Utilities 1286 results

UPDATE: Power outage in The Arroyos/south Arbor Heights

4:35 PM: Thanks for the tip! Power’s out for 147 customers in south Arbor Heights and The Arroyos, per the Seattle City Light map, which attributes the outage to “bird/animal contact.”

6 PM: It’s resolved, per the map, which had described it as starting just before 4:30; our tipster, however, says the power went out around noon.

WEST SEATTLE CRIME WATCH: Police investigating vault burglary that cut CenturyLink service

CenturyLink says it has restored service to everyone affected by a multi-day outage blamed on wire vandals/thieves. But the company won’t say much else. We heard about this from customers on Pigeon Point, where the outage apparently hit the hardest. SPD finally released some information on Monday, saying it got word of the situation around 10 pm last Thursday, when a CenturyLink employee called “to report a burglary at one of their vaults under the West Seattle Bridge, located at the 2300 block of SW Spokane Street.” The SPD summary says officers were told that “fiber optics and copper wiring (was) cut,” with damage estimated at up to $200,000, and that the company had received an alarm around 6:30 that night. Though a CenturyLink spokesperson wouldn’t comment to us on how many customers were affected, the SPD summary says, “The fiber optics provide internet and phone service for customers covering parts of West Seattle all the way south to White Center and east to 1st Avenue.” Plus, police say, they were “informed by the technicians that a similar incident occurred in Tacoma about two weeks ago.” We haven’t found information on that but did find this newspaper report about one on the Key Peninsula last summer, and this TV story from two months ago noting that as of early April, CenturyLink (aka Lumen) had almost 70 incidents like this in the region – one-third of what had been reported nationwide.

One Pigeon Point resident we heard from says they and neighbors want to know what the company’s doing to beef up security; the spokesperson wouldn’t comment to us on that either, aside from saying, “In terms of security, CenturyLink has an excellent relationship with local authorities. We pride ourselves on being a good member of the community, and law enforcement has done an excellent job in responding to our concerns about copper theft. We work closely with law enforcement to find and fully prosecute those responsible for these criminal acts. Anyone witnessing a theft in action should call 911.” (If you have any information for police on this incident, the case # is 24-152931.)

UTILITIES: SW 98th street-end parklet to close for up to 10 months during pump-station project

That’s the area where Seattle Public Utilities plans to start work this summer on a pump-station upgrade at the waterfront end of SW 98th [map] that’ll expand the street-end parklet at the site. SPU sent an update about this because they now say the “parklet” will be closed to public use for up to 10 months during the work, which is recapped as follows:

During an evaluation of SPU’s pump stations, we identified that Pump Station 71 needs substantial upgrades to improve worker safety and to keep the system working at its full capacity. SPU is proactively making improvements to this critical sewer infrastructure to ensure we continue providing reliable sewer service to you and your neighbors. As part of this effort, we’ll be making some improvements to the shoreline street end, including removing the guardrail and extending the useable street end 20+ feet to the east, replacing the current bench as well as creating a pad for wheelchair access, and installing beach logs, native plants, and new trees to enhance the natural area in the street end:

This work will be done in the public right-of-way at the western end of SW 98th St. … Most of the work will take place in the pump station, with surface work and construction staging in the street surrounding the pump station.

Some preliminary electrical work will be taking place in early July. Full construction mobilization is expected to begin as early as late August 2024. Once it begins, work is estimated to take about 7-10 months to complete.

This project has been years in the making and is running behind the previously announced schedule; we published this update two years ago, at which time the work was expected to be done in 2023, lasting up to six months. A 2022 project communication included this rendering:

UPDATE: Biggest West Seattle power outage ends after 10+ hours

8:13 AM: Thanks for the tips. 248 homes in the Lowman Beach/Seaview area are without power this windy morning, as shown above in our screengrab from the Seattle City Light outage map. It’s a busy morning for the utility, with 16,000+ others also out on this breezy morning.

2 PM: That outage, which SCL’s map says started around 4:41 am, is not resolved yet. Nor has a 67-customer outage in the Pigeon Point vicinity that started at 5:50 am, 11 customers in Arbor Heights since 8:43 am, and one customer in South Delridge since 10:41 am.

