West Seattle, Washington
5:54 PM: The city has announced new plans for residents who have missed trash, recycling, and yard waste because of the storm. Here’s the full announcement:
Following the historic series of winter storms that hit the Seattle region over the past 11 days, Mayor Jenny A. Durkan and Seattle Public Utilities (SPU) announced they will provide a $10 billing credit to residential customers who had two or more missed garbage collections due to inclement weather. The credit will be issued within two regular billing cycles for impacted customers, which are primarily customers with Monday service. In addition, any customers who have experienced delays in solid waste collection can put out additional bags of garbage, recycling or yard waste free of charge.
“Our foremost goal as a City is to deliver on essential services like garbage, water and power. Our City departments have been working around the clock during this historic weather event clearing our streets, repairing power lines and bringing our most vulnerable neighbors inside,” said Mayor Jenny Durkan. “We thank Seattle residents for their patience in this time, which is why we are providing a credit to our customers for their missed service.”
The series of winter storms that the Seattle region caused an 11-day stretch of weather has adjusted and delayed the collection of garbage, recycling, and compost for 150,000 residential households and 6,000 multi-family accounts. At every safe weather opportunity, drivers collected waste from as many customers as possible, including critical locations like hospitals, multi-family buildings and high-volume commercial customers.
“We thank our customers for their understanding during the unprecedented weather we have experienced over the past several weeks. We are committed to catching up completely on our collections as soon as possible and anticipate we will be back on a normal schedule next week,” said General Manager Mami Hara. “I especially want to thank our crews who have been navigating difficult roads and standing by for any windows of clear weather to collect our residents’ solid waste.”
The improved weather through the weekend will allow additional pickups to service customers who have been significantly delayed in solid waste pickup. Crews are prioritizing pickup for as many Monday customers as possible by deploying additional resources. Monday, Thursday, and Friday customers who have not received service are asked to put their bins and bags out to the curb beginning Friday, February 15 for pickup Friday or Saturday. Seattle Department of Transportation has also deployed their crews to assist SPU contractors by plowing streets where they encounter difficulties. Seattle Parks and Seattle Housing Authority will also assist Seattle Public Utilities as they work to resume normal pickups.
While Seattle Public Utilities will be working to pick up residential garbage, Seattle Public Utilities will also provide garbage drop-off sites on Saturday from 10 am-3 pm in the following four locations at no charge:
West Seattle Stadium-35th Ave SW & SW Snoqualmie St.
[not in West Seattle but FYI]
Lower Woodland – 50th and Whitman
Magnuson – 65th street lot, Parking Lot E
Interbay – 17th Ave. W. And W. Barrett Street
8:30 PM: The online version of this announcement ends with two more paragraphs – reaffirming a free period at the transfer stations through this weekend, and offering contact info if you are due a credit and don’t get it.
9:31 PM: As noted below in comments, we’ll seek some clarifications tomorrow. Pending that, we’ve already received one from SPU spokesperson Sabrina Register: “I want to stress that the pickup tomorrow is for garbage only, not recycling or compost. Extra crews will work hard tomorrow to get missed Monday customers but they may not be able to get all of them due to the number missed and/or continued challenging road conditions on certain streets.”
ADDED FRIDAY MORNING: Another SPU note about what’s happening today and tomorrow:
“I want to clarify that crews will be picking up garbage only, for Monday customers.
Thursday customers, who will be picked up today because of the one-day delay, should also set out their recycling and food/yard waste and crews will make every effort to pick up all solid waste from these customers.
Friday customers will get picked up tomorrow (Saturday). They should also set out garbage, recycling and food and yard waste and crews will make every effort to pick up all solid waste for Friday customers on Saturday.
9:24 AM: Just seen in Gatewood: A Waste Management truck. Several commenters in our morning report also mentioned their pickups had happened already, from North Delridge to Fauntleroy. To recap, here’s what the city has said since last night:
Solid waste crews plan to collect garbage from Monday and Tuesday customers (today), February 13th. Crews also plan to collect recycling from Monday customers in Northwest and Southwest Seattle (today). Customers missed last week may put out additional waste at no additional charge.
