West Seattle, Washington
5:05 PM: Thanks for the tip! That is a screenshot from the Seattle City Light outage map, which shows 31 customers without power near California/Dakota starting just after 4 pm. No official word yet what caused it.
6:44 PM: The SCL map now attributes the outage to “bird/animal”; commenter DEK says it was a crow.
9:40 PM: Restored since last time we checked.
The sign’s still up at Bonair/Alki, one day after Seattle Public Utilities reported a sewer overflow into Puget Sound. The warning zone is at the easternmost end of the beach – it covers “water activities” for about 600 feet in either direction. Today SPU spokesoerson Sabrina Register told WSB the amount of spilled sewage is estimated at about 1,655 gallons. And a pump station was not involved, she said – rather, “An initial assessment shows structural failure (a collapsed mainline) on nearly 100-year-old infrastructure.” SPU work crews were seen in the area earlier today:
Thanks to Chas Redmond for that photo. We’ll check on the repair plasn tomorrow; SPU has said the warning signage will remain in place until water sampling shows it’s safe.
Seattle Public Utilities is about to start a month-plus-long project to replace a water main in the Admiral area. SPU says the project – mostly on 39th SW between Grayson and Admiral – was originally supposed to start last year, but was delayed by both the pandemic and “contractor availability.” Here’s the official notice:
Work is expected to start “as soon as Wednesday.” SPU also tells us the work will have an impact on Admiral Way at some point, and they’ll send a separate notice when that gets close.
Thanks to the texter who reported brown water in the Belvidere area. First thing to do if that happens to you is, report it to 206-386-1800. That’s the 24-hour Seattle Public Utilities hotline. If there have already been other reports, they might be able to tell you what the problem is – say, a water break in your area. More often in weather like this, it is the Seattle Fire Department using/testing hydrants, and that’s what the texter was told. That stirs up sediment – basically, rust. West Seattle had so much trouble with this five years ago, a special flushing-the-lines project ensued. Back to what you can do: Today’s texter was told, don’t use the water for a few hours, then run cold water for 20 seconds or so and that should clear things up. Here’s more advice.
Last summer, we reported on the concept for public art that’ll be part of the Alki Pump Station 38 project in the 1400 block of Alki Avenue SW, with a survey for your comments.. Now, an update on artist Sarah Thompson Moore‘s design – including word that a guardrail has been added to the project:
Here are basics on the pump-station upgrade, aimed at increasing capacity and reliability. The project website still says construction is expected to start this year.
7:47 AM: Thanks for the tip, For the second time in three days, more than 100 customers in The Arroyos have lost power. This one, like the previous one, is affecting 109 customers, according to the City Light map.
3:07 PM: We asked SCL spokesperson Julie Moore about the outages. Her reply:
The cause of these outages is equipment failure, a fault in the underground direct buried cable, though not in the same locations. As you know, with direct buried cable, it can take longer to locate the issue than with overhead, which prolongs the outage. With the current outage, crews have located the fault and are working on repairs. …
This is the system in the Arroyo neighborhood where we have an ongoing project to replace the aging direct buried cable with an underground conduit system, which will improve reliability. Once conduit installation is complete, estimated in the second quarter of 2021, electrical crews will install the new underground cables. This work will take up to six months to complete and may require planned outages; City Light will notify customers in advance.
Given these recent outages, we’re planning to send a message to those who’ve signed up to receive project updates by email this afternoon.
That’s just been sent. And Moore also noted that, as happened in the previous outage, almost half the customers have their power back.
ADDED: In comments, Stacy says power was restored around 5:30 pm.
10:08 PM: Thanks to Colby for the tip: He reports an “explosion” preceded this 109-customer power outage in The Arroyos, at the southwesternmost edge of West Seattle. The City Light outage map already identifies it as a case of “equipment failure.”
1:08 AM: Still out. (For the record, the outage started at 9:40 pm.)
9:45 AM: After 12 hours, not fixed yet, per the map.
4:25 PM: And it continues.
7:31 PM: Colby points out that almost half the affected homes have their power back now; the SCL map says 60 are still out.
Seattle Public Utilities was scheduled to provide notification today to residents and businesses along SW Yancy between Avalon and 28th who will be affected by an upcoming water outage.
Those are the properties affected, as shown on the SPU Water Outages map – about two dozen customers. The shutoff is planned for 8 pm next Friday, March 26th, until 8 am the following morning. SPU spokesperson Sabrina Register says, “SPU is shutting down the water main and water service to customers as a safety measure to protect the City’s pipe while a private developer (Lotus Development Partners) conducts underground work associated with their construction project.” That’s the Transitional Resources supportive-housing project on Yancy.
P.S. The outage map’s list of upcoming planned outages also includes one next Thursday, 8 am-4 pm, affecting 59 customers in the vicinity of 3009 SW Myrtle.
