West Seattle, Washington
6:07 PM: Thanks to neighbor John for the tip. In addition to the east Alki pocket that’s still out following the big 3:30 am power outage, there’s an outage at California/Genesee that has left several businesses without power for almost two hours, including Itto’s Tapas, which has closed for the night as a result. John says the outage also has affected Fauntleroy Chiropractic (WSB sponsor), Salon 08, Juniper, and Regina Nails. City Light lists the cause as “equipment failure.”
9:46 PM: This outage is now over, according to the SCL map.
No word yet on the cause.
3:48 AM: Don’t know whether it’s cause/effect/coincidence, but just heard via scanner that there’s a big tree down on California Way near Harbor Ave. Meantime, speaking of roads, remember that if traffic signals are out, that means 4-way stop.
4:15 AM: While we’re waiting, a word of caution – though the SCL map lists “estimated restoration” as 10 am, estimates like that are NOT grounded in anything beyond a guess, so it could be back much sooner … or much later. West Seattle’s last major power outage was on August 13th, 3,600+ customers affected, but to the south. Checking on north West Seattle’s last major outage. (Added: August of last year, a downed tree on Harbor took out 3,000+ customers)
4:41 AM: Longtime WSB contributor Christopher Boffoli checked out the tree scene:
He says police at the scene confirmed it’s related. (Added) Crews are there:
4:54 AM: City Light confirms the tree’s to blame.
5:31 AM: Getting word some power’s back on – Youngstown, near Alki, and 32nd/Genesee. Thanks! (Added: Other areas too – see comments. The SCL map lags up to 15 minutes, so we’ll see in a bit if everyone’s back or if some outage pockets remain.)
5:44 AM: SCL map updated. 80 percent of those who originally lost power have it back, but 1,314 customers are still out.
5:49 AM: Now 1,090 – here’s the updated-again map:
Thanks again for letting us know (text 206-293-6302) when power’s out, or restored – the SCL map can lag 15+ minutes, and when an outage is completely over, there’s no archived record of its end time.
6:56 AM: 755 still out.
10:14 AM: In addition to those 755, power is back out for 74 more. This is not unusual during repair situations. Readers who’ve been by the downed-tree site this morning sent photos – first, from Marc Milrod:
And from Stewart L:
Stewart says crews told him repairs might take hours longer to finish. We’re checking with City Light.
11:24 AM: Now everyone’s back except the cluster of 74 who re-lost power two hours ago.
4:35 PM: They’re not back yet. But work continues – here’s a photo from David Hutchinson:
And a wide view from Stewart L.:
9:13 PM: Still no relief for that pocket. City Light was still working when we went by right before sunset:
1:42 AM SATURDAY: And those 74 customers are still without electricity.
FINAL UPDATE: Multiple reports say they finally got the power back around 2:20 am.
Two notes related to the Delridge Way SW road project paving the way for the RapidRide H Line:
OUTAGE: SDOT confirms a crew working on the project hit a water line this morning. That caused an hour-long water outage, according to the Seattle Public Utilities map, which says more than 30 customers were affected. The photo above was sent by Josh, who says the crew also “hit our internet.” SDOT spokesperson Adonis Ducksworth tells WSB the department is “investigating the situation.:
POSTPONEMENT: In our exchange with Ducksworth, we asked if this weekend’s Delridge/Oregon closure was still on, since we hadn’t seen a mention yet of preparations such as bus rerouting. No, he said, it’s postponed; they’re aiming for next weekend, weather permitting.
6:30 PM: Thanks for the tips. Some residents near 35th/Avalon are out of power; the Seattle City Light outage map notes “bird/animal” and indeed, one person who messaged us said a bird flew into a wire. The map says three customers are affected, though an entire building/business can count as one customer, so there may be a higher number of people affected. The traffic signal at 35th/Avalon was working when we went through shortly after it happened, so no trouble on that front.
8:44 PM: The outage is now mapped as affecting 66 customers.
Since Seattle City Light started its Arroyo Conduit Installation Project in southwest West Seattle more than two years ago, it’s sent monthly project updates. Up until this past March, the updates listed the project timeline as “18-20 months” (though by then it was in month 22). Then the timeline mentions stopped – until today’s update:
Seattle City Light received several inquiries about the status of the Arroyo Conduit Installation Project. We acknowledge that construction delays have resulted in an extended project timeline and we recognize the inconvenience this has caused for neighbors and community.