Collecting garbage from Monday customers whose waste was not picked up the last two Mondays is the priority. Therefore, recycling and food & yard waste not collected from Monday and Tuesday customers (today) will be collected next week, on February 18th and 19th. Customers may put out double the usual amount of recycling and food & yard waste at no additional charge.
All garbage, recycling, and food/yard waste will be collected for Wednesday customers on Thursday, Feb. 14
All garbage, recycling, and food/yard waste will be collected for Thursday customers on Friday, Feb. 15
All garbage, recycling, and food/yard waste will be collected for Friday customers on Saturday, Feb. 16
(For the above three, too) If your collection was missed last week, you may put out double the usual amount of recycling and food/yard waste at no additional charge.
…Additionally, Seattle residents significantly impacted by delayed pickups, due to icy residential streets, may visit the transfer stations for free February 13-16th. Customers are asked to indicate they are Seattle residents whose solid waste services have been delayed due to weather for more than a week.
There are some caveats on those free transfer-station visits – go here for the latest on that.
Meanwhile, Seattle Public Utilities (for whom Waste Management picks up residential solid waste) will be part of another 11 am mayor-and-department-heads briefing today, and we’ll add any new info that results. You can watch for the live stream here.
4:35 PM: Here’s the latest. We’ll update later this evening.
7:26 PM: Just in from SPU via Twitter:
Our trucks had significant challenges getting to all Monday and Tuesday areas today, even with chains and extra crews. If you are a Mon/Tues customer and your garbage was not collected today, it will be collected next week.
Customers whose collection was missed may also bring their garbage, recycling, and food/yard waste to our north or south transfer stations for free. More info here: https://atyourservice.seattle.gov/2019/02/06/solid-waste-collection-resumes-feb-6/ … We know this can be frustrating. Thank you for your continued patience.
Thanks to the neighbors who’ve sent word about this: Some Arbor Heights residents have no water, and others have brown water, because of a break on SW 100th, which is closed between 35th and 37th as a result. If you experience brown water at any time, by the way, remember to report it to the city even if you think they’re on it – 206-386-1800.
We can attest to Waste Management trucks being back out in West Seattle neighborhoods today – we saw that one in Upper Fauntleroy, and another on Avalon just north of Luna Park. Seattle Public Utilities said again today that their plan is to pick up on a day-delayed basis for the rest of the week, and Monday customers can put out double next Monday. So, a few Monday customers asked us, what about recycling, since that otherwise wouldn’t be picked up again until February 18th – will they send recycling trucks around next Monday? We took the question to SPU spokesperson Sabrina Register, who replied:
SPU will attempt to collect the missed recycling from Feb 4 on Monday Feb 11. However, this requires substantial extra trucks and drivers for this unscheduled recycle pickup, so we can’t guarantee we will collect it all. And then additional snow on Friday could, unfortunately, impact access on Monday.
If you weren’t around for the long-running snow event in 2008 – that one led to enough problems, there were even City Council hearings.
1:01 AM: Getting reports of a power outage – so far hearing from Gatewood, Arbor Heights, The Arroyos. Anyone else?
1:07 AM: Big outage – just showed on the map (always a lag). 4,700+ homes/businesses.
1:10 AM: No official word of the cause yet but we have at least two reports from Gatewood of a “zap” heard and flashes seen. (Added atop this story: Screengrab of City Light map, for the record.)
1:21 AM: As noted in comment discussion, SCL has assigned an estimated restoration time of 7 am, but those are always just guesstimates – could be much sooner … or later.
2:01 AM: Second hour of the outage. SCL says its crews are still investigating.
2:32 AM: After an hour and a half, we’re getting reports that at least some have their power back.
2:37 AM: The SCL map is now updated. 3,000+ customers still out.
2:51 AM: And now everybody else (except for 1 customer) is back on, the map shows. (Added) SCL says via Twitter that while the cause is still under investigation, crews “rerouted power to restore the affected area.”
