West Seattle, Washington
You might recall our report last Friday about a power outage at West Seattle Stadium – forcing O’Dea, which plays home games there, to move its homecoming game to its opponent’s field at Rainier Beach HS. The outage was resolved at some point late Friday night/early Saturday morning, but with no announcement of the cause, so we followed up today with Seattle City Light. Spokesperson Scott Thomsen tells WSB that the stadium outage “was caused by the failure of a piece of underground equipment called an elbow. This is a connector for an underground cable and another piece of equipment that bends at an angle, like an elbow.”
4:24 PM: A power problem at West Seattle Stadium means the football game that was scheduled there tonight, O’Dea‘s homecoming vs. Rainier Beach, is moving. The 7 pm game instead will be played at RB’s field. City Light’s map shows only the stadium affected by this outage; we’re checking to see what happened.
5:31 PM: An SCL truck was in view at the stadium when we went by. Cause is still listed as “investigating.”
Waste Management says it’s getting back to normal after temporarily halting pickups because of the natural-gas-supply concerns raised from this week’s pipeline rupture in Canada. Here’s the WM update for Seattle customers:
Good news! All Waste Management trucks will be back on the road Friday; Puget Sound Energy has cleared us to fuel our clean air trucks. If we missed you Thursday due to PSE’s gas line problem, check below for our recovery plan. These plans are established in consultation with the cities we service and as required by the Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission.
City of Seattle
Residential – Thursday customers will receive service Friday, Oct. 12. Friday customers will receive service Saturday, Oct. 13.
Commercial – Thursday evening customers will receive service as usual. All other Thursday customers will receive service Friday, Oct. 12 or Saturday, Oct. 13.
Earlier, we published Puget Sound Energy‘s update that it’s getting back to normal.
Just in from Puget Sound Energy – our area’s natural-gas utility – an update following Wednesday’s call for conservation:
Thanks to a combination of efforts from our customers and partnering with other Northwest utilities, the natural-gas system has stabilized and Puget Sound Energy is beginning to return to normal operations following the rupture of the Enbridge natural gas pipeline Tuesday evening in British Columbia, Canada.
We are now reaching out to business customers who curtailed their usage to let them know that they may resume normal gas use. While our calls for conservation are over for both business and residential customers, saving energy is encouraged. Tips can be found here.
Efforts made by our residential and business customers were critical in helping to stabilize the system. Although PSE is returning to normal operations, we will continue to monitor the natural gas system as Enbridge works on their supply pipeline.
While the natural gas supply was impacted due to this incident, there is no damage to the PSE gas system or safety hazard to our customers from the pipeline failure in Canada. There was no loss of electric or natural gas service as a result of this incident.
The pipeline that ruptured was part of a twin-pipeline system, and its undamaged twin has received the go-ahead to restart.
Another local effect of that natural-gas pipeline rupture near Prince George, B.C.: Waste Management‘s natural-gas-powered trucks are idled, so if you have Thursday solid-waste pickup from WM, the company says you won’t get it tomorrow. Here’s the news release WM sent tonight:
There will be no garbage, recycling or compostables collection service for most Waste Management customers in King and Snohomish counties on Thursday, Oct. 11, due to a natural gas pipeline rupture in British Columbia.
The pipeline rupture has interrupted the flow of natural gas for Puget Sound Energy, which delivers natural gas for Waste Management trucks. The duration of the suspension is unclear.
Areas that will not have Waste Management service on Thursday, Oct. 11, include Algona, Auburn, Federal Way, Kirkland, Mill Creek, Redmond, Seattle, Snoqualmie, and the unincorporated areas of King and Snohomish counties.
Services have not been interrupted in or around Marysville (including Arlington, Granite Falls or the unincorporated area), Skagit County or Kitsap County because Waste Management uses different fuel suppliers for trucks in these areas.