10:37 AM: Thanks for the tips. Multiple people have messaged us about a Comcast outage in Arbor Heights; checking the outage map, both 98136 and 98146 are identified as having outages with “51 to 500” customers affected; there’s a smaller outage (50 or less) in 98106 too. We’re checking with the company to see if they can tell us more.
3:37 PM: A Comcast spokesperson says there are “no systemic issues.” But the outages are still showing on the map.
Thanks to Troy for the tip. If you are having any water trouble in Gatewood, could be related to a problem in the vicinity of 39th SW/SW Rose, where that crew has been working. Nothing is showing on the Seattle Public Utilities water-outage map, so we have an inquiry out and will update with whatever we hear back.
ADDED WEDNESDAY NIGHT: We have yet to get a response from SPU. But as noted in comments, Arbor Heights had an outage today too, near 37th and 106th. That one did turn up on the map.
8:59 PM SUNDAY: Biggest question of the night: Will there be garbage/recycling pickup tomorrow? The Seattle Public Utilities update we included in afternoon coverage remains the newest information:
If there is still snow and/or ice on the ground Monday and conditions are determined to be unsafe for SPU contractors, the Utility will operate on a one-day delay for garbage, recycling and food/yard waste pickup this coming week. SPU will be sure to communicate just as soon as decisions are made.
Whenever we get word of that decision, we’ll update this story.
6:23 AM MONDAY: Still no announcement.
7:50 AM: No pickup today, says Waste Management: “Attention Monday Residential Customers: Your services cannot be provided today. Please leave carts at the curb. We will collect tomorrow or as conditions allow. We will collect materials missed during this delay – no extra charge.”
9:36 AM: And, as per the original city announcement above, the rest of the week will be delayed too, SPU says.
Thanks to Lorie for mentioning a power outage that affected some homes in Belvidere early this morning. It was over by the time we saw her note, which meant it was no longer shown on the Seattle City Light power-outage map, so we checked with SCL’s Julie Moore about the size and cause. She tells WSB, “Apparently tree limbs caused a transformer outage impacting eight customers. Our records show the outage lasted 4:16-6:37 a.m.”
After 4 weeks, the south Morgan Junction/Gatewood work zone for a Seattle Public Utilities sewer-line repair project is cleared. As our through-the-windshield photo from late today shows, the pavement patching will have to be smoothed – we will be checking with SPU for a timeline on that. But the cross-lane bumps in the northbound lane, which contributed to a bicyclist falling and requiring hospitalization, are gone. Our original January report explains the work that was done. SPU is now moving on to another sewer-line repair that will affect traffic on Fauntleroy Way south of Alaska; work was supposed to start today, but as of late afternoon, it had yet to begin.
Following the recent Seattle Public Utilities drainage-repair work on Sylvan Way, SPU promised it would return to smooth out the bumpy surface left behind. They’ve just announced the plan for that:
A contractor for Seattle Public Utilities (SPU) will begin asphalt paving on Sylvan Way SW beginning Monday, Feb. 15. SPU completed a drainage improvement project on Sylvan Way SW last month and is permanently restoring the roadway.
Work hours are anticipated to be 9 am to 4 pm. On Feb. 15, one lane near 6950 Sylvan Way SW will be closed. Two-way traffic will be maintained by flaggers on site. All travel lanes will be open outside of working hours. The following day, on Tuesday, Feb. 16, crews will complete paving on the shoulder of the road, near 7194 Sylvan Way SW. Both travel lanes will remain open, but vehicles should use caution near the work area. Asphalt paving work is weather-dependent, and schedule is subject to change.
Heads-up from Seattle Public Utilities – another sewer-repair project will affect traffic and pedestrians along a West Seattle arterial. This is described as emergency work:
A contractor for Seattle Public Utilities will begin emergency work to repair a damaged sewer main line in Fauntleroy Way SW between SW Alaska St and SW Edmunds St.
Work is scheduled to begin Thursday, Feb. 4, 2021. Anticipated hours are Monday – Friday, 7 am to 6 pm. Work is anticipated to take 10 – 14 days. See yellow outline on map for approximate work areas. All work will be completed in the right of way.
During the work you can expect:
• Equipment and work will take place in the center lanes Fauntleroy Way SW and in the southern sidewalk of SW Alaska St near the Fauntleroy Way SW intersection.
• Two-way traffic will be maintained on both sides of the work area in Fauntleroy Way SW and the bike lane will remain open.
• The southern sidewalk of SW Alaska St near the Fauntleroy Way SW intersection to be closed.
• Equipment and materials staged in the right of way.
• Sidewalks and traffic lanes will be re-opened outside of working hours.
• Typical construction noise, dust, and vibrations during working hours.
• Metro service will continue as usual, with stops open. Traffic Flaggers may assist in accessing the bus stops if necessary.