Unfortunately, the COVID-19 pandemic has necessitated multiple changes to our operations staffing model and at this time, we continue to operate with approximately 75% of our typical staff. The Arroyo Conduit Installation Project remains a high priority for City Light and the City.
Construction on 42nd Avenue SW will continue through October 2020; however, timing for follow-up work by the Seattle Department of Transportation is unclear.
The entire project is now estimated for completion in the 3rd quarter of 2021. We recognize that the timing is not what we’ve previously communicated and understand that the delay is frustrating. Our goal is to meet our customer commitments and it’s disappointing when we aren’t able to do so.
Please be aware that due to the nature of our work maintaining the electrical system, some essential tasks require crew members to work closely together for their safety. We ask that residents continue to adhere to social distancing guidelines when walking near a construction site. The safety of our customers and crews is our number one priority. This work is in accordance with protocols in place to meet all COVID-19 guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Washington State Department of Health, and Occupational Safety and Health Administration.
Again, we apologize for the delay.
9:07 AM: Just got two reports of an unannounced water outage near Delridge/Hudson. If you’re affected, be sure to notify Seattle Public Utilities at 206-386-1800; we’re checking with SPU too.
4:11 PM: From SPU: “Our crews were able to get water restored for customers about 12:30 today after working to repair an 8-inch water main that was damaged this morning at a construction site.”
ORIGINAL SUNDAY MORNING REPORT: Just got word from SDOT Traffic Operations that the south Delridge Way closure is now NOT expected to end tonight as planned. The closure between 18th and Barton is now expected to last through Monday, reopening by 5 am Tuesday. The utility work, involving installing a catch basin, has proven to be more complicated than expected, so they need extra time. The map above shows the detour; in addition to the work zone with the full road closure, Delridge is “local access only” between Roxbury and Henderson.
7:53 AM MONDAY: SDOT spokesperson Adonis Ducksworth tells WSB the crew worked late into the night and was able to reopen Delridge early today after all.
Last Saturday, you might recall, crews working to replace damaged pavement on 44th SW in The Junction, between SW Alaska and SW Edmunds, hit a gas line. We followed up with SDOT to ask how that happened. Spokesperson Kari Tupper says that, as with the Delridge breaks last month, this was a case of a line that shouldn’t have been there, and that in turn forced the extension of the work into this past Monday:
On Saturday, SDOT paving crews discovered a gas line that appears to have been abandoned by someone who did not follow the proper shutoff/ removal procedures. SDOT crews followed all of the proper safety protocols before and after the gas line break, and worked with Puget Sound Energy and Seattle Fire Department to shut off the abandoned gas line.
While our paving crews resolved the situation relatively quickly, the incident forced us to push back our concrete delivery by a few hours and our concrete supplier was unable to provide all of the concrete mix we needed due to commitments with another contractor who had arranged a large delivery that same afternoon. The supplier was unable to open up their facilities to make a delivery on Sunday. Fortunately, our crews adapted to the situation and were able to accomplish other necessary work on Sunday. The concrete was delivered and crews finished the paving work on Monday morning.
The project is now back on schedule and that means two more weekend closures as originally announced: this weekend (August 22-23) and next (August 29-30).
6:11 PM: Another power outage – this one affecting the area around Roxbury Safeway, with the City Light map listing 203 customers affected. One tipster says a truck reportedly hit a line:
We went over to look for City Light trucks – did not see any, but did notice that the 26th/Roxbury traffic signal is out. (Remember, that means 4-way stop.)
8:11 PM: Map shows the outage is over.
Though nobody mentioned it to us at the time, we’ve had enough reports now of a brief early-early-morning outage in north West Seattle that we’re writing this to get it on the record. Cami on Alki was first to mention it – “Our clocks stopped for 1:45 min. It was long enough for the fridge to show condensation.” We’ve also heard from people in Admiral, Belvidere, and on Harbor Avenue. Any other areas affected?