3:21 PM: Thanks to the commenter who reported that the biggest outage, Lowman Beach/Seaview, is over, after more than 10 hours. We’ve had a message out to SCL for a while asking for the cause but haven’t heard back – they’re still dealing with thousands of others out around the city.

UTILITIES: Power outage, brown water in Arbor Heights

Two utility notes, both from readers in Arbor Heights:

ARBOR HEIGHTS POWER OUTAGE: Thanks for the texted tip about a 13-customer outage:

Seattle City Light blames it on “equipment failure.”

ARBOR HEIGHTS BROWN WATER: Thanks to Mark for the report about “brown water near 37th Ave and 97th St” early this afternoon. No emergencies today so likely hydrant testing again, but always report it to Seattle Public Utilities‘ 24/7 hotline, 206-386-1800.

UPDATE: Power outage on Genesee Hill

4:05 PM: Thanks for the tips! 38 homes on Genesee Hill are out of power, and this is the likely cause:

Gary sent that photo and reports, “It was a transformer explosion…..fire truck has the alley south of the 4400 block of Genesee cordoned off. The transformer is still smoldering.” According to the Seattle City Light outage map, this happened around 3:11 pm.

MIDNIGHT: Power’s been restored since our last check of the outage map a few hours ago.

Brown water in Admiral

First “brown water” report of the week – from Scott, who’s a few blocks south of Hiawatha. No emergency responses on the Seattle Public Utilities water-trouble map, so it might well be hydrant testing, but always report it to SPU’s 24-hour line at 206-386-1800. (And hold off on laundry till your water’s clear – the “sediment” in the lines is mostly rust and it will stain light-colored clothing.)

UPDATE: Gas shut off after leak draws big Seattle Fire response southwest of The Junction

12:57 PM: Seattle Fire says the gas has been shut off at the scene of a leak in the 5200 block of 45th SW [vicinity map]. SFD describes it as a residential line and says the home and others nearby have been evacuated as a precaution. Many of the responding units have been cleared to leave.

1:12 PM: More SFD units are leaving, but the scene won’t fully clear until Puget Sound Energy (the gas utility for our area) arrives.

1:26 PM: All SFD units have left.

Brown water in Junction, Admiral

Two reports of West Seattle brown water late today – one from The Junction, one from Admiral. The Junction tipster says the city told them it’s definitely hydrant testing; no incidents on the Seattle Public Utilities water-trouble map, so that may well be the cause in Admiral too. But if it happens to you, please report to SPU – 206-386-1800. (What discolors the water is sediment disturbed in the lines by activity such as hydrant use; it’s primarily rust.)

UPDATE: Power outage at Pathfinder K-8

May 10, 2024 11:03 am
|    Comments Off on UPDATE: Power outage at Pathfinder K-8
 |   Utilities | West Seattle news | West Seattle schools

11:03 AM: What’s shown as a one-customer power outage on Seattle City Light‘s map is affecting about 500 people – because that one customer is Pathfinder K-8 on Pigeon Point. No word yet why the school – and apparently ONLY the school – lost power; we’re checking with SCL.

1:49 PM: The outage is over, according to the map; still waiting for SCL’s response on what went wrong.

Brown water in some neighborhoods near West Seattle Junction

Two “brown water” reports so far today – one from Karen near 45th/Edmunds on the south side of The Junction, one from Crystal near California/Genesee in the north. No current emergencies mapped so it might be hydrant activity – SFD did have a short-lived gas-leak situation near 40th/Edmunds this morning, and firefighters usually connect to a hydrant precautionarily. Whatever the suspected cause, always report brown water to Seattle Public Utilities, 206-386-1800.

