 2022 (1:18 pm)

    23rd & Delridge no power. I heard the chainsaws going for awhile too and then extremely loud explosions.  

  • AH Neighbor May 5, 2022 (1:19 pm)

    Arbor Heights Elementary is out,  but texted that they’ll still be there until 2:25 as normal.  Plenty of light with all the windows! 

    • WSB May 5, 2022 (1:20 pm)

      Thank you!

    • AH Neighbor too May 5, 2022 (2:06 pm)

      Arbor Heights Elem is still running accordingly, but it has affected the YMCA after school care so they are cancelled for today. YMCA after school care kiddos are to be picked up at the cafeteria asap.

  • Marianne White May 5, 2022 (1:19 pm)

    Power is out all along 16th Ave SW in White Center, and all businesses that we can see have no power. Hope we can be up and running soon. We are closed until power comes back on. Marianne at Beer Star

  • Franci May 5, 2022 (1:19 pm)

    Clear View Eye is out. There are a whole lot of drivers to be educated on how to treat intersections with signals that are out. Folks if you don’t know they should be treated like 4 way stops.

  • RLV May 5, 2022 (1:21 pm)

    There were also flickers here in North Admiral around the same time; it looks like there’s a smaller bubble of folks without power on California across from Hiawatha Playfield.

    • WSB May 5, 2022 (1:33 pm)

      That map entry has a much-earlier start time so I don’t believe it’s related.

    • Olivia May 5, 2022 (2:52 pm)

      Power out in that area due to a planned outage. Work is being done in the alley behind Freshy’s. Think this may be related to power for the new apartment building. Had a notice on apartment doors above Freshy’s earlier in the week. 

      • Chris May 5, 2022 (6:38 pm)

        Any word on the internet situation here? Power’s back but my internet is out

        • Olivia May 5, 2022 (8:09 pm)

          Glad I am not the only one. Keep checking internet if it is working. It is not

  • Mrs. Kravitz May 5, 2022 (1:31 pm)

    FYI – High Point, Delridge, and West Seattle (Admiral) branch libraries DO have power. Southwest and South Park are closed due to the outage as of 1:30 p.m.

    • WSB May 5, 2022 (1:33 pm)

      Thank you!

    • Mrs. Kravitz May 5, 2022 (2:05 pm)

      South Park has reopened. 

  • Erin May 5, 2022 (1:44 pm)

    Roxhill power is out but plenty of light thanks to their huge windows. Out at 2:25 as normal. 

  • Pk May 5, 2022 (1:45 pm)

    Is the lumberjack going to reimburse all the businesses for loss and those who work from home that will lose income?  Super irresponsible. 

    • HelperMojo May 5, 2022 (2:00 pm)

      same question here. this was caused by their negligence. not looking forward to going home to a fridge/freezer full of spoiled food, either. 

      • westwood May 5, 2022 (2:23 pm)

        Power was out for less than two hours. Your food is fine. <insert eye roll>

        • HelperMojo May 5, 2022 (2:50 pm)

          We had no idea how long it would be out, and it’s a valid concern. <insert even bigger eye roll at your rudeness> 

    • CH May 5, 2022 (2:00 pm)


      • CH May 5, 2022 (3:40 pm)

        And thanks for posting the CDC food safety link. Always good to refer to during these outages.

    • Shawna May 5, 2022 (2:57 pm)

      I hope he gets a huge ticket

      • James May 6, 2022 (9:58 am)

        Weird to wish on someone

        • Oh Seattle May 6, 2022 (12:00 pm)

          Really?  I think it’s completely reasonable to hope that someone who knocked out power to 14,000 homes (which are also workplaces now) and businesses is punished for what sounds like willful negligence.  

          • Auntie May 6, 2022 (12:50 pm)

            Not to mention the destruction he did with his heavy equipment to the greenbelt, barging up in there and clearing a path to the tree. I hope he gets what he deserves.

  • jamesA May 5, 2022 (1:49 pm)

    endolyne joes is on and open

  • Damian Grava May 5, 2022 (1:49 pm)

    Pottery wheels still powerless at Westwood Art Studio. 

  • Katie May 5, 2022 (1:49 pm)

    Power is out all along 17th  Ave SW in White Center, and all businesses that we can see have no power. Hope we can be up and running soon

  • Ws prayers May 5, 2022 (1:52 pm)

    Power still out does anyone know when it might be restored

    • WSB May 5, 2022 (1:55 pm)

      SCL just updated us but can’t say more than most should be back “this afternoon.”