ADDED TUESDAY: SCL says an underground cable failure caused the outage.
12:52 PM: The Seattle City Light outage map is itself out so we can’t gauge the situation without getting SCL comment, but we received some reports of flickering about an hour ago, and one report of power lost in Pigeon Point. Anyone still out, please let us know – thanks!
12:58 PM: The “full screen” version of the outage map is working – via that and a call to SCL’s media line, we’re told two areas are having problems – about three dozen customers between Charlestown Hill and Beach Drive, and the Pathfinder K-8 school area of Pigeon Point.
1:44 PM: Update from City Light – the school outage is resolved; the other two outages have separate causes, one related to a meter installation, one related to a fallen tree. And the main outage map should be functioning again by late this evening.
Out of the WSB inbox, from the mayor’s office:
As furloughed federal workers across the country and across Seattle continue to be hurt by President Donald Trump’s partial shutdown of the federal government, Seattle Mayor Jenny A. Durkan issued a new Executive Order to help impacted federal employees with their utility payments.
The partial shutdown began on December 22, 2018 and is now in its 32nd day. According to an analysis by Governing Magazine, the State of Washington has over 54,000 federal employees. Approximately 11,000 of them work in agencies currently without appropriations and are being directly impacted by the shutdown by working without pay or being furloughed.
Nationally, it is estimated that 800,000 federal employees across the country are working without pay or are currently on furlough.
Mayor Durkan’s Executive Order (EO) builds on existing City assistance programs. The EO directs Seattle City Light (SCL), Seattle Public Utilities (SPU), the City Budget Office (CBO), and the Human Services Department (HSD) to immediately develop a plan to offer deferral of utility bill payments to federal employees and community members who have been negatively impacted by the federal government partial shutdown.
“Every day that the crisis of the government shutdown continues, public servants in Seattle are forced to live without knowing if they can provide for their families – and Seattle is put at risk by the lack of federal services that we rely on, from earthquake monitoring to the Coast Guard to affordable housing support,” said Mayor Durkan. “We are acting urgently to help support Seattle families being hurt by the Trump shutdown. But to truly help families and help Seattle, we need the White House to re-open the federal government today.”
The four City departments will develop their plan for initial execution by this Friday, January 25. The program will include a phone number for impacted residents to call for eligibility information and enrollment.
The shutdown continues to threaten our most vulnerable residents throughout Seattle, the Puget Sound, and Washington State. The shutdown is impacting nutrition assistance programs, TSA agents, federal grant programs, and earthquake monitoring capabilities in the Northwest.
Federal offices in and around Seattle where federal employees are either furloughed or are working without pay include:
· NOAA’s Western Regional Center in Sand Point
· NOAA’s Seattle Forecast Office
· NOAA Northwest Fisheries Science Center & Alaska Fisheries Science Center in Montlake
· NOAA’s Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory in Sand Point
· The Federal Detention Center in SeaTac
· U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Washington
· Seattle Immigration Court
· EPA’s Pacific Northwest Regional Office
· Federal Trade Commission’s Northwest Regional Office
· U.S. Coast Guard Base Seattle
· TSA & FAA Employees at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport
· HUD’s Seattle Regional Office
· USGS Earthquake Hazards Seattle Field Office
· Small Business Administration’s Seattle Office
· Seattle’s IRS Service Center
The City of Seattle has several ongoing programs to ensure that residents are able to afford basic services such as water, sewer, garbage, and electricity. The City’s Utility Discount Program offers reductions on Seattle City Light and Seattle Public Utilities bills to income eligible customers. Through Project Share, City of Seattle customers can set up individual payment plans and deferrals during times of financial hardship. The program is funded by donations from City of Seattle customers.