Brown water in Alki, and hydrant testing elsewhere

May 3, 2024 2:30 pm
|    Comments Off on Brown water in Alki, and hydrant testing elsewhere
 |   Utilities | West Seattle news

Just got a text reporting brown water in Alki. No Seattle Public Utilities work mapped in West Seattle – either emergency or planned – so it’s likely hydrant testing stirring up sediment (rust) in the lines again. We also have seen SFD doing some of that testing in south Gatewood today, near 35th/Thistle. Even if you’re sure that’s what’s happening with your water, ALWAYS report it to SPU’s 24-hour hotline, 206-386-1800. The discoloration is not toxic but can stain your laundry, so you’ll want to be sure the water runs clear before you wash anything.

Brown water north of Morgan Junction

May 2, 2024 6:17 pm
|    Comments Off on Brown water north of Morgan Junction
 |   Utilities | West Seattle news

Latest brown-water report came in late this afternoon from RB at California/Juneau, just north of Morgan Junction. No incidents so far today on the Seattle Public Utilities water-trouble map, so this too may well have been hydrant testing. As always, we remind you to report water anomalies to SPU 24/7, via 206-386-1800.

FOLLOWUP: Long-delayed mile-long Beach Drive gas-line replacement starting soon

Two years ago, we told you about a natural-gas pipeline replacement project that was at the time scheduled to start soon along a mile-long stretch of Beach Drive and two connecting streets. After what Puget Sound Energy describes as permitting delays, it’s finally about to begin.

Thanks to the area resident who recently told us the project notice was being distributed. We’ve since obtained it from PSE (see it here) – here are the key points:

PSE and InfraSource crews will be replacing portions of the existing underground natural gas main. We’re committed to completing our work safely and efficiently, and our crews will do their best to reduce impacts to you and your neighbors.

Project details

Who: Natural gas crews from PSE and InfraSource
What: Replacing a portion of the underground natural gas main
When: Expected to begin the week of May 13, and last for approximately six months.
Typical work hours: Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. – 3 p.m.
Where: Beach Drive Southwest, 48TH Avenue Southwest, and Lincoln Park Way Southwest

What you can expect

 There will likely be noise from trucks and heavy machinery
 Traffic control flaggers and signs will guide vehicles and pedestrians safely through the project area
o Beach Drive Southwest,48th Avenue Southwest,and Lincoln Park Way Southwest will be reduced down to one lane near the work area
o A portion of the sidewalk on Beach Drive Southwest,48th Avenue Southwest,and Lincoln Park Way Southwest will be closed. Detour signs will be posted
 Some street parking will be impacted. “No parking” signs will be placed in the area prior to work beginning
 We will work to maintain access to driveways whenever possible, in coordination with impacted neighbors
 Some customers along the project route may experience a temporary interruption of natural gas. We’ll
notify impacted customers prior to beginning work requiring an interruption in service. For customers who will have their service interrupted, work inside customer homes may be required to re-light appliances after the service interruption. Please call 888-225-5773 for more information
 After the construction is complete, you’ll notice temporary patches in the road and/or sidewalk. These temporary patches will remain until a restoration contractor crew returns to complete the final restoration. The restoration schedule is dependent upon weather, permitting and crew availability

We asked PSE about the work phasing; a spokesperson replied, “Crews will start on the north end and move south. PSE will be replacing an older section of infrastructure in order to continue to provide safe and reliable natural gas service to customers. The project will replace the gas main along Beach DR SW to SW Canada Dr.” Here’s another map sketching out what they’re doing and where. As noted above, the project is expected to last about six months (double the estimate given two years ago).

Brown water in Admiral/Belvidere

Texter reports it’s happening where they are and wonders if anyone else is affected. We keep track of these things because there’s no other publicly viewable record, but be sure to report it to Seattle Public Utilities at 206-386-1800. The cause is usually – but not always – hydrant testing, as SFD recently reiterated here, but sometimes it’s first word of a main break or other problem (nothing on the SPU water-outage map right now, though).

UPDATE: 1,300 customers lose electricity in West Seattle power outage

10:02 AM: Thanks for the tips. There’s a power outage in eastern West Seattle – 1,300 customers as shown on the Seattle City Light outage map. Updates to come.

10:35 AM: No info yet on the cause. If you’re in the outage zone and see City Light crews, let us know!

