West Seattle, Washington
The frosted fishing pier at Seacrest was the clearest photo we got of the slickness that caused some trouble around West Seattle on Monday morning. With a similar forecast for Tuesday, and patchy fog already out there with near-freezing temps tonight, you’ll want to be extra careful whether driving, riding, or walking. We asked SDOT what’s planned; spokesperson Dawn Schellenberg replied, “Our crews will be out tonight treating right-of-way as needed.” If you encounter an icy patch of public path/road that needs attention, call 206-684-ROAD. (And then please let us know so we can include it in our coverage, which will start again Tuesday at 5:30 am.)
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.
12:30 AM: The National Weather Service says the gusts predicted in its High Wind Warning alert for our area are definitely on the way within the next few hours. They’ve already kicked up on the coast. We’ll be on watch as always; updates to come.
1:40 AM: It’s here. “Things are escalating quickly,” the NWS confirms.
1:51 AM: First outage reports are in, from Admiral. (update) 3,100+ customers in NE West Seattle – here’s a screengrab of the outage map:
2:05 AM: Also now 400+ further south.
2:15 AM: The NWS reports a 60 mph gust at Sea-Tac. (Its own HQ in North Seattle lost power and is on a generator now.) … Alki is part of another 4,000+ now out. Part of The Junction too. Updated map screengrab:
Remember that while SCL assigns estimated restoration times, those are in essence just guesses. Going on 50,000 customers now out service-area-wide (about 8,000 of those in West Seattle) so it’s going to be a while. Keep your fridge closed to maximize the amount of time what’s in there will be OK. (Other outage-related advice is here.)
2:51 AM: Top gusts so far around the region, including that 60 MPH at Sea-Tac, are listed here. Meantime, a traffic note: A crash on SB 99 just north of the West Seattle Bridge exit had someone pinned in their car so all SB lanes are blocked for a “rescue extrication” response. 2 people are hurt.
3:33 AM: The period of strongest wind was predicted to be “brief” – it’s been about two hours now, and it sounds a little calmer out there, so here’s hoping it’s peaked. Meantime, another traffic note: EM reports in comments that a pole and wires are down on Harbor Avenue SW by Jack Block Park, which is closed there as a result. … West Seattle power outages holding at ~8,000 customers. If you are awake when yours is restored, please let us know, in comments, or by texting our hotline (206-293-6302) – SCL doesn’t have an online public record of outages so reader reports are valuable for our archives; thank you!
4:03 AM: Power progress – part of the first big outage zone is back on; commenter in Luna Park reports restoration, and what was a 3,100+-customer outage including that area has now dropped to 1,900+. Another note: While we’ve focused on West Seattle outages, points south in North Highline/Burien are out too – City Light serves them, so you can check the same map. And if you’re curious about other areas, such as Vashon, the Puget Sound Energy outage map is here. (While PSE only provides gas service in our area, it’s the electric utility for many other communities.)
5:55 AM: Thanks for the updates! More power restored (see comments); now about 5,000 still out. … SFD has a “full response” headed to a house in the 2600 block of 38th SW, but it sounds like they’re downsizing, not a major incident.
6:05 AM: Most units are being dismissed from that call, now described as likely a “light fixture.”
8:28 AM: Now that it’s light, it’s on to storm aftermath. Looks like about 600 customers are still out, scattered around West Seattle, of 22,000+ service-area-wide. No reports of injuries – haven’t heard yet of any major damage in our area, but if you have any info to share, we continue to appreciate reports/tips, in the comments or whatever other way works for you – thank you! … Here’s a Weather Service explanation of why it got so windy, so fast.
11:44 AM: City Light warns that some people “in the south end” might lose power again for a few hours while they work on a complicated repair involving a “broken pole” where three feeder lines converge.
1:30 PM: You know what to do – charge everything; the National Weather Service has announced a Wind Advisory for our area for 10 pm tonight through 10 am Sunday. Read it in full here. The NWS says this could bring “south to southwest wind 20 to 35 mph with gusts up to 50 mph.” And while advisories don’t always pan out, Michael points out (via an emailed tip – thank you!) that even weather analyst Cliff Mass is sounding the alarm, saying “it is highly probable that this will be a major wind event.”
7 PM: A short time ago, the NWS upgraded the alert to a High Wind Warning, saying the gusts could “briefly” reach 60 mph.
Thanks to Alex for sending that view of 2019’s first West Seattle sunset, as seen from Lincoln Park! Though New Year’s Eve (as shown here) and Day both featured beautiful, serene end-of-day views, there’s blustery weather in the forecast – Wednesday night, Thursday, and Friday all are expected to be breezy (no alerts in our area so far, though).