While we were out covering a meeting (story to come), residents near WSB HQ in Upper Fauntleroy noticed brown water. Even before we returned home to notice it’s affecting us too, they checked with Seattle Public Utilities, which told them it’s likely the result of hydrant usage during this afternoon’s fire call. So we’re using the occasion as a reminder – that’s one reason for discolored water, but always doublecheck with SPU at 206-386-1800 if it happens to you, because among other things it might be first sign of a water break. Here’s the official city advice on dealing with discolored water.
With crews resolving the last West Seattle outage of note from Sunday’s windstorm, Puget Ridge has power again and the main South Seattle College (WSB sponsor) campus will reopen tomorrow. That word is just in from SSC. One of Puget Ridge’s two triple-digit outages was fixed this morning, the other one this afternoon. Seattle City Light is now down to just over 50 customers out of power around its service area – it peaked at more than 50,000 after wind as high as 60 mph moved through early Sunday.
Two notes about the aftermath of the windstorm that hit early this morning:
POWER-RESTORATION WORK CONTINUES: After almost 22 hours without electricity, hundreds on Harbor Avenue SW are back online as of about half an hour ago. They were working in two spots – California/Harbor (photo above) and across from the entrance to Jack Block Park – when we went through the area just after 10 pm. That was the biggest remaining pocket but hundreds are still out in eastern West Seattle, primarily parts of Puget Ridge, and as a result:
LATE START FOR SOUTH SEATTLE COLLEGE’S MAIN CAMPUS ON MONDAY: As announced tonight:
Due to a power outage, South Seattle College (West Seattle campus only) will have a delayed start until 10 a.m. on Monday, Jan. 7. All classes starting before 10 a.m. are cancelled.
Any other changes, cancellations, delays – please let us know so we can report them too.
MONDAY P.S. As reported here, the college is now closed all day.
1:53 PM: That’s the reason Harbor Avenue SW is closed by Jack Block Park – as we first reported in a 3:33 am update during our overnight storm coverage, the wind (gusting up to 60 mph) took down a pole and wires. Bicycles and pedestrians were being allowed through when we walked in for the photo a bit earlier. The 300+ Seattle City Light customers out in that area represent the largest outage remaining on the map for West Seattle, but SCL still has more than 9,000 customers out in more than 100 separate outages around its service area, so its crews have a lot of work ahead. Some restoration work might temporarily lead to new outages, SCL explains (which has happened in parts of unincorporated North Highline, including North Shorewood, as crews work on a broken pole that handles three “feeders”).
5:17 PM: More than 500 customers are still out in West Seattle, including the 300+ in the Harbor vicinity, one of 100+ different outages remaining on the SCL map.
8:56 PM: New outage reported in Admiral area; we flickered in Fauntleroy.
Another West Seattle business got the utility-bill scam phone call today and wanted to share the alert. Sleepers in Seattle in The Junction tells WSB they got one of those calls where the claim is made that a utility bill has gone unpaid and cutoff is looming unless payment is made immediately. All local utilities have issued repeated reminders that they don’t do business this way – here’s the City Light scam-alert page, for example.
Lara reports brown tap water this morning in the 3800 block of 42nd Avenue SW. She says signage indicates Puget Sound Energy work is planned in the area but no crews were in view. Anyone else? Be sure to report discolored water to Seattle Public Utilities if it ever happens to you – 206-386-1800.
(Find the City Light “live” outage map here)
8:09 AM: As noted earlier, though the windstorm is long over, new outages have hit this morning, in High Point and toward the east end of the Roxbury corridor. We’ll be covering those in the hours ahead, and checking out windstorm damage/cleanup around the area. Thanks for all the tips and updates in our past 14+ hours of coverage – more to come!
8:24 AM: That end-of-Roxbury pocket, and the North Highline outage area it was part of, is back on. The SCL map shows a few hundred, mostly in North Delridge/Puget Ridge/Highland Park, still out since last night.
9:27 AM: Anyone on the water missing this?
Karen sent the photo and says it’s beached in Lincoln Park.
10:52 AM: We’ve been out for an hour looking for aftermath such as downed trees. Thanks to a tip, finally found one:
That tree has SW Orchard closed just north of Dumar.
