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Raccoon causes power outage for 38,000 residents

Posted by Danielle Anthony-Goodwin on May 11th, 2016


Seattle City Light has confirmed that a racoon was responsible for the wide-spread power outage in Ballard, Fremont and Wallingford early this morning.

The raccoon reportedly wandered into the substation at 8th Ave NW and Leary Way at about 2:30 a.m. and climbed onto an electric bus (a large power strip that is a connecting point for main feeder lines).

SCL Spokesman Scott Thomson confirmed that, unfortunately, the raccoon’s body short-circuted the bus which caused an electrical explosion. Ten feeder lines failed which caused a power outage both in our neighborhood and in surrounding Fremont and Wallingford.

SCL crews went to work immediately on the situation and were able to restore power by 5 a.m.

According to Thomson, sadly, the charred remains of a raccoon were found at the electrical bus and the above photo taken by local resident Jeff Pierce was likely another member of the departed raccoon’s family.

“I heard a loud explosion and just came here to see what happened,” local resident Jeff Pierce told KING 5 News. “You wouldn’t think such a small raccoon could cause so much trouble.”

Photo courtesy of KING 5 News.

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14 reader comments so far ↓

  • 1 Biff Sparky // May 12, 2016 at 7:13 am

    So in this “progressive” city, we are 1 effing raccoon away from 38K losing power. Really? Ever hear of these things called fences or nets? There are ways to stop Rocky from accessing this important area. Our priorities are so out of whack. But then again, this is la la land.

  • 2 Buff Malarkey // May 12, 2016 at 7:41 am

    Sometimes a raccoon is just a raccoon, not a sign of the impending apocalypse. And speaking of priorities, you might want to consider making a move to someplace more to your liking one of yours.

  • 3 Scrambled Egg // May 12, 2016 at 7:47 am


  • 4 Biff Tannen // May 12, 2016 at 9:06 am

    @1 We need to build a wall around all our transfer stations and make the raccoons pay for it! Am I right brother?

  • 5 Biffonia Sparkleton // May 12, 2016 at 10:06 am

    Can someone please tell me why one of our neighbors decided to crank up a generator for the short duration of the outage?

    Ironically, it sounds just like my neighbor who is power-washing his deck right now, only it was 3 am when that annoying motor kept me awake

  • 6 Ballardite // May 12, 2016 at 10:27 am

    Biffonia, I bet one of my neighbors did the same thing! I couldn’t hear a generator, but I was awakened by a strong smell of gasoline that had drifted in thru our open windows. I usually only smell it when someone is working on their old 2-stroke motorbike, but I know they wouldn’t be awake at that hour. Glad to have an idea where it might’ve come from.

  • 7 Beeline // May 12, 2016 at 11:36 am

    “The animal in the photo was likely a member of the dead raccoon’s family… The charred remains of a raccoon were found at the electrical bus. [City Light spokesman Scott] Thomson said the charge would be lethal to a raccoon-sized animal.”

  • 8 Buff Malarkey // May 12, 2016 at 3:46 pm

    Biff Sparky feels a little better now.

  • 9 Just Saying // May 12, 2016 at 6:07 pm

    Well Biff,
    Most people have generators wired to crank up immediately and automatically during a power outage.

  • 10 Janice // May 12, 2016 at 10:24 pm

    @Just Saying
    Seriously? That is just asinine unless you are a hospital or other emergency facility.

    Your food can keep in any decent refrigerator for at least 12 hours. If you need those sort of survivalist technologies, maybe move out to the sticks

  • 11 Cooter // May 13, 2016 at 9:38 am

    My grandpa used to say coons would run the neighborhood, guess he was right.

  • 12 Buff Malarkey // May 13, 2016 at 1:26 pm

    This discussion has officially jumped the shark. Move along, nothing to see here.

  • 13 Emperor Hirohito // May 15, 2016 at 4:34 pm

    @11 Imperial Wizard was he?

  • 14 communitymember // May 16, 2016 at 1:28 pm


    you need to include folks that have medication that needs to be refrigerated. since there was no timeline as to when power would come back on, preparedness is key. those people usually are thinking ahead but fridges are for more than just food. just sharing another side of the story to educate all.

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