West Seattle, Washington
Still trouble on the southwest side of WS, our neighborhood included. Lincoln Park Way, from Fauntleroy all the way down to Beach, is out. So is Lowman Beach, where you can hear the deafening rumble of a city truck which we believe is supplying power to the underground pump station there. The south end of Beach Drive, heading north from Lowman, is out, and the street is still closed at Atlas, two blocks before you get to the fallen tree. We’re in The Junction now, where things are bright and busy, and heading north to see if there are any pockets of powerlessness. (Still the oddest pocket we’ve found today is the one little area west of Westwood, sandwiched between “normal” areas along 35th and at the shopping center.)
Wireless connectivity achieved! So our updates may be a bit more frequent. Power at home NOT achieved, however. It seems to get closer by the hour — we recently saw some outdoor lights on, just a couple blocks away. (The city’s just posted a 2 pm update on the City Light home page; the information is somewhat murky, however, mentioning certain “isolated” areas may experience “extended outages” of up to 4 days – is that four MORE days, or four days counting back to 1 am Friday? The Times has a 1:20 pm update with info that’s not a whole lot clearer, except to confirm what many of us already knew — the WS outages are mostly in the “western part of West Seattle.”)
But enough about us. Westwood Village now seems to be entirely back up and running — we spun through there on the way to our current Morgan Junction-ish locale, and all seemed to be restored, though not necessarily all area homes — the stoplight about a block west of the shopping center, on Barton, was still dark.
We’ve also been to The Junction and noticed something mildly interesting — with all the folks out eating at restaurants, the dumpsters on the alley behind the west side of Cali Ave are overflowing. Boy, the trash crews are going to be busy tomorrow. (We might as well start tossing out what was in our fridge, I guess.)
Power is now back at Morgan Junction — the Starbucks, Tully’s, Thriftway, Caffe Ladro, everybody. However, further to the south, some neighborhoods … like ours … are still out. We heard a City Light person say on the radio that 16,000-ish “customers” (which could mean twice as many people, if not more) are still out of power, mostly on the “south” side. How come the north side got its power back first? Is this another north of the Ship Canal/south of the Ship Canal type thing? Oh well, no time for whining.
Late last night, after our last post, we drove around some more. Besides our neighborhood, much of the rest of the outage areas are “pockets.” In Arbor Heights, Shorewood, the area between White Center and Burien, we saw one block off/one block on/etc. We also were at Southcenter for a while — the entire mall was brightly lit and full of people, but as soon as you headed south, Toys R Us and beyond, pitch black.
Another place full of people last night (besides of course our beloved West Seattle Junction) — Downtown Seattle. We thought we’d pop down for some holiday cheer, while trying to stay away from our cold, dark house … couldn’t get a parking spot. Every lot, full. Should have taken a bus. Oh well, next time.
Hope you’re not having trouble with asthma … you’ve probably noticed how much smoke is hanging over the city, since so many people need to use wood for heat … not wishing for rain but when it does come back, at least it will clean out the air!
Back to the power thing for a moment … just noticed on the City Light site that they were promising to “leaflet” neighborhoods without power. Our area is not in the list of neighborhoods mentioned. Maybe it’s time to call and make sure they KNOW we’re out?
But I do have to say, it’s a blessing that we are able to travel a short distance and get food, warmth, Net service, etc. We have friends on the eastside who not only are without power at home, their business districts, gas stations, etc., are out, and Puget Sound Energy is making noises about some of that restoration taking a week or more.
More later … keep letting us know what’s going on where you are by posting comments or e-mailing us. We’re going to The Junction a bit later (we’re online outside WS at the moment) to check out whether Bakery Nouveau has really opened, among other things. (Almost forgot to mention – as of early this morning, power at Westwood Village was still spotty; Target is open on low power … will check other businesses later for the next update.)
Almost forgot to mention this before leaving our home away from home (thank God for Hotwire’s computers!) — The city has opened four shelters for people without power to “spend the night someplace warm,” and two of them are here in West Seattle, at the Delridge and Southwest Community Centers. Full info is on the same city page as all the updates on the power outages.