12:22 PM: Oregon is blocked between 38th and 39th because of this:
Police say the house’s residents heard it crack during the wind. They have evacuated. City Light has been called.
1:18 PM: The SCL outage map now shows only scattered, single-customer outages in our area. If you’re out and the map doesn’t show it, be sure SCL knows – 206-684-3000. Their map shows 2,500 still out, service-area-wide.
2:42 PM: Another storm-related closure, tweeted by Seattle Parks:
Southwest Pool is closed the rest of today (Saturday, Dec. 15) and tomorrow (Sunday, Dec. 16) due to problems with the boiler following yesterday’s power outage. Please call the pool or check here for updates.
— Seattle Parks (@SeattleParks) December 15, 2018
(FOR NEW SATURDAY REPORT, GO HERE)
ORIGINAL REPORT, 5:35 PM: If you haven’t been outside lately – or are getting ready to head home from work – the wind has arrived. As noted earlier, the National Weather Service downgraded the alert early this morning but still warned that gusts could get into the 40s; this is supposed to ease within a few hours. We’ll be tracking the storm in the meantime. No outages or other notable effects reported in West Seattle right now but if you see/hear about something, please let us know – text/voice 206-293-6302 – thank you.
5:38 PM: And minutes later … our power went out. Yours?
5:46 PM: More than 6,700 homes/businesses, as shown on SCL map. Also, a tree is reported down in the 2700 block of 51st SW. Also, another one in an alley in the 8800 block of 24th SW.
5:58 PM: As noted in our daily preview, MANY activities were scheduled tonight, so if anybody has official word of cancellations/changes, please let us know. We are headed out to check on some locations, such as the Sealth/Denny campus. Also, a revised total: The SCL map has this grouped as two outages, one with 6,740 customers affected, one with 957, so almost 7,700 homes/businesses.
6:07 PM: The West Seattle Community Orchestras concert that was scheduled for 7 pm at Chief Sealth IHS is postponed.
6:16 PM: For those asking about an estimated restoration time – the map currently just says “December 15” (tomorrow). But as we’ve noted in coverage of many outages (first one we covered was exactly 12 years ago tonight – the Hanukkah Eve windstorm), the estimates are relatively useless, could be much sooner, or much later. In this case, given the growing number of outages around the city, plan for later. Keep your fridge closed.
6:21 PM: Trees reported down in 5200 block 23rd SW and near 24th/Henderson, also trouble at 10th/Henderson.
One event that is STILL ON – Denny IMS Winter Party (Posada) – they have generator power. (photo above). … More from scanner: Stop sign blown down at 63rd/Admiral. … Per comment: Chief Sealth/Garfield basketball is canceled. … WESTWOOD VILLAGE: We went over to check – Target/Barnes&Noble side is on, center stores on, QFC out and stores north of it – to Marshall’s – are out.
6:53 PM: Now the outage map includes an area south to Roxbury that adds 2,273 to the previous West Seattle total, so that means almost 10,000 customers out in West Seattle. From comments: Cocoa For a Cause, a Brownie troop’s project at West Seattle Lights, is postponed. … Also: Art Lounge at Highland Park Improvement Club is canceled. Meantime, a party that went on as scheduled:
West Seattle Be Prepared and the WS Amateur Radio Club were having their combined holiday party when the outage hit. Reports Jim Edwards, who sent the photo: “Between solar, generator and battery powered jug lanterns we are enjoying all that this season has to offer.” … Tree reported down near 18th/Orchard … Our crew says 24th SW is blocked at Henderson/Barton, with crews working on the reported downed tree there.