12:08 PM: All those sirens were for a gas-leak callout at Rutan/Edmunds [map]. Most units, though, are being dismissed.
12:46 PM: SFD crews still at the scene told us it was caused by the crew doing road work on 44th near Edmunds. No injuries. They’re getting ready to close out the response and leave.
4:17 PM: It’s not mapped yet but that’s where we’ve heard from so far. Anywhere else?
4:20 PM: Mapped now, 3,639 customers out.
4:28 PM: Some traffic signals are out on Roxbury – remember that a dark signal = 4-way stop.
4:33 PM: No official cause yet from SCL but multiple commenters report hearing booms just before losing power.
5:20 PM: A texter tells us Westwood Village is affected. We’ll head over to look soon.
6:04 PM: SCL says 2,200 customers have their power back, while 1,500 are still out.
6:12 PM: The map shows everyone else is back on too. (If you’re not, be sure to let City Light know!)
6:20 PM: Here’s what SCL tells us caused it: “It was caused by a compromised stem cable leading down into an underground feeder. Crews were able to isolate it and restore power.”
2:25 PM: Thanks for the tips. Big Seattle Fire response for a “major natural-gas leak” in west Admiral, 3300 block of 48th SW. They’re calling for traffic control on Admiral, though this is a few blocks south. Updates to come.
2:31 PM: SFD log has just made a big correction – this is actually in the 2300 block of 48th SW, so it’s NORTH of Admiral Way [map]. SFD just reported to dispatch that the leak has been shut off. The response is being downsized.
2:57 PM: Our crew is at the scene and confirmed that no one was hurt and the response is winding down. We’re told a construction crew breached the line, and they’re the ones who called it in. (added) Same area, by the way, as this 2-alarm fire in April.
That’s the initial concept by artist Sarah Thompson Moore, who’s been commissioned for the work. This flyer has details, explaining that the inspiration is an old topographic map of Alki.
Right now, SPU is looking for feedback on both the art concept and the project itself, which is currently being designed. The project website explains, “SPU will convert the current pump station from an airlift type station to a more standard pump station. This conversion will improve service reliability, improve system performance, and reduce maintenance requirements and costs.” According to this overview, construction is expected to start early next year and could last up to a year; SPU tells us the project is estimated at $1.2 million, with the art project coming in around $50,000. You can answer the feedback survey by going here, by next Friday (August 14).
Talking to the SDOT team on the Delridge repaving-and-more project for an upcoming update, we got followup information about those two gas leaks/breaks in four days in the northern work zone. Both, SDOT says, were unmapped lines. The first one, at Delridge/Andover on July 10th, was an abandoned/capped half-inch line that was for private property but protruded into the public right of way and incurred a “saddle break” because of the weight of machinery over it. The second, on July 13th at Delridge/Oregon, was an unmarked line broken during excavation. SDOT sat down with PSE to figure out how to prevent any additional problems, so they’ve been “potholing” to check for other shallow surprise utilities, and relocating anything they find. They also changed the design for one project section to increase the distance from one line. Bottom line, SDOT says PSE will be paying for the repairs since the unmapped lines were their responsibility.
SIDE NOTE: If you suspect a gas leak – since natural gas is odorized to prevent it going undetected – call 888-225-5773, or 911.
P.S. The general project update from the rest of our conversation is coming up later.
Thanks for all the tips on this: We don’t know yet if it’s related, but a widespread Comcast/Xfinity outage is reported – we’ve heard from affected customers from Alki to North Delridge to The Junction to Morgan Junction to South Delridge, so far.
9:44 AM: More than 200 customers in the West Seattle Junction have lost electricity – the Seattle City Light outage map shows it as multiple outages, but they all started within the past half-hour. Thanks to Amy Lee Derenthal at the Senior Center of West Seattle (which is affected) for first word. Updates to come.
10:11 AM: We’re told via text that a few businesses north of SW Oregon – Lady Di and Greentree – are among those affected. This by the way is exactly a week after another Junction outage affected hundreds, lasting five hours for some.
11:30 AM: The outage is now shown at 419 customers, and “equipment failure” is attributed as the cause.
3:37 PM: We checked in with City Light, which hasn’t much to say: “We have a Seattle City Light crew currently on-site investigating the outage right now. They are trying to determine the root cause for the outage.”
