Power outage in south Ravenna as tree downs power lines (PHOTOS; UPDATES)

52nd_Ravenna_fire1

Some wild weather this Saturday morning took a toll on the local electricity infrastructure.


View Downed tree causes brush fire, power outage in a larger map

Just before 10 AM, just after some heavy rains had fallen over the area, a tree on a hillside near NE 50th Street and Ravenna Avenue NE became unstable. The tree, or part of it, fell against some power lines and ignited a fire that was first reported as a house fire, but was downgraded later to a brush fire. Downed lines could be seen in the trees on the hillside as well as in the road below it.

52nd_Ravenna_fire4

The affected hillside is just to the south of the Raven View Apartments (5001 25th Avenue NE). This section of Ravenna Avenue NE is a dead end, and residents south of the downed lines were unable to use the road until the scene was deemed safe by Seattle City Light crews.

52nd_Ravenna_fire5

As a Seattle City Light crew worked to move the lines from the road, the downed lines on the hillside ignited another small brush fire.

52nd_Ravenna_fire3

52nd_Ravenna_outage

The ensuing outage affected about 2,000 customers. The estimated time of restoration is 2:41 PM, but some residents of the area have reported lights coming back on already.

UPDATE (1:21 PM): Seattle City Light reporting that power is coming back for another round of residents:

UPDATE (2:08 PM): Seattle City Light has updated the estimated power restoration time to 5:45 PM, over three hours later than the original estimate.

52nd_Ravenna_fire_6

Here is a picture of what Seattle City Light crews are up against as they make repairs at the incident site (picture taken from Ravenna Avenue NE looking southwest toward where the tree or tree limb downed some of the lines). The conditions at the scene are anything but ideal for SCL crews: Lots of tall, wild greenery and trees on a hillside, with the lines on the uphill slope.

UPDATE (5:22 PM): Seattle City Light says, “[c]rews have restored about 1,000 customers from the NE Seattle outage. About 850 homes and businesses remain out. Crews still working.”

UPDATE (5:43 PM): All but 57 Seattle City Light customers have power restored. Estimated restoration time for the remaining residents and businesses is 10 PM as remaining fixes require the replacement of the downed lines.

BOOM in the neighborhood – lousy March weather strikes (UPDATES)

ravenna_BOOM1

At about 4:26 PM on Saturday afternoon, the weather turned TOO EXCITING near Ravenna Blog HQ. Lightning struck a tree just a couple hundred feet away, sending bark flying, hearts pounding, and causing a small power outage.

boom_outage

Engine 16 stopped by to check things out briefly. A light smell of wood smoke hung in the air, and a homeowner nearby mentioned a cracked window.

Power was lost the instant the lightning struck, but the outage looks to be a small one, affecting around 60 households.

 20140329-173429.jpg

Good to see you, too, Seattle City Light!

UPDATE (5:37 PM): On that lightning strike/power outtake just north of Green Lake:

UPDATE (6:15 PM): Estimated time of restoration for the Ravenna outage is around 1:30 AM, but you should check back here later for updated information.

Northeast Seattle BLACKOUT

It was around 5:49 PM that the tweets started coming in.

And it was swiftly followed by many…

…many…

…many…

…many more.

And of course this happened:

 

By the peak of the power outage, practically ALL of Northeast Seattle was in the dark. More than 43,000 Seattle City Light customers affected.

NE Seattle BLACKOUT

Seattle City Light posted the following information on their Power Lines home page around 8:30 PM:

After 5:30 p.m. this evening, a breaker failure in the North Substation caused a power outage to more than 43,000 customers. The cause of the breaker failure is still being investigated.

As of 8:30 p.m., customers in the area have been fully restored by crews.

The boundaries of the power outage included:

  • To the North – NE 123rd St.
  • To the East – Lake Washington
  • To the South – NE 35th St.
  • To the West – Aurora Avenue

We’ll update this post with more information should Seattle City Light further determine the cause.