In no particular order:
-Looks like the Beach Drive and Alki Point areas got their power back. However, Beach Drive is still blocked by a huge tree about two blocks north of Atlas. You can see the tree if you drive up to the blockage on the south side; on the north side, the street is roped off at Atlas, out of view range. (We don’t have upload capabilities at the moment, roving as we are, or we’d put up our photo.)
-Fauntleroy just west of California is finally open again, to let people use the usual path to the ferry dock and Lincoln Park. Today we saw what was left of the huge tree that apparently caused the blockage at Fauntleroy & Holly — two tree-service trucks had crews working to cut it up and chip it. (We’ll also have a picture of that when our power and upload capability come back.)
-There’s limited power in some Morgan Junction businesses now, but Starbucks, Tully’s, etc. are still closed. A little ways north on Cali Ave, the Rite Aid was open, but with low light.
-If you have any idea where Presto Logs can still be had, let us know. We went as far as McClendon’s in White Center, no luck. We’ve got firewood and no kindling.
-Speaking, sort of, of trees – the Christmas tree in The Junction is back up, with some concrete blocks to shore it up, and shining brightly for the massive crowds of folks who’ve flocked to The Junction amid this troubled time.
-Also in The Junction, Bakery Nouveau is apparently opening tomorrow (Sunday) — or so says the sign in its window. Remember that tomorrow also is the last Farmers’ Market of the year (back on 1/7 for the 10 am-1 pm “Winter Farmers’ Market”).
-If you go holiday shopping in The Junction, be sure to check out the thrift stores. Some incredible stuff to be had; we stopped in Backstage and Discovery today and found some neat buys.
After finding a place to post last night, we toured part of WS. Noticed that Alki was OK until you got to Cactus — they were out, as was Alki Point, and then Beach Drive almost all the way to the Menashe Christmas light display (which wasn’t on, though) — a little further past that, Beach Drive was completely blocked by a downed tree, so we had to turn around, and head back to our neighborhood in the dark zone. (Spookiest sight in the dark … the entire Morgan Junction business district … Thriftway looked like it might have had some generator power; otherwise, Starbucks, Tully’s, Subway, Domino’s, McDonald’s, Teriyaki & Wok, Corner Inn, etc., all dark. Also looked like Beveridge Place Pub was trying to make a go of it in candlelight.)
This morning, we headed down 35th, and saw a few houses now propping up trees (or vice versa). We haven’t looked at the Thistle/Northrop sinkhole yet but the P-I has a complete story today and a picture. (If you live in upper Fauntleroy or even Westwood and have walked down to Lincoln Park, look closely at the photo — looks like the sinkhole is at “the top of the stairs” that go all the way down the hillside.)
The City Light info page says right now that more than 100,000 people in their service area who lost power now have it back. Just not tens of thousands of West Seattleites. Here’s more from the Times on the power-restoration efforts.
Sat around the house for a few minutes, watching the fire flickering in the fireplace, and wondering why we weren’t out in the street with our neighbors, singing folk songs and playing the glockenspiel — isn’t that sort of bonding what is supposed to ensue when this kind of semi-catastrophe happens? Then another member of the WSB entourage decided we simply had to get down the hill to the powerful sector of town (aka The Junction) — there, we found the bonding. Every eatery in town is jammed. Folks are sharing power-outage stories. No wonder the home fires aren’t burning up on the hill. However, no one seems to have an answer to the one question that simmers in thousands of us at the moment … when the HELL will the power come back on?
More than 14 hours after Wind Wallop ’06, the West Seattle Blog World HQ is still out of power. Sneaking a moment of internet cafe access now, looking for another way to post some real updates shortly. We promise, we’ll get broadband wireless before the next one!