  • PK May 5, 2022 (1:58 pm)

    Is the lumberjack going to reimburse the loss of income to businesses and those who work from home? So irresponsible.

  • manager@buriencoworking.com May 5, 2022 (2:00 pm)

    PSA Burien Coworking has still spots open for day workers.  206.712.1414

  • Cathy May 5, 2022 (2:01 pm)

    SSC still had power when I left at 1pm though most of the traffic lights were out as I drove home. Stopped at SW Library and they were hand-checking books out to patrons because they had no power. Hooray for Librarians! Got home to Arbor Heights and the power was off there as well. It’s still off as of this posting. 

  • trickycoolj May 5, 2022 (2:05 pm)

    High Point is back on! (morgan/Sylvan)

  • David May 5, 2022 (2:05 pm)

    Power back at 16th/Thistle

  • John May 5, 2022 (2:05 pm)

    West Seattle Target is open

  • David May 5, 2022 (2:05 pm)

    Power is back in Sunrise Heights.

  • AP May 5, 2022 (2:06 pm)

    Just came back on for us in High Point

  • KT May 5, 2022 (2:07 pm)

    Using this time to Virtual Jazz Fest on wwoz.org out of New Orleans…beats working!Second lining at our house!

  • Paul Dean May 5, 2022 (2:08 pm)

    Power is back at Chief Sealth. 

  • Seattlephotographer May 5, 2022 (2:08 pm)

    Powers back on at both Denny and sealth

  • amwoodtone May 5, 2022 (2:09 pm)

    Power is restored at 30th & Thistle

  • Maddy May 5, 2022 (2:10 pm)

    Power back on in Arbour heights 42nd and 100th

  • Jeff B May 5, 2022 (2:10 pm)

    Power just came back in Arbor Heights (3900 block of 107th)

  • Robert May 5, 2022 (2:10 pm)

    Power just came back on at Holden and delridge

  • JCW May 5, 2022 (2:10 pm)

    Just came back near 26th and Roxbury. 

  • Steph May 5, 2022 (2:11 pm)

    Power just came back on at Delridge and Holden!

  • Bob May 5, 2022 (2:11 pm)

    power is back on in Arbor Heights        

  • Bob May 5, 2022 (2:12 pm)

    power is back on!!! in Arbor Heights :)

  • Miles May 5, 2022 (2:12 pm)

    Power back at 106th and marine view

  • miws May 5, 2022 (2:12 pm)

    2:10 pm Back on in 9000 block of 16th SW! —Mike

  • M.B. May 5, 2022 (2:16 pm)

    The power just came back in WC near the Taco Bell.I admit, the frequency of power outages here really makes me question the government’s push to ban natural gas in New construction.

    • westwood May 5, 2022 (2:25 pm)

      Natural gas furnaces, ovens and HWH’s do not function without electricity.  Just sayin’.

      • Colonel Mustard's Wrench May 5, 2022 (3:18 pm)

        There are likely good intentions when suggesting restrictions of gas appliances in new construction. 
        However, if you don’t have some gas appliances, you “jump” to the higher tier of rates on your kilowatt hour consumption.  Your electric bill will be substantially higher with all electric than if you had some gas appliances. The combined gas and electric bills would be lower with the diversification than the all electric monthly bill.
        My gas cooktop can be lit with a match and/or aim’nflame. 
        My gas hot water tank does not require electricity. 
        And if there was a substantially long outage in the winter, I could hook my gas furnace up to a generator to power the blower fan and thermostat.
        Just sayin’.

      • ddd May 5, 2022 (4:24 pm)

        It depends on the gas appliance. Some require electricity for the gas ignitor (or the blower in a forced-air furnace) but some use a standing pilot light and do not require any kind of electric hookup. This is completely safe; the pilot light works in conjunction with a thermocouple that will shut off the gas if the pilot goes out.

        I used to live in a house that had a wall furnace. (Like this, although mine was a different brand: https://www.homedepot.com/p/Williams-Monterey-Top-Vent-Wall-Heater-50-000-BTUH-70-AFUE-Natural-Gas-5009622A/311801074) Having a heat source that didn’t need electricity was *really* nice when the power was out for over a week back in Dec 2006!

  • Cass May 5, 2022 (2:16 pm)

    Power is back in N. Arbor Heights now.