See the official flyer here.
2:20 PM: Thanks to @clarisaface for the tweeted photo/tip. There’s traffic trouble on the uphill side of the 1st Avenue South hill east/northeast of Olson/Myers, because Seattle City Light is still working at the site where one or more trees took out lines and caused that 5,700-customer power outage Friday afternoon. The SCL map shows 74 customers still out, 25 hours later, in that area of southeast West Seattle.
2:42 PM: Also of note, a crash response is blocking multiple northbound lanes on the 1st Avenue South Bridge.
2:19 PM: Second big Seattle City Light power outage this week – this time, 5,700+ customers, some in southeast West Seattle and west South Park. Above is a closeup of the WS areas affected – to see the full outage zone, which stretches into Burien, go to the SCL website map. This started about an hour ago; no word yet on the cause.
3:18 PM: Via Twitter, City Light says this was caused by “a downed tree that came into contact with overhead power lines.” In a comment below, Bill says the culprit tree appears to have been one that fell near the 509 ramp on the Olson/1st/etc. hill.
6:01 PM: Most of the areas in the image above are still out – almost 400 customers – but the rest are back on. Note that commenter Patience points out this is still affecting traffic in the Olson/Myers vicinity at the east end of the Roxbury corridor.
11:52 PM: Just checked the map – 74 customers still out.
7:28 AM: No indication yet what caused this. Note that the outage zone includes parts of Roxbury and 16th SW, both arterials, with signals, so if you travel through an intersection that’s affected, it’s a four-way stop. Also remember that SCL’s restoration estimates are just guesses. (Added: The latest guess has already changed dramatically, from 2 pm to 8:54 am.)
7:51 AM: We have one report that power’s back. The SCL map lags so we won’t get the full picture for a bit.
8:01 AM: Map shows one pocket remains, almost 400 customers in the Greenbridge area. We’ll update later when we find out the cause. (So far, SCL has attributed it to an “underground issue.”)
8:15 AM: Checking the archives – this outage footprint, and cause, is similar to this December outage. We’re following up on that.
6 PM: City Light spokesperson Julie Moore responded: “Today’s outage was due to a switch failure that caused a substation feeder breaker to lock out. It was the same breaker as the Dec. 12 incident, so that’s why we saw a similar footprint. However, it was a different switch in a different location on the feeder that failed this time.”
10:41 AM: If you are trying to get around eastern West Seattle, beware myriad challenges today. Along with the Sylvan Way closure and work at Delridge and Trenton, right now Seattle Fire is blocking 16th SW in the 6000 block, dealing with a gas leak at or near South Seattle College (WSB sponsor), so avoid that area.
11:23 AM: We haven’t heard an update, but the incident log shows all three SFD units are still on scene.
11:31 AM: And now they’ve begun to wind down the response, though Puget Sound Energy is still on scene addressing the situation.
12:35 PM: Just went by to confirm – all clear, road open.
As noted in today’s morning traffic watch, one of West Seattle’s major east-west routes, Sylvan Way, will be closed much of this weekend, without major advance notice aside from sparse signage. Today SDOT was finally able to tell us this is a Seattle Public Utilities project, and we have obtained more information through SPU spokesperson Sabrina Register:
This is SPU drainage crew work. They are responding to some localized flooding issues that were reported by the community last year. SPU is installing one inlet and one catch basin and needs to trench across the street to connect to them to the drainage mainline.
This work will occur Saturday and Sunday, 8 am to 5 pm, and a detour will be in place. Outside of working hours, the crew will be able to reopen the roadway and allow traffic on Sylvan.
Going on 44 hours since the first outages caused by Tuesday night’s windstorm, the biggest remaining pocket finally got power back tonight. We took that photo of a Seattle City Light crew working near 49th/Waite just after dusk tonight; the outage map shows the longrunning 300+-customer pocket in that area has had power restored. The map still shows more than 20 spot outages remaining around West Seattle – most affecting one or two customers. Around the SCL service area, 1,000+ customers are still out, down from what the utility says was a peak of 74,000 customers.
11:18 AM: It’s the near-calm after the storm … but more than 4,500 homes/businesses in West Seattle are still without power after the outages began just before midnight. Here’s a screengrab of the current Seattle City Light map:
South of the big outage in Alki/Admiral/Genesee/North Delridge, most of those markers represent single-digit outages. SCL peaked at 72,000+ customers out and has now halved that, but that still means many hours of work, and as we’ve seen in many other outages, the work can be complicated and take longer, depending on what tree went into what line, affecting what part of the system … etc. Please remember that the estimated restoration times on the SCL map are only guesses – you could get yours back much sooner or much later.
12:54 PM: SCL has provided a detailed update here, including an explanation of how it prioritizes repairs in situations like this. It should also be noted that cable/internet services have been experiencing outages, too – we’ve heard from some customers. Those outages tend to be more hyperlocalized. We did see several Comcast and CenturyLink crews out while we were traveling around the peninsula at midmorning.