The lights are flickering; the Internet connection is wavering … Sounds out there like This Is It — the wind wallop the weather experts warned about. The National Weather Service “current observations” say it’s gusting to 58 mph at Alki Point! (Look for “K91S” here, under the “GS” column for gusts, “SP” next to it for ongoing wind speed.) E-mail and online reports mention a variety of problems around WS already, including some sort of sinkhole at Northrop and Thistle, up the hill from Lincoln Park, and power outages in Westwood and at the Fauntleroy end of the WS Bridge. We might be too powerless to post later, so to speak, but please keep everyone updated by adding a comment to this post with a report from your ‘hood. (And if you want to know what’s up elsewhere, the RPIN appears to provide decent updates.)
We’re sure you’ve heard by now that it could get insanely windy overnight, on the heels of all this pouring rain. In case you want to write it down or print it out before the power goes out, here’s the official City Light advice. Stay safe! And let us know about any trouble in your neighborhood.
What’s going on here this week? First the stabbing, now a shooting reported outside an Arbor Heights home. Very short articles this morning from the P-I and Times. Is it the turbulent weather (which at this moment features howling wind following a night of pounding rain, and forecasts threaten worse on the way)?
We’ve heard Starbucks checks the temperature of its drinks, but how about the temperature of its signs? (Taken half an hour ago at the ex-Rainier Roaster.)
So pretty. Big flakes that look like confetti, or even in some cases falling leaves.
But this one finally hit the second we decided we would take advantage of the “delay” and go out for a little drive. Headed down Cali Ave … and right as we reached Admiral, freezing rain started pelting the car. Had to turn around and head right back home in hopes the hill wouldn’t be too badly frosted by the time we started back up. If you see this somewhere around the time we’re posting it, go open your door or window and listen … freezing rain is a very interesting sound. Uh oh … now it looks more like snow …
Tonight’s weather radar pictures show a Big Blob of stormy something coming this way. But its true nature may not be revealed till after you tuck yourself beneath three layers of comforters (down from four last night, when Seattle set a for-this-date record low of 18 degrees). One thing seems to be for sure … by this time tomorrow night, we should be able to stop worrying about the weather for a while. Good thing, too, since three interesting events are happening in West Seattle tomorrow (Thursday) night — we’ll post about them first thing in the morning.
Even as another snowburst headed our way, intrepid decorating crews toiled in the Junction, wrapping poles with white garlands leading up to illuminated … what else … snowflakes.
Seattle Public Schools’ home page says things are still so icy on the north side, the entire district will stay shut down again for a second day.
Poked around the tubes to see who else is talking about the Semi-Big Chill with a WS spin. The Lone Tomato saw our snow through the eyes of a former tropics-dweller. The Duke mentions crossing the bridge in the midst of the worst of it last night. The Weatherman put up a pic of the view from his walkway, quite the representative WS scene. Period of Useful Consciousness features video of a rare event: a dog deciding it’s too cold for a swim in the water off Alki. Demi has pics including both snow/ice and tonight’s spectacular sunset. Peter writes about leaving work in West Seattle last night to try to get home. Red Kev also had to negotiate the streets right about then. (We personally think the most dramatic and horrifying tales will occur when the utility bills hit the mail slot next month.)
… the really bad weather should be done by this weekend, so we can all enjoy the 2nd annual West Seattle Tree Lighting (this time it’s going to be at 42nd & Alaska, and county councilguy Dow C will be the MC) on Saturday. But in the meantime, we’ve got near-record cold in the works for tonight (here at WS Blog World HQ it’s a three-cat night … oh wait, we need another cat for that) and supposedly some more snow to smack us all tomorrow night into Thursday morning, with a chaser of rain, just like the big melt of ’96 (remember that one? that’s the worst memory we can muster, having not been here for Bridge Sinking ’90).
Scoped the roads while going home for lunch. The Bridge is in vastly better shape than it was this morning. You can hear the crunch and crackle of traction sand working its way into your tire treads, but that’s a much more pleasant sound than the screech of brakes, spinning of wheels, smashing into Jersey barriers and so on. Should be pretty decent for the evening drive home. The Admiral offramp still looked a little icy, though, so beware of that; the stretches of Fauntleroy and California that we traveled were relatively ice-free, but most side streets still look relatively ominous.