5:59 PM: An update from SCL: “The crew is investigating both overhead and underground lines. They are still trying to determine the cause for the outage. The crew plans to restore power in sections in an effort to isolate where the outage is located. Depending on how extensive the problem is, it may take the crew more time to fully restore service.”
8:05 PM: SCL says everyone was back on as of about 15 minutes ago. Still awaiting word on the cause.
8:24 PM: SCL spokesperson Jenny Levesque tells WSB, “The outage was due to a limiter failure; it serves to limit current on the pole. The crew had to do testing to isolate and repair the issue.”
Seattle City Light has long had a power-outage map, but if your water was out, you had no way to check on the extent of it aside from checking with neighbors. Now, that’s changed: Seattle Public Utilities has launched a water-outage map. This one also shows planned outages. (The only event shown for West Seattle right now is a planned-then-canceled August outage on Harbor SW.) You can see the map by going here (note it has a tab displaying the information in list format too). The page is also a convenient place to find SPU’s emergency hotline, 206-386-1800.
8:21 AM: Thanks for the tip! Seattle City Light’s map shows power out since 5:30 am to 425 customers in The Junction. No cause listed yet; we are checking with SCL.
8:32 AM: Just drove through the area: One sign of outage, 42nd/Alaska signal is dark.
10:44 AM: As noted by commenters and confirmed by the map, power’s back. Julie Moore of SCL tells WSB a crow apparently caused it.
2:16 PM: Delridge Way is being shut down at Oregon because of a gas leak – second one on Delridge in less than a week. Updates to come.
2:26 PM: They’re closing traffic at Genesee on the north.
2:37 PM: Per radio exchange, the Community Center has been evacuated while firefighters continue taking air readings. This is several blocks south of last Friday’s problem.
2:46 PM: The gas leak is reported to have been “secured,” and Delridge will reopen shortly.
4:18 PM: Was SDOT’s contractor to blame? We asked. Reply: “The City and PSE are still investigating what caused today’s leak and will determine if there are any connections to a similar one in the area last week.”
Thanks for the tips. The Seattle City Light map shows 26 customers without electricity because of an outage in the Westwood Village vicinity. No word yet on the cause; though the map suggests a late-night restoration estimate, remember that those estimates are just guesses – could be a lot sooner or a lot later.
9:52 AM: Avoid the 4000 block of Delridge Way SW – a major Seattle Fire response is arriving to help deal wth a gas leak at the road-construction site. Puget Sound Energy is there too.
9:57 AM: According to radio communication, three households have been evacuated.
10 AM: Also per a radio report to dispatchers, this will take some time to fix as repair crews have to excavate around the line. .. Traffic will be blocked to the north at Delridge/Spokane.
10:36 AM: Rough estimate: At least another hour. Meantime, some of the SFD units are being dismissed.
10:46 AM: The 5-way intersection camera, which was down for days, is back up.. Here’s what it’s showing for Delridge/Spokane.
10:56 AM: The leaking line has been shut down, dispatch was just told.
11:12 AM: The 5-way camera shows SB traffic is being allowed onto Delridge again. Per radio, they’re “opening everything up.”
10:11 AM: Thanks for the tips. 337 customers south of Fauntleroy are out of electricity again. The same area lost power for a day and a half back in May. It went out around 8:30 this morning and is again attributed to “equipment failure.” As we reported in June, the area is scheduled for major work to replace its underground cabling, but the project has been delayed until early next year.
3:04 PM: Still out. We’re checking with City Light about the repairs’ status.
4:41 PM: Here’s how she replied:
This is the same location as the extended outage back in May in terms of customers impacted, but the issue is in a different area of the underground system. Crews have found the issue and have begun digging to reach it and make repairs. We expect this work will go well into the evening, potentially longer, before complete resolution.
Also, as you may have noticed on the outage map, the number of impacted customers has dropped from 337 to 43. This is because we were able to reroute service in a way that restored as many customers as possible while keeping necessary areas deenergized to safely make repairs. Please be aware that once repairs are complete, it is necessary to temporarily deenergize the broader area again to switch power back to the normal configuration.