“Waste Management has deployed our top logistics experts to do everything possible to address the situation and activate contingency plans,” said Jackie Lang, public affairs manager for Waste Management. “Our teams are focused on one goal – minimizing disruption for our customers. The best resource of information, as updates are available, is the Waste Management website at wmnorthwest.com.”
Here’s the WM service-alert link. This morning, we reported on Puget Sound Energy‘s call for gas customers to conserve because of the pipeline problem; PSE is now asking for that conservation to continue Thursday.
If you have natural-gas service, it’s supplied by Puget Sound Energy, and they’ve sent customers a message asking for conservation today because of a pipeline rupture in Canada. If you haven’t already seen the message, you can read the full version on PSE’s website. (PSE also is asking its electricity customers to use less, but that doesn’t apply in our area as local electricity comes from Seattle City Light.) Here’s Canadian coverage of the pipeline rupture, which happened near Prince George, British Columbia [map] – and even more info here.
From Seattle Public Utilities:
SPU crews are planning to do a hydrant flow test tonight near 6537 35th Ave SW, between 11 PM and 5 AM. The test is conducted at night to minimize impacts to customers. Crews will run water from a hydrant to test the volume coming out of the pipe to ensure there is adequate fire flow protection.
Any time there is a disturbance in the water main, discolored water can happen. Customers can visit our website for information about discolored water. If the problem persists, customers can call Seattle Public Utilities’ 24/7 Operations Response Center at 206-386-1800.
5:09 PM: Thanks to Betsy for the photo and report: Beach Drive by Constellation Park south of Alki Point is blocked by a crew working on a water break. We don’t know yet how many customers are affected.
6:03 PM: Just went by to check (photo added). The Seattle Public Utilities crew tells us they haven’t yet reached the actual break, so this is going to take a while longer.
11:29 AM: Thanks for the tips! A power outage is reported to be affecting part of The Junction. So far the City Light map only shows 1 customer but that’s not always precise.
11:46 AM: SCL has updated to 419 homes/businesses affected.
11:58 AM: Actually two pockets – we’ve added a screengrab from the SCL map – totaling 450+ homes/businesses. No official word yet on the cause. Restoration time is estimated as 7 pm but remember, even SCL acknowledges those times are just speculative – could be sooner, could be later.
12:27 PM: And we’re getting word at least some of the power’s back on, after just about an hour.
12:41 PM: The SCL map has updated, showing the 419 customers (homes/businesses) in the larger pocket are back on, but the 32-customer pocket near 41st/Edmunds is still shown as without power.
3:56 PM: And the smaller pocket has since had its power restored too.
Noticed this while out on an errand: A utility pole knocked sideways on the west side of California SW near Fontanelle in Gatewood. SDOT is on the scene and told us City Light had a crew en route. We didn’t hear the call in real time but the SPD Tweets by Beat log (which you can see on our Crime Watch page, continuously updated) shows a collision reported there this morning; no SFD call, so apparently no injuries.
9:27 AM: Thanks to Frank at Thunder Road Guitars (WSB sponsor) for the heads-up on this. He reports a power outage in The Junction is affecting some businesses. The City Light map only shows 1 customer affected in a pocket just north of Edmunds between California and Edmunds, but especially in a mixed-use area the map may not always be accurate. SCL attributes the outage to “equipment failure.”
10:43 AM: Photo added above – City Light is on scene. The outage is oddly configured, we’re told – so the affected businesses (that we found, on the east side of California/Edmunds) are open, just dealing with different effects; at Thunder Road, some of the lighting is working, some isn’t, for example.
8:07 AM: Thanks for the texts/tweets/etc. Getting multiple reports of a power outage in multiple areas. Almost 3,000 customers per City Light map.
8:10 AM: There’s a “vault fire” call in the 1100 block of Alki.
8:15 AM: First crews on scene there are seeing “small amount of smoke” from a grate, per SFD.
8:20 AM: Alki Avenue is blocked by the fire response (here’s where that’s happening).