  • mem May 5, 2022 (2:17 pm)

    Back on 18th and Trenton

  • heyalki May 5, 2022 (2:18 pm)

    Back on in arbor Heights 106th&40th

  • Andy May 5, 2022 (2:19 pm)

    Power back on 30th/100th

  • Anonymouse May 5, 2022 (2:22 pm)

    Yay power’s back!

    As an aside, it’s crazy how much noise all the appliances and technology make until the power goes off and everything is completely silent until they come back on again and it’s LOUD. Me and the husband jumped and shrieked.

    Also also, make sure your computers/TV/etc are unplugged when this happens or there’s a small chance they may not get through a power outage very well.

  • Sandra P. May 5, 2022 (2:26 pm)

    Power came on in the 27th Ave SW block of Westwood Village around 2:10 PM. Went off around 12:00PM.

  • Jamie May 5, 2022 (2:38 pm)

    No power out but Comcast internet has been out a couple hours on Alaska & California 

  • Judy Mctaggart May 5, 2022 (2:44 pm)

    Thank  you Seattle City Light for restoring our power so quickly! 

    • Auntie May 5, 2022 (6:19 pm)

      We are near the scene of the source of the outage and didn’t get power back on until 5:30! City Light came out about 1/2 hour after the outage began, took a quick look at the tree on the line, then left. Didn’t come back for another 2 hours to remove the tree. No “thank you Seattle City Light” from us! Five hours without power – fooey!

      • Colonel Mustard's Wrench May 5, 2022 (7:59 pm)

        Seattle City Light Crew Chiefs and Operators have to coordinate with “Mission Control” to make sure feeders are dead ended and grounded before restoration can begin.  26,000 volts is no joke. 
        They have to isolate banks of the distribution and re-energize portions that they have clearance for, in order to restore safely without frying fellow crew. 
        The tree removal can’t even begin until that area has been isolated and locked out from power.   
        The size of the outage complicates the protocols.
        Unless you have worked for an electrical utility, it is hard to know and understand the details to work this safely.
        “Mission Control” has the global view on this and calls the shots from a building in another part of the city. 
        They have their safety protocols to assure that the crew can all live to be able to return to work the next day.

  • StopCuttingDownTrees May 5, 2022 (3:12 pm)

    Most likely not related, but I saw a large crew of City Light workers with several trucks working on a down line directly in front of the Boeing headquarters during the outage.

  • Dona S May 5, 2022 (3:14 pm)

    Power still out on Delridge Way SW. Willow Court Apartments.

  • J May 5, 2022 (3:23 pm)

    Funny. Our lights flickered twice at that time – enough to shutdown/restart my modem – in North Admiral. Could that be connected so far away? 

    • WSB May 5, 2022 (3:40 pm)

      Yes, it could. I’d say a majority of the outages we cover were preceded by a flicker here, whether we subsequently lose power or not, even if it’s, say, at the other end of the peninsula. (So much so that if the power flickers here, I stop everything and start refreshing the SCL map waiting for word of an outage if someone doesn’t text immediately.) The system is interconnected in many ways …

  • Carlye May 5, 2022 (3:24 pm)

    Signal at 16th/Holden is blinking red. Traffic is slow-going.

  • Greg May 5, 2022 (4:25 pm)

    Alongside Longfellow creek, power went on at 4:00 long enough to blow another transformer, boom spilt second later, still out

  • randomsoupsofnothingness May 5, 2022 (4:44 pm)

    Power still out on Delridge Way SW near Louisa Boren elementary.

  • one tree May 5, 2022 (4:47 pm)

    What kind of tree was cut down? Was that a Willow?

    • Auntie May 5, 2022 (6:29 pm)

      Alder. It was knocked down by another tree that was being cut down by a lumberjack. I will not give him the credit for being an arborist – very sloppy work.

  • Danny May 5, 2022 (5:00 pm)

    Power is back near 25th!

  • ArborRes May 5, 2022 (5:43 pm)

    I realize the facts are still being gathered, but WSB, will there be any investigation of the tree cutter(s)?  It would be instructive to know what the rules are re: cutting around power lines.  Forgive any ignorance, but does the tree cutter need to be licensed?  Who is liable — the homeowner who hired this person, assuming it was not the homeowner themselves, and/or the tree cutter? Who would investigate this — Seattle City Light? Professional arborists (if that’s the correct term) are very expensive (like over $1,000 to take down a single tree, as I have learned), so perhaps this individual was trying to cut corners and save money (not making excuses).  Also, does the City have any responsibility to trim trees as part of routine maintenance of power lines or is that entirely the responsibility of the homeowner?

