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2006/12/16

Power Outage in Greater Seattle (Puget Sound Area)

Power outage since last night (12/14, 2006). More than 50% of people are influenced. It is because of a windstrom, probably the strongest in 13-14 years. I cannot use phone, since it needs electricity.

Andy's prediction comes true http://andy.leck.com/index.php Fallen trees and the wind cut electricity throughout the Seattle area[Seattle Times] By Sara Jean Green Seattle Times staff reporter http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/localnews/2003479272_weboutage15.html One million people are without power in the greater Seattle area and the damage caused by the wind storm is prompting comparisons to the Inaugural Day storm of 1993 when Bill Clinton was sworn in as president. Many people living in outlying areas could be without power for five days or more. Puget Sound Energy reported 700,000 customers without power, with the vast majority of the outages occuring in King County, said spokeswoman Dorothy Bracken. In addition to most Eastside cities, Bracken said "all of Whidbey Island is without power." The outages represent about two-thirds of PSE customers, she said. In Seattle, City Light crews are working to re-establish power to roughly 153,000 residences and businesses, about half of the utility's customers. The Snohomish County Public Utility District reports about 90,000 customers still without power. During the storm's peak, about 120,000 homes and businesses were in the dark. That's about 40 percent of the PUD's 300,000-plus customers. In some areas, entire towns, such as Sultan were blacked out most of the night. South and east Snohomish County appear to have been hit the worst, and the PUD says it could be days before power is completely restored in the county. Downtown Seattle was not affected by the outages and no essential services — hospitals and police and fire facilities — are without power, said City Light spokesman Peter Clarke. The north end of Seattle and the northern suburbs of Lake Forest Park, Shoreline and Richmond Beach have been particularly hard-hit, Clarke said. To the south, Tukwila, Burien and White Center have also had a number of outages. Within the city, there are significant outages in the International District, Yesler Terrace, Beacon Hill, west Wedgwood and Lake City. Parts of Capitol Hill, Ballard and a small section of Fremont are also without power, Clarke said. "It's all wind related," he said. "We don't know in a lot of cases what caused [the outages]. Once the sun comes up, we'll get a better idea." advertising In some neighborhoods, it is still too windy for crews to work on lines in their bucket trucks, Clarke said, noting "we're still getting gusts of up to 30 mph." Utility companies ask customers not to call to report outages because they say they are already aware. However, if there is a downed power line, they ask that you report it. The powerful winds downed trees, power lines and power poles, said Bracken, the PSE spokeswoman. Nearly 200 crews are waiting to assess the damage once day breaks, she said. Tree crews will be dispatched to saw through limbs in order to clear the roads so power crews can get access to areas without power, she said. "This is reminiscent of the Inaugural Day storm of 1993 when we had 700,000 customers without power," Bracken said. "It took several days before we could get all the power restored and we expect it to take several days this time." Dozens of transmission lines — the large power lines that transfer electricity from a generating source such as a dam to neighborhood substations — were knocked down in the storm, which will complicate the crews' work, Bracken said. "This is a major storm with significant outages," she said. People living in the Cascade foothills and other rural areas should expect to be without power for "four or five days or more," Bracken said. "700,000 will not go down in a hurry so please bear with us," she said. Seattle Times staff reporter Christopher Schwarzen contributed to this report. Friday, December 15, 2006 Power Outage Update(Seattle City Light) http://www.seattle.gov/light/ Downed power lines are EXTREMELY dangerous. Stay AT LEAST 20 FEET AWAY from any downed lines. Currently City Light has approximately 170,000 customers without power representing more than 50% of our customers. No critical services are without power. A total of 65 feeders in our above-ground system went off line and five of those feeders have been restored. The underground system is functioning normally. Crews are being dispatched and restoring power where it is safe to work. Our crews are responding to public emergencies first. We are monitoring the situation and consider safety as a top priority. As winds subside and daylight returns our crews are surveying the damage and starting the restoration process. City Light asks that customers not call in to report power outages until after 6 p.m. However, do call in if live wires are down in your neighborhood (206-684-3000). The hardest hit areas are Shoreline, Lake Forest Park, North City and Richmond Beach. We have large outages around Green Lake and Montlake areas. In the south we have large outages in Rainier Beach, Tukwila, Burien and Delridge. Many other neighborhoods are without power. Downtown Seattle has power as do all critical services such as hospitals and other public safety buildings. City Light has the ability of switching around trouble spots in our system. As crews identify problems, they will be able to isolate those sections and bring power back to surrounding neighborhoods. This will be a long process. It's not unusual for one or two feeders to go off line during a wind storm. Feeders are the lines that bring electricty from substations to neighborhoods. To listen to outage information, call (206) 684-7400. Some customers within these boundaries are without power. If your neighborhood is not listed and you are without power, please call the Seattle City Light power outage hotline at 684-7400. Listen to see if your neighborhood is reported. If not, leave your address and call back number after the tone.



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