8:25 AM: Our crew is en route; we’re monitoring the fire per scanner in the meantime. The vault is underground in front of a five-story Alki condo building. Crews report the smoke has dissipated.
8:42 AM: Our crew has arrived and reports that traffic is blocked for about 100 yards either way. The fire scene is by Luna/Anchor Park. City Light is on scene too.
Per scanner, meantime, the SFD response is being downsized.
8:59 AM: Getting reports that at least some have their power back.
9:03 AM: Alki Avenue has reopened; SFD has completely closed out of the call. SCL map says the outage is down to 100 customers.
P.S. SCL blamed the fire on “a failed underground cable, which burned some of the insulation.”
11:39 AM: Thanks to Ryan for the tip. California SW is wet just north of Admiral Way because of a water break. Seattle Public Utilities has a crew on scene investigating but they haven’t yet scoped out what repairs will be needed.
3:07 PM: Just came back to check. A repair crew is on scene and working in a big hole in the northbound lane.
Just after 11 am, a very brief power interruption hit us here in Upper Fauntleroy, and we also heard from Gatewood, Westwood, and High Point. Since that means some people might come home to flashing stove clocks (etc.) and wonder what happened, we checked with Seattle City Light‘s Scott Thomsen, who tells us the cause is listed as “squirrel.”
7:52 PM: Thanks for the tip – Seattle City Light says 133 homes have lost power in upper Alki/west Admiral. While the outage map says SCL is investigating the cause, we note the SFD real-time log shows a recent “wires down” call on Bonair (1900 block).
8:32 PM: Just checked the map again and this outage is apparently already over!
7:01 AM: Thanks for the tips. Yet another big power outage in the area – this time, 4,000-plus customers in White Center/North Burien. No word yet on the cause. But if you’re heading that way this morning, you should be aware. P.S. As far as we can tell, no overlap with the areas affected by the two big West Seattle outages in the past week and a half.
8:27 AM: The map shows it’s over.
8:32 AM: City Light says this outage was caused by a tree branch falling into a power line.
Almost three years after we first reported on Seattle Public Utilities‘ plan to take over the former bus yard at 4500 West Marginal Way SW, just south of the West Seattle Bridge, the project has won a key land-use approval. Today’s city-circulated Land Use Information Bulletin includes an announcement of the decision. We published details last year about what SPU plans for what it will call the Drainage and Wastewater South Operations Center, and also covered a briefing given to the Highland Park Action Committee. You can read the full decision here. Today’s notice of approval opens a two-week period if anyone wants to file an appeal – the notice explains how. At last year’s briefing, SPU said it expected to start construction on the “retrofit/remodel” project next year; we’ll be checking to see if that’s still the plan.
8:30 AM: Thanks for the texts. Ours is out too. We’re getting reports from a widespread area – as far north as Admiral. More to come.
8:38 AM: City Light map says more than 16,000 homes/businesses are out. Remember that intersections are four-way stops when the signals are out.
8:46 AM: City Light says via Twitter that they “believe the outage was caused by a switching problem and estimate power will be restored about 9:15 a.m.”
8:50 AM: It’s been six days since a similarly widespread outage (WSB coverage here) was blamed on a “relay malfunction,” though that one lasted only a few minutes.
8:53 AM: Our power’s back (Fauntleroy/Gatewood line). Yours? We of course will be following up with SCL. Also note that – as happened after last Tuesday’s even-shorter outage – there may be some lingering effects like flashing traffic signals.
9:26 AM: Just talked with Scott Thomsen at City Light, who is looking into questions such as whether this was human error, a mechanical problem, etc. He says the “routine maintenance” at the Delridge Substation continues so that’s one thing this did have in common with last Tuesday’s outage. We will update again later when we get more followup information.