    • WSB May 5, 2022 (6:28 pm)

      I already have that question out and will continue to nag for an answer. The person who sent the photo said it was someone operating heavy equipment, so apparently this wasn’t just some rogue person in the woods with a chainsaw …

      • ArborRes May 5, 2022 (10:03 pm)

        Thank you, WSB.  Always appreciate your dogged reporting.

    • Auntie May 5, 2022 (7:32 pm)

      The contractor/lumberjack/whatever you want to call him also drove a bulldozer/frontloader up into the greenbelt to access the tree. He smashed down, pulverized a whole section of native growth and pushed mud into a small creek running there. I would think SDCI or Parks would want him to pay for this damage in some way. Not to mention the whole power outage business. He refused to give neighbors his name when asked and was quite belligerent. Both he and his worker/assistant took off pretty quickly after the incident.

      • flimflam May 6, 2022 (6:08 am)

        wow – real class act. Galling to say the least.

      • BlairJ May 6, 2022 (11:33 am)

        Auntie,I hope one of the people who spoke with the equipment operator has filed a police report.

    • anonyme May 6, 2022 (6:38 am)

      Any cutting near a power line must be done by a licensed, city-approved arborist, and a permit is required.   The tree cutter is usually liable for damages as they are (presumably) required to know the law.  This becomes problematic as so many of these ‘tree trimmers’ are unlicensed and eschew permits of any kind.  In some cases, the homeowner might be considered liable as well, but I’m not as familiar with those legal details.  There are some added questions in this case, as it sounds like public property was also destroyed, and the tree itself may not have been on private property.  

  • rob May 5, 2022 (8:15 pm)

     another ? to ask would be are theses parties required to pay for any lost revenue to stores or bars ?

  • WS resident May 5, 2022 (10:35 pm)

    Power had been back on for a while but CenturyLink internet is still down for us. Anybody else?

  • smartypants May 5, 2022 (10:36 pm)

    https://www.electrocuted.com/2021/10/19/why-arent-power-lines-underground/Countries with underground power lines include Germany and the Netherlands. It is significant that these countries do not experience the same risk of power outages and electricity-related injuries and death due to power line dangers that countries such as the U.S. with above-ground power lines do.”

    • Colonel Mustard's Wrench May 5, 2022 (11:44 pm)

      Seattle City Light is a publicly owned utility. 
      Who do you think gets to pay this exorbitant cost to underground the power ? 
      The answer is you and I get to pay. 
      Any guesses as to how much a kilowatt hour of power will cost to cover the labor and materials to underground the entire city ? 
      Perhaps you should enquire to see if Mr Bezos is feeling generous and if he would like to pick up the tab.

      • Colonel Mustard's Wrench May 6, 2022 (6:53 am)

        Want your neighborhood undergrounded ? 
        Call Seattle City Light and ask to speak to the supervisor in charge of voluntary undergrounding. 
        Ask them the ballpark price to underground power for ONE BLOCK of residences. 

        Be sure to be sitting down when they give you the numbers.

        • waikikigirl May 6, 2022 (8:04 am)

          And having your power “underground” doesn’t mean you’re safe from power outages…just ask my Mom in Law how many she’s had these past few years! She just had an outage a couple of days ago.

    • Pdiddy May 6, 2022 (3:04 pm)

      Not to mention all the wildfires that buried power lines would have avoided. Its funny now that you mention it but when I drive through Poland I dont really recall seeing many powerlines either. My German buddy insists its stupid not to bury them and he is right IMO.

    • k May 6, 2022 (3:29 pm)

      You guys are comparing countries which are not in seismically active areas, are generally flatter, and have completely different soil structures to Seattle.  The challenges here would be completely different, and in many parts of the city, prohibitively expensive to both put underground, and maintain once they’re there due to the accommodations that would need to be made for local terrain.

  • InSouthDelridge May 6, 2022 (10:47 am)

    Centurylink is still out at my house near Delridge/Cloverdale. Customer service is saying eta for restoration is 9pm tonight. I cannot get an actual person on the phone to confirm.

  • WS resident May 6, 2022 (9:04 pm)

    Same here at Delridge and Thistle. 30 hours and counting. 24 more hours to go says CLs website. I’m getting my Comcast new subsriber kit in the mail tomorrow. This isn’t OK at all with CL and zero acknowledgement and having to dig through their website to find the info. Done with them

Sorry, comment time is over.