11:11 AM: Our first scene from this Saturday storm is from Constellation Park south of Alki Point, as high tide hit about half an hour ago. The National Weather Service’s Wind Advisory alert continues until 4 pm; if you’re affected by power problems, downed trees/limbs, etc., please let us know – text or call 206-293-6302.
2:54 PM: No real storm trouble reported. Rainbows, though!
Jim Borrow caught that view looking north from Alki around noon.
8:46 PM: Thanks to Jen Popp for this view from Beach Drive:
And Don Brubeck spotted these swimmers off Alki – sheltered from the wind:
Your chance to go into the water – briefly, if you prefer it that way – is of course coming up Tuesday!
Though the New Year’s Eve forecast looks calm – looks like we have to clear a blustery hurdle before we get there.
The National Weather Service has a Wind Advisory up for 10 am-4 pm tomorrow (Saturday, December 29th). The wind is forecast to be “southerly 20 to 35 mph with gusts 45 to 55 mph.”
Get everything charged just in case!
… is that peek view of snow-capped Olympics, as photographed this morning by Chris Frankovich. The forecast isn’t completely placid — “slight chance of thunderstorms in the evening” tonight, for example — but otherwise “mostly cloudy with a chance of showers” through Christmas Eve, then a partly sunny Christmas Day with highs in the 40s. If you weren’t here last Christmas, this is what you missed:
More than 2.5″ of snow for Christmas Eve/Day 2017 – which the National Weather Service said was the “first time in over 120 years of records Seattle had at least 1″ of snow on both Christmas Eve and Christmas.”
Right about the time of today’s winter-solstice moment – just before 2:30 pm – the sun emerged to greet the newly arrived season. And it hung around long enough for squinting and sunglasses to be in order at NASA volunteer Solar System Ambassador Alice Enevoldsen‘s sunset-watch event at West Seattle’s Solstice Park.
The park has paths and markers that align with solstice/equinox sunsets, and the dozens in attendance were able to fully appreciate them today.
Sunset watch also means a lesson about the Earth, the Sun, and how the solar system works.
Now that the days are going to start getting longer – just a tiny bit at first, Alice noted when asked, so don’t get too excited yet – you can start looking forward to the spring equinox, just before 3 pm on Wednesday, March 20th, so plan on sunset watch with Alice a few hours later.
(WSB file photo)
The weather should be a lot calmer on Friday afternoon, when winter officially arrives – the solstice “moment” is at 2:23 pm. An hour and a half later, you are invited to the change-of-seasons sunset watch with Alice Enevoldsen at West Seattle’s Solstice Park (7400 Fauntleroy Way SW, upslope from the tennis courts). Be there at 3:45 pm to mark the change of seasons (and to learn about it too).
(SCROLL DOWN FOR STORM UPDATES)
10:01 AM: The National Weather Service‘s alert for our area – a High Wind Warning – is now in effect, 10 am-7 pm. From the alert:
* WIND…South to southeast wind 25 to 40 mph with gusts up to 60 mph.
* TIMING…Winds will increase rapidly Thursday morning with the strongest gusts expected for a few hours Thursday afternoon.
If you see/experience downed trees, power problems, etc., once you’ve reported it to the authorities, please let us know so we can include in coverage – text or voice, 206-293-6302 is the fastest – thank you!
11:20 AM: First tree report – an alley near 39th/Graham – thanks for the texted photo!
We are currently in the Alki area and a serious rain squall is moving through. Before we rounded Duwamish Head north/west bound, one was visible in the bay, too:
Just south of Alki Point, it’s prime wave-watching, even with high tide still 2+ hours away. (video added)
11:56 AM: More road reports – Signal out at Myers/Olson (the City Light map shows a small outage there) … tree down on eastbound Admiral Way in Alki area (WSB photo added) …
Tree on eastbound Orchard east of Delridge, photo courtesy @SabaGebru:
12:08 PM: Outage mostly south of West Seattle, 4,300+ customers – here’s a screengrab from the SCL map:
12:44 PM: Tree trouble in Arbor Heights, near 37th/108th – thanks for sending the photo:
Close call, they report: “We’re fortunate it didn’t hit anyone AND it landed right in between the two cars.”
1:44 PM: The aforementioned outage remains the only one of note anywhere near us, and some of those customers have their power back – it’s now a 3,400+-customer outage. The NWS, meantime, says the wind will peak in the next few hours. Certainly a storm of many faces – we’re in The Junction right now and the sun has even made an appearance.