2:23 PM: SCL’s Thomsen says via e-mail: “Crews were testing switchgear at the Delridge Substation as a part of our maintenance and reliability work. When one of the workers closed the doors for the switchgear they were testing, the vibrations tripped a relay, which then opened, cutting off power for the electrical bus (imagine a giant power strip connected to four feeder lines going out of the substation into the neighborhoods). Our engineering staff is looking at what we can do to dampen vibrations and avoid a repeat of this problem, which does occasionally affect utilities.”
2:32 PM: Thanks for the tips – it’s not fully showing on the City Light map yet but we have reports of a far-flung West Seattle power outage. We have reports from Alki to Westwood. More to come.
2:40 PM: Back on already for many including us in Upper Fauntleroy. Will update as soon as we find out from SCL what this was about.
2:50 PM: According to comments, some are still out, and SCL is unreachable. (We have a message out to their media reps.)
The map now shows 444 customers out but continues to show it as many individual outages, which is not the way an outage usually would display.
3:02 PM: SCL spokesperson Hernann Ambion tells us a “relay malfunction” related to “routine maintenance” caused the short-lived outage. He says everybody’s back on but the map still shows some outages because the system read the problem as the Delridge Substation being offline when it wasn’t. He says everyone should be back on now.
3:17 PM: Couple of side notes: Your cable/wi-fi router might need a reset – we’ve seen that happen in some power outages, even short ones. Also, if you heard sirens/alarms, this triggered a lot of fire alarms and stopped elevators; you can see the evidence on the SFD real-time log (all the calls with SW addresses).
5:40 PM Scattered traffic-signal trouble, still. Such as Fauntleroy Way at Fairmount Park, flashing and with SDOT on scene.
10:31 AM: A 78-customer power outage that stretches eastward across the Duwamish River is affecting south Harbor Island. Thanks for the call that tipped us to this – the screengrab above is from the Seattle City Light outage map. No word yet on the cause.
11:52 AM: Mary reports in comments that the power’s back on; the City Light map indeed shows the outage is over. We’re checking on the cause.
2:24 PM: If you have to travel on Beach Drive SW south of Jacobsen, consider waiting a bit. There’s a Seattle Fire response blocking the road for a natural-gas leak in the 4800 block (here’s a map of the vicinity where it was reported). According to SFD communication monitored via scanner, a line was not punctured; it’s a “small leak” and they’re working to shut off the gas while awaiting Puget Sound Energy.
2:57 PM: Per the incident log, all SFD units have closed out of the call.
Thanks to Megan for the tip via Twitter: She says a “crash” was heard at Oregon 42 and then the power went out. The City Light map – itself suffering an outage when we first checked, but working again now – says 138 customers are out, pretty much right on that corner, southeast side of 42nd/Oregon. Cause is listed as “bird/animal” and SCL hopes to fix it within a few hours.
11:19 AM: Thanks for the tip: The Seattle City Light map shows 184 homes/businesses out in Highland Park/Puget Ridge, along 16th SW. No word on the cause yet; Brian says via e-mail, “Explosion was heard toward SSC and then power went out.”
12:03 PM: Checking the SCL site for an update, we see another 299 customers went out just west of the original outage zone, mostly along 21st SW, about half an hour ago. (updated) Added a map image for both outages.
1:19 PM: Tipster Aaron notes that SFD is/was checking out transformers near Riverview Playfield. Meantime, the newer, westernmost outage has dropped in size by about a third.
8:46 PM: As this has stretched on for so long, we tried SCL’s after-hours media pager and just got a call back. The outage was caused by a fire at the base of a pole in the greenbelt by SW Holly – the cause hasn’t been determined – but it’s been difficult for crews to access; they’re “close” to restoration, the spokesperson says.
10:17 PM: We noticed a few minutes ago that the outage was down to 191 customers. And we just got a text that power’s come back on at 21st/Holly. The map might not reflect that immediately.
10:40 PM: Looks like that was it – all but a handful are reconnected, after ~12 hours.