…everyone knows it’s WINDY…(and rainy)

As the lights in Ravenna Blog HQ gave a few flickers just before 5 PM, and we started hearing reports of power out in Wedgwood, we decided it was a good time to start a running weather post for the rest of the evening.

With that outage in Wedgwood, we’ve seen not one but TWO tweets about using a crankable radio to listen to the Husky Football game happening right now:

In Northeast Seattle so far, there is an outage in Wedgwood affecting ~3,000 customers, according to the Seattle City Light hotline (206-684-7400 should you need to report your own outage). If you’re curious about outages in the city, you can visit the Seattle City Light System Status page for more information (mobile link here).

UPDATE 5:30 PM: Latest Seattle City Light outage map update showing 10 outages city-wide, with 1107 customers affected. No Wedgwood on the map yet.

5:44 PM: Latest outage map tally is “Number of Outages: 14, Estimated Customers Affected: 7870,” which does not include the Wedgwood outage. We’re hearing now of an outage on 100th in Meadowbrook. Might be part of the Wedgwood outage, but we don’t know until the map is updated with that information.

5:50 PM: Only one outage showing up on the map for Northeast Seattle, at the moment:

6:00 PM: “Number of Outages: 16 Estimated Customers Affected: 7872″

6:12 PM: A post from Seattle City Light just now lists the major outages in Seattle. Here are the ones in our area:

North -Serving Ravenna, Bryant, View Ridge, Matthews Beach, Wedgwood -2,858 customers without power -Estimated time of restoration is 11 p.m. -Cause weather related (wind, rain, tree branches) -Boundaries: N – NE 106th St; E – Lake Washington; W – 8th Ave NE; S – NE 75th St.

The post also says that 20,000 customers are currently without power in Seattle.

6:30 PM: Outage map update! Here are the clusters of outages in Northeast Seattle:

Football_outage

 

7:13 PM: Seattle City Light saying now that the number of customers without power is down to 13,000. And the time of restoration for the Maple Leaf/Wedgwood outage has moved up to about 10 PM. Cause is given as “tree.”

8:45 PM: We’ve heard from a few people in the Wedgwood area of the outage say that power has been restored.

 

But before that, around 8 PM, about 46 customers between Matthews Beach and View Ridge lost power. Cause now given as equipment failure, with a restoration estimate time of 4 AM.

Sunday, 7:34 AM: Outage map showing only four outages left in Seattle, three of which are in Northeast Seattle. Only 10 customers total affected, 9 of which are directly north of the Sand Point Country Club area.

7:55 AM: Some weather stats from yesterday, courtesy a weather station in Bryant that we use for such information: 1.45 inches of rain fell yesterday, and the average wind speed was between 9 and 13 mph (with gusts up to 28 mph).

As the large cold front approaches and comes inland this evening, wind speeds are expected to climb — the data in our area suggests we’ll be seeing sustained wind speeds in the low- to mid-20 mph range from noon on (High Wind Watch). Gusts to 60 mph are also possible, especially between 7 PM and midnight.

So, get your laundry and dinner done early. And don’t forget to charge your wireless devices so you can revisit this post for more information.

8:03 PM: Rain coming down steadily now, and the wind has picked up. Seeing gusts now in the mid-20 mph range. Rain total for the day (at the Bryant weather station) at 0.33 inches, with most of it falling in the last hour.

So far, only one outage in Northeast Seattle to report, and even it’s one that’s been going since 2:51 PM: Ten customers just south of Penguin Park (NE 93rd Street and 38th Avenue NE). Estimated time of restoration is about 10 PM.

8:12 PM: And as soon as I added the above outage to the post, it disappeared off the outage map! The power of neighborhood news, everyone.

Flashing school zone beacons going up on NE 75th Street (UPDATE)

This morning, a crew of three Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) workers started installing the first of two flashing school zone beacons on NE 75th Street.

SDOT_Eckstein_beacon2

We were told by a crew member that both beacons, one on either side of Eckstein Middle School, would be installed by tomorrow, Friday, April 5.

Once the beacons are in, the next step is for Seattle City Light to hook them up to power.