2:47 PM: The photo above shows chunks of driftwood on the road alongside Constellation Park after the high tide earlier this hour sent those windwhipped waves even further over the road. Along the quiet north-facing side of Alki, just a bit of slopover:
— Podcast West Seattle (@podcastwseattle) December 20, 2018
We’ve been through The Junction, Delridge, points inbetween, and it’s relatively placid. The outage to the south of WS is now down to 1700+ customers.
3:15 PM: The NWS’s afternoon Forecast Discussion confirms it’s “settling down,” so we’re going to move on to some other news. We’ll update this story as warranted, of course, or launch something new if any major incidents are reported.
4:45 PM: All’s still relatively well. The outage to the south is now down to 110 customers; there’s a few scattered one-customer outages mapped for West Seattle, and a group of 9 south of Westcrest Park, otherwise things have stayed stable on the power front.
FIRST REPORT, 7:24 AM: The National Weather Service has issued a weather alert for 7 am-7 pm Thursday, a High Wind Watch, warning of winds possibly as strong as those that hit last Friday night and cut power to thousands:
* WIND…South to southeast wind 25 to 40 mph with gusts up to 60 mph. Strongest winds will be near the shoreline.
* TIMING…Winds will increase rapidly early Thursday and continue through the evening.
* IMPACTS…Snapped tree branches and downed trees along with local power outages.
Read the full alert here.
10:59 AM: Now upgraded to a High Wind Warning.
(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.
12:57 PM: Though the last wind alert didn’t pan out, the National Weather Service has announced a new one – we’re under a High Wind Watch for 10 am-6 pm Friday, possible gusts to 60 mph out of the south. See the alert here.
7:02 AM FRIDAY: The alert is now lower-level – a Wind Advisory, in effect 1-7 pm, with south wind, possibly gusting to 45 mph.
2:39 PM: Seen in West Seattle this morning … a snowplow. No snow in the forecast, but it’s a reminder that winter is just days away – the solstice moment is 2:23 pm our time on Friday, December 21st. We also have another sign of impending winter – this announcement from Seattle Parks:
Routine winter preparation has begun with most Seattle Parks and Recreation comfort stations and drinking fountains closing for the winter season to prevent pipes from freezing. We expect to complete winterizing and closing impacted facilities by the end of the month. We will begin reopening comfort stations and water fountains in March 2019.
3:12 PM: While we’re talking weather, the National Weather Service has just announced a wind alert for our area – we’re in “wind advisory” mode until noon tomorrow (Thursday). Things will start picking up this evening and gusts could hit 50 mph, the NWS says.
ADDED 7:29 AM THURSDAY: The wind never did show up – in this area – and the advisory was canceled overnight.
Minutes ago, the National Weather Service issued a “dense fog advisory” alert for our area. It’s in effect until noon. The NWS warns, “Dense fog will result in poor driving conditions for the entire morning commute. Patchy areas of freezing fog may also lead to isolated areas of black ice on bridges and some roadways.” Read the alert in its entirety here.
We’re on wind watch with the advisory continuing until 4 am; the forecast currently says the gustiest wind is expected after midnight. We’ll be updating with anything of note we hear about, starting with:
11:43 PM, UTILITY POLE DOWN: Don’t know whether it’s weather-related, but a texter reports that a pole and wire are down on 34th SW between Myrtle and Othello and that police are on scene.
1 AM UPDATE: Breezy but nothing dramatic. The Alki Point reading (K91S on this list) is 21 mph at the top of the hour. A little dicey on the roads, though, with crashes this past hour on the westbound West Seattle Bridge and at Admiral Way/39th SW.
1 AM, THE SECOND TIME AROUND: Welcome to Standard Time! Alki Point’s at 22 mph now.
3 AM: Same velocity. Overall, things have been relatively quiet. From indoors, we’ve been hearing the rain more than the wind.
TIPS/INFO? Text/voice 206-293-6302 any time.
10:50 AM: We mentioned on Friday that gusty wind was on the way. Now there’s an official “wind advisory” for 8 pm tonight through 4 pm tomorrow, according to the National Weather Service (tan area on the map above):
* WIND…Southerly winds increasing to 20 to 35 mph with gusts to 45 mph.
* TIMING…Winds increasing early this evening and continuing into the early morning hours on Sunday. Winds easing around 4 am Sunday morning.
* IMPACTS…Isolated power outages possible. Plenty of leaves left on the trees could get blown off tonight. This combined with the rain could result in some clogged storm drains producing minor flooding on area roads.
If you can, today is also a good time to clean up the leaves that already have come down – if you have residential yard-waste pickup, you can set out extra containers for free this month.
3:15 PM: The advisory‘s been revised a bit – we could see gusts up to 50 mph, the NWS now says.