7:33 PM: Multiple commenters confirm what the map shows – Junction (and points north) NOT affected, so if you are looking for dinner, etc., head there. Lafayette Elementary‘s new Festival of Lights still on, too – thanks to Max for the photos:
Tomorrow too, so if you missed tonight/didn’t want to go out in the wind, you’ll have another chance. Twelfth Night Productions’ “A Christmas Carol” at Kenyon Hall, still on tonight, too, per Lou Magor‘s note (Saturday and Sunday shows remain as well) … (Photo added – “Christmas Carol” by lantern – thanks to Anna for the pic:)
Still no new info on restoration and not likely to be, as SCL now has almost 45,000 out around the region. … We found an SDOT tree crew working at 26th/Barton in Westwood:
Be on the lookout for lost pets (here’s our lost/found pets page) – we’ve already had two lost dogs reported tonight (and reunite one) – e-mail info to email@example.com or text 206-293-6302.
8:30 PM: As noted in comments, the Morgan Junction business district has power. We are headed north on California and on that arterial, the outage is from just south of Mills, southward. … Alaska, Admiral Junction all on … so is Alki.
9:07 PM: The National Weather Service extended the Wind Advisory until 10 pm. In general, the wind in our area is indeed calming – the 9 pm gusts are lower than the 8 pm gusts. For a commenter who asked, here’s a grab of the West Seattle-and-southward outage map as of a short time ago:
9:42 PM: Though the West Seattle outages don’t appear to have changed in size, the total number out throughout SCL’s service area is now 43,000+, down about 3,000 from the peak. Meantime, since we are now into the fifth hour, you might be interested in food-safety advice regarding what’s in your fridge, if you are in the outage zone.
10:15 PM: Getting reports of restoration in the High Point area.
10:30 PM: The map now reflects more than 1,300 West Seattle customers got power restored.
11:44 PM: Seventh hour without power for 8,000+ in WS. Throughout SCL’s area, 36,000+ are now mapped as out, down 10,000 from the peak. Meantime, we’ve heard about another downed tree, this one at Jacobsen and Hudson, via Alyson, who says it’s not blocking the road but appears to have brought down a cable wire.
12:54 AM: 8th/Elmgrove report of restoration via a comment. West Seattle outage is ~300 customers smaller in latest map update. Meantime, a fire alarm brought SFD to Bed Bath Beyond in Westwood, but no fire – they think the alarm was outage-related and are closing the response.
1:07 AM: Our power just came back on, after 7 1/2 hours. Hearing from others too.
1:28 AM: We’ve noted before that SCL’s new map lags more than its predecessor. Noting that now – we’ve been back on for more than 20 minutes but we’re still shown as out. So we don’t know yet how many got power back in that last wave. The map shows 30,000 still out, service-area-wide.
6:29 AM: Thanks for the updates. Looks like the outage is down to a few hundred in West Seattle, still 11,000+ out in SCL’s service area – almost half of them south of here. (added) Here’s a screen grab of the last West Seattle pockets:
We’re working on the daily highlight list right now – assuming everything’s on as scheduled but let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org if not – then once it’s light, we’ll be looking around for storm damage – please also let us know if you’re dealing with anything (downed trees, etc.) – thank you!
7:43 AM: A few reports of power going out again in part of High Point a few minutes ago. Ours in Upper Fauntleroy flickered.
7:59 AM: Launching a new report on current outages and aftermath. (added) Find it here.
12:04 PM: We’re getting multiple reports of a power outage in Upper Alki, though so far the Seattle City Light map only shows one customer out. Be sure to call SCL if you’re affected (206-684-3000) – and then let us know!
1:11 PM: Though the outage map still shows only one customer, the outage hotline for those affected says 133, per a commenter.
2:36 PM: Power restored, per e-mail from a resident in the outage zone. SCL apologized, meantime, for the map inaccuracy, saying “a server upgrade” was at fault.
2:14 PM: Thanks to Dave for the tip – we confirmed with the Seattle Public Utilities crew on the southeast corner of California and Edmunds that they’re fixing a water break. Some traffic effects at that 5-way intersection as a result.
3:54 PM: Elaine Yeung of SPU replied to our inquiry seeking more info, saying the break was “caused by a tree root. Crews have now finished working on the pipe, placed temporary paving, and opened the street back to traffic.”