10:50 AM: Highland Park Elementary is out of power, according to email we’ve just received. Louisa Boren STEM K-8 also appears to be in the outage zone but we haven’t heard from anyone there, so we’re checking with the district. (Added: Commenters confirm STEM affected too.)

11:23 AM: City Light map shows the outage resolved. We’re inquiring as to what/where caused it.

1:07 PM: City Light spokesperson Jenn Strang tells us “a branch on a line” near SW Orchard was to blame.

TRAFFIC ALERT: Pipe-replacement project ahead on SW Holden

April 24, 2024 6:11 pm
|    Comments Off on TRAFFIC ALERT: Pipe-replacement project ahead on SW Holden
 |   Utilities | West Seattle news | West Seattle traffic alerts

Thanks to Savannah for the heads-up on more than a month of work ahead at 30th/Holden – her neighborhood got notices about it, and she thought others who travel through the area should know too. We subsequently obtained the construction notice from Seattle Public Utilities. They tell us this work will replace a 15-foot section of 10-inch-wide sewer pipe, with some added accessibility features on the sidewalk:

For this work, SPU contractor crews will excavate, remove, and replace the section of pipe. New ADA curb ramps will also be installed in the work area. Crews will then restore the roadway. This work is part of a larger citywide sewer rehabilitation effort that enables SPU to provide reliable sewer service to you and your neighbors.

Work will occur near the intersection of 30th Ave SW and SW Holden St. View the map for approximate work location and equipment staging.

Construction is scheduled to begin as soon as April 29 with work taking up to 5 weeks to complete. Construction activities will occur on weekdays, 7:30-3:30 pm. Please note that the start date, duration, and working hours are subject to change due to permitting, weather, crew availability, and other factors.

Residents and businesses will continue to receive normal sewer services during construction. However, you can also expect:

• Lanes will be reduced on SW Holden St in the work area. Traffic control measures and signage will be in place to direct traffic.
• Construction noise, dirt, dust, and vibrations
• Increased construction traffic and staging of large equipment near the intersection of SW Holden St and 30th Ave SW
• Parking restrictions near the work area. Please abide by all “no parking” signs.
• Crews will coordinate garbage/recycling/compost pick-up, mail delivery, and emergency access, as needed
• Residents and businesses next to the repair may be asked to limit water usage. Crews will provide notification when performing work that will require reduced flow

See the full construction notice here.

The latest West Seattle brown-water reports

We’ve had two reports of brown water today – Barrie in Admiral reported it late this morning, and Katie west of The Junction just emailed to say, “We’ve got brown water at 45th and Alaska.” We also received one report, with a photo, on Tuesday:

Brian in Gatewood/south Morgan Junction sent that, reporting, “This is like the 4th time this year,” in the 4300 block of SW Frontenac.

The Seattle Public Utilities water-trouble map shows an emergency repair last night near 20th/Roxbury, but that’s not close enough to factor into any of the aforementioned reports, so hydrant testing might be the culprit; if it happens to you, always report it to SPU’s hotline, 206-386-1800.

UPDATE: Power outage in Admiral

1:08 PM: Jesse emailed to report, “I heard a loud pop from outside my window at Lander and 42nd ave sw about an hour ago. Since then half of our appliances are dim like at half-power.” That would have been around 11 am; since then, Seattle City Light‘s outage map says, 84 customers north of Hiawatha have lost power. “Equipment failure” is blamed.

7:44 PM: As noted in comments, the outage has been resolved. We’ll be asking SCL about the specific cause of this one tomorrow (as well as about the Saturday outage).

WEST SEATTLE WEATHER: 4,700-customer power outage, as wind sweeps through (updated Monday with cause)

3:14 PM: Big wind gusts this past half-hour have brought power outages. According to the Seattle City Light map, the biggest one has taken out more than 4,600 homes and businesses in north West Seattle, from Alki to North Delridge. … The National Weather Service didn’t even have an advisory out, simply forecasting potential “breezy” conditions. On Twitter/X, @WestSeaWX says, “Cold front blasting through right now with gusts exceeding 40+ mph.” … We haven’t heard yet exactly where the failure point is, so let us know if you see City Light crews.