SDOT_Eckstein_beacon1

These flashing school zone beacons are one of the first projects listed by SDOT as planned improvements to NE 75th Street.

Thank you to the Wedgwood Community Council, who spotted the work happening this morning and spread the word on twitter.

UPDATE (Monday, April 22): On Friday, April 19, we got word from Seattle City Light’s Scott Thomsen that a crew had connected the east beacon that morning already, but would be back around 1 PM to connect the other.

City_Light_Eckstein_zone1

With that notice, the entire Ravenna Blog newsroom sped up the hill, in the rain, to catch the crew at their work…only to reach them just as they were pulling away!

City_Light_Eckstein_zone2

That was fast.

Now that spring break is over for Seattle students, we’re looking into whether the beacons have been in use yet or not. We’ll update this post again when we know for sure.

Lightning, thunder, hail, and power outages: Happy Saturday!

Saturday afternoon started off exciting enough: Lots of rain. Lightning and thunder starting around 4:40 PM. Then some hail. LOTS of hail in some places.

This is from Ballard:

Then the power outage reports started coming in. The first report of lights out came in at 5:53 PM, from Wallyhood:

Lower Wallingford. Then SE Green Lake. Eastlake. Montlake. Ravenna and NE 65th Street. South University District.

When the Seattle City Light Outage Map finally updated, things looked like this:

Screen grab of the Seattle City Lights outage page, taken around 7 PM. Service to Green Lake and Montlake had already been restored, but nearly 15,000 other customers were still affected.

Screen grab of the Seattle City Lights outage page, taken around 7 PM. Service to Green Lake and Montlake had already been restored, but nearly 15,000 other customers were still affected.

Here’s the Seattle City Light twitter feed, with the details:

And as now (7:30 PM), power is coming back in some of the affected areas.

Quite a day. A good day to be paying attention to Twitter:

Oh yeah. And apparently there was a car on fire at the Roosevelt Whole Foods:

Power outage along NE 65th St blamed on crow

Shortly before 1:00 PM this afternoon, sections of seven Northeast Seattle neighborhoods lost power. At peak, approximately 3,800 customers were affected.

Screen capture of the outage at its peak taken from Seattle City Light’s System Status webpage.

Parts of Roosevelt, Ravenna, Bryant, Wedgwood, View Ridge, and Sand Point all took a hit along NE 65th St, while nearly all of Windermere went down. The estimated time of restoration was listed at 3 PM, but many customers are seeing their lights coming back on ahead of that time.

Last week’s outage was blamed on a tree (and the high winds helped, we imagine). But what’s to blame this time?

A crow. Nature is out to get us, apparently.

Two blown transformers heard to be blamed for NE Seattle power outage (UPDATES)

UPDATE (2:58 PM): A quick check of the outage map reveals everything back to normal.

UPDATE (2:08 PM): Outage down to approximately 1,200 customers now.

UPDATE (1:03 PM): outage is down to approximately 1,800 customers Mostly in the Matthews Beach/View Ridge area of the map below affected.

____________________

No, it’s not a comment on any Michael Bay movies — it’s a power outage.

Seattle City Light outage map screen grab from 12:45 PM.

More info on the Seattle City Light’s Power Lines blog:

Seattle City Light crews were responding to a power outage Tuesday that affected about 3,600 homes and businesses in the Ravenna, Roosevelt, View Ridge and Wedgwood neighborhoods of northeast Seattle.

The outage started about 11:20 a.m. A cause was not immediately known. An initial estimate for restoration of service was set for 3 p.m.

The general boundaries of the outage were NE 94th Street on the north, NE 65th Street on the south, Roosevelt Way NE on the west and Lake Washington on the east.

As of this posting, the cause is listed as “tree,” and the restoration time is estimated at 3:00 PM.

As we were calling the North Precinct about the dangerous traffic conditions at 15th Ave NE and NE 75th St — signals are out and many drivers on NE 75th St are not noticing and treating as a four-way stop — the officer on the other end of the phone blamed the outage on two transformers lost from the tops of poles, but we haven’t had confirmation of the exact cause from Seattle City Light.