Susan reports brown water at 59th/Spokane. She’s wondering if the work crew on 59th south of Admiral is related and if others are affected. If you ever notice discolored water, be sure to notify Seattle Public Utilities at 206-386-1800.
Friday night, you might recall, 3,000+ homes and businesses were without power in West Seattle – and many more lost it briefly – because of a problem at the Delridge Substation. It was the second consecutive Friday night with a problem there, though the previous week’s outage was only “momentary.” As promised, we asked Seattle City Light today if they’ve found out anything more. SCL spokesperson Scott Thomsen says the two might have been connected:
Friday’s outage was caused by an underground cable failure.
The previous outage in that area was likely caused by a branch falling into and then off of overhead powerlines in a wooded area nearby. Our crews patrolled the area immediately and a second time during daylight, but could not find evidence of what might have triggered it.
The area of overhead lines where that first problem occurred and the underground cable in Friday’s outage are connected. While we can’t make a conclusive connection between the two events, when faults happen in the overhead system like that, it will put additional stress on connected underground cables, shortening their lifespans.
9:04 PM: For some it flickered – others are out. Nothing on the SCL map yet. More info to come…
9:12 PM: Now on the outage map: 3,000+ homes/businesses.
9:22 PM: Unofficial suspicions point to the Delridge Substation, source of several problems this year and one just a week ago. There’s a ‘wires down’ call near there.
9:32 PM: Our photographer went to 26th/Juneau to check on that “wires down” report. So far no wires found down, per emergency crews. City Light says on Twitter that they think a “cable” is to blame and that power should be back “soon.” If you have to drive, note that some lights are out – that means it’s a four-way stop.
9:59 PM: SCL has updated the cause to “equipment failure.” Though the current “restoration estimate” is just before midnight, keep in mind that those are just guesses and it could be sooner … or later. Please let us know (comment, or text 206-293-6302) when you’re back on – our HQ only had flickers so we won’t know when the outage ends otherwise, and the SCL map has something of a lag … thank you. Meantime, some backstory – that widespread “momentary” outage last Friday night, also traced to the Delridge Substation, was also around 9 pm. We followed up with City Light on Monday and they thought it might have been a branch hitting a line, but they weren’t sure; they did explain that a “boom” heard that night was the sound of “breakers opening.” (As you can see in comments, many reported hearing “booms” again tonight.)
10:35 PM: Thanks for the texts! Sounds like at least some have power back.
10:49 PM: The SCL map has now updated to show all but a handful of customers are back on.
As promised, we followed up with Seattle City Light about Friday night’s brief-but-widespread West Seattle power outage. That night, all they could tell us was that they’d traced it to the Delridge Substation – also blamed for two other brief-but-widespread outages last summer – but hadn’t found out what went wrong. Today we checked with SCL’s Scott Thomsen, who says the exact cause remains a mystery: “Crews patrolled the lines that night and went out again today during daylight. They did not find any problems. They believe that a branch from one of the wooded areas could have fallen into the lines and then fallen to the ground after creating a brief short circuit.” That short circuit could have been the source of the “boom” some reported hearing, Thomsen says: “That would have been the breakers opening. They then reclose automatically. If the problem has gone away, the breakers stay closed and service is restored. That’s what happens in what we refer to as a momentary outage.”
9:18 PM: From High Point to Delridge to Fairmount Park, we’ve received multiple reports of a power flicker, and some said they heard a “boom.” Haven’t traced the source yet and haven’t heard from anyone experiencing an actual outage. Any other areas affected?
9:24 PM: Commenters indicate other areas were affected. And via other messaging channels, we’ve heard from as far west as Lowman Beach and as far south as Westwood.
9:33 PM: Commenter Aaron called in a report to Seattle City Light and says he was told it was a “blown breaker.” (You might recall two short outages in the span of a week last summer blamed on the Delridge Substation.)
10:44 PM: Just talked to Seattle City Light‘s on-call media person. While the outage was traced to the Delridge Substation, they haven’t yet figured out what caused it, but are continuing to investigate.