3:25 PM: Just hearing a dispatch for a tree down at Delridge/Genesee and blocking part of the road. Texter says that’s backing up at least a few H Line buses.

3:38 PM: Just an FYI, now there’s an even-bigger outage south of West Seattle, almost 7,000 homes and businesses from Boulevard Park to Burien. …. Remember that traffic signals are out at multiple intersections, and that makes them all-way stops – one texter is seeing multiple close calls among drivers on Fauntleroy.

4:04 PM: The powerless signals include Fauntleroy right up to the bridge, notes another texter. Meantime, Melissa sent this photo of the Delridge downed tree:

The weather has calmed somewhat – NWS says the cold front that came through is a “skinny” front – but SCL still has two big outages to take care of, including ours.

4:08 PM: Some are reporting their power’s back on.

4:13 PM: SCL has updated the map; that leaves just under 2,000 customers (each home, business, etc., is a “customer”) out in our area.

Meantime, Maris sent this photo of a tree down in The Junction, near 42nd/Edmunds:

Nick says in a comment below that the Delridge downed tree is no longer blocking part of the street.

4:34 PM: Also in comments, David D reports that an SCL crew “arrived around 4:15 pm to the where a small branch was sitting on the lines between 48/49, Hanford/Hinds. Likely the source of the flashing/booming.”

5:06 PM: SCL map shows WS outage fully resolved.

ADDED MONDAY: SCL spokesperson Jenn Strang confirms to WSB that aforementioned branch was the cause of the outage: “Saturday’s outage was caused by a tree limb that came down onto wires in the vicinity of 48th Avenue SW and SW Hinds Street.”

Brown water in Alki, Upper Fauntleroy

Thanks for the reports, first from Michael: “We are experiencing brown water from sinks and toilets in the 63rd Ave and Alki (Avenue) area.” Second, from Pete. who sent a photo: “I just started getting water that is not clear from my tap. I live on 37th Ave SW between Henderson and Barton.”

Most-common cause is hydrant testing, which agitates sediment (rust) in the lines, but if and when it happens at your home/business, please always notify Seattle Public Utilities – the 24/7 hotline is 206-386-1800.

UPDATE: Another gas-line break in Fauntleroy

9:18 AM: Another gas-line break in West Seattle – this time at 44th/Kilbourne [map], just south of Fauntleroy’s Endolyne business district. A resident says “workers nicked a line” at the site of an ongoing utility project.

(Added: WSB photo)

9:33 AM: For those in the area who heard what one person described as a “parade of sirens,” this was initially a “natural gas leak/major” callout but has since been downsized, with some responding units dismissed. This by the way is about three-quarters of a mile south of yesterday’s Fauntleroy gas break.

9:48 AM: We talked with SFD spokesperson David Cuerpo at the scene. He says workers reported this, saying they punctured a 2″ gas line. Some nearby houses were evacuated precautionarily. Puget Sound Energy has just arrived to shut down the line.

9:54 AM: And they’ve just done that, firefighters report.

10:15 AM: They’ve now officially demobilized and “turned the scene over to Puget Sound Energy.”

OUTAGE: Brace Point loses power again

4:05 PM: Thanks for the tips. Brace Point is without electricity again, for the second time in three days – 329 customers lost power last Saturday night/Sunday, and that’s the size of this afternoon’s outage. As updated Monday, the weekend outage was blamed on a failed fuse and transformer; this one also is attributed to “equipment failure” – we’re checking with Seattle City Light on specifics (and still awaiting a requested update on the long-planned project to improve the area’s underground system).

4:18 PM: SCL spokesperson Jenn Strang says they don’t know yet what caused this: “We have dispatched an underground crew to the area to investigate.” The cable-replacement project, meantime, is still a ways off: “City Light continues to work with SDOT and other agencies to complete the permitting process before it can open the bidding process later this summer.” The last in-depth update on the project website was two years ago and details a pandemic-related permitting snafu.

9:18 PM: We weren’t able to check back in the last several hours but resident Nathan tells us the power was restored around 5:45 pm. We’ll follow up again tomorrow to see what went wrong this time.