1:54 PM: Commenters and texters are telling us the power’s back in most if not all of the large-outage area, after 14 hours. The map should catch up shortly. … Update: About 200 people are still out in scattered outages around WS.
2:24 PM: Still lots of tree-cleanup work to be done, along with the trouble spots we showed earlier. Sarah sent this photo from 39th/Monroe in Gatewood:
And from Aaron, south of Admiral:
Tree trouble led Seattle Parks to tweet this reminder: “Following last night’s windstorm, we encourage all visitors to use caution in our outdoor spaces and please stay out from under trees and avoid forested park areas. To report a downed tree or maintenance issue, contact 206-684-7250.”
6:13 PM: Here’s one of the trees Parks lost – texter just sent this photo of a tree down at Roxhill Park:
6:44 PM: Checking the SCL map again, numerous scattered outages still have almost 500 customers out in West Seattle. Systemwide, nearly 6,000.
8:50 PM: About 300 more people lost power in west Admiral/upper Alki earlier this hour. Though we don’t have any official information beyond the map confirmation, keep in mind that repair work sometimes sparks new outages as crews work on rerouting/reconnection; this is by the scene of the tilting pole and downed wires at 49th/Waite. There’s also a pocket that lost power on the west side of Delridge south of Thistle earlier this evening.
9:20 PM: The Alki/Admiral outage is now at about 500 customers.
6:39 AM: Thousands of people are still without power after the overnight windstorm that hit just before midnight and roared with ~50 mph gusts for hours (here’s our coverage). If you’re headed out this morning, be aware you may encounter streets with downed trees/wires and dark signals. We’ll be tracking those over the next few hours. In West Seattle, most of the 4,400+ without power are in Alki, Admiral, and north of The Junction; even more are out in White Center and points south. The Seattle City Light map shows the areas affected – and also shows that right now, 58,000+ customers throughout its service area are still out, down from 72,000 but still leaving crews with a lot of work ahead. If you encounter a traffic/transit problem, please let us know when you get where you’re going – comment below, or call/text 206-293-6302.
6:56 AM: The East Marginal Way/Ellis problem we reported in overnight coverage continues. Here’s a map; that’s south of the 1st Avenue S. Bridge, but north of the South Park Bridge, so if you were planning to use the latter, heads up. … Most of the trees reported downed overnight were on residential streets, but we do have a report of one this morning on Myers Way just south of West Seattle, near 99th.
7:27 AM: Big Seattle Fire response to the 2200 block of Harbor SW [map] for a reported natural-gas leak. Avoid the area. … Update: Traffic on Harbor is blocked between Florida and Fairmount, while they await Puget Sound Energy.
7:53 AM: Texter reports wires down at 44th/Andover. (Even though some downed lines might be fiber/cable/phone, PLEASE always assume a downed wire is live, and stay away!) Now that it’s light, we’re heading out to check some of the overnight damage locations – we’ll update here but you can also watch the WSB Twitter feed as we go.
8:17 AM: No online classes today for Seattle Public Schools.
8:32 AM: The tree that fell on Marine View Drive at 104th overnight is still blocking the SB lane:
Just passed an SDOT crew doing tree work on southbound 35th SW south of Othello. … Back on Harbor SW, PSE has arrived at the gas leak. Jennifer at West Bay Espresso & Smoothies says it’s their site and the culprit was a mudslide hitting a gas line.
9:08 AM: In Admiral, Waite is blocked east of 49th, near Aegis Living, with a leaning utility pole:
Back in Arbor Heights, Nate reports a tree is blocking 39th at 100th and lines are down on 41st near 100th. And here’s 32nd just south of 106th:
9:45 AM: East of Lincoln Park, two trees are down on 45th SW north of Rose, blocking the NB side.
11:01 AM: Harbor is clear, per a commenter, but the caution tape was left up across the biking/walking path. Meantime, King County Roads says 26th Ave SW between SW 109th St and SW 112th St is closed because of downed trees.
Below, the cameras we usually watch, and a reminder:
LOW-BRIDGE CAMERA ENFORCEMENT: Today is the third day the enforcement cameras on the low bridge are in use, photographing vehicles so that $75 tickets can be sent to owners of unauthorized vehicles crossing between 5 am and 9 pm.
Who’s authorized and who’s not? See our story from Sunday night.
West Marginal Way at Highland Park Way:
Highland Park Way/Holden:
The 5-way intersection (Spokane/West Marginal/Delridge/Chelan):
The main detour route across the Duwamish River, the 1st Avenue South Bridge (map):
The other major bridge across the river – the South Park Bridge (map). Here’s the nearest camera:
To check for bridges’ marine-traffic openings, see the @SDOTBridges Twitter feed.