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.
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.
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.
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:
Crews have restored power for 145 more customers in NE Seattle. Down to 1890 that are out. Still working.
— Seattle City Light (@SEACityLight) August 2, 2014
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.
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.