Power outage in Ballard and Magnolia

Monday update: We asked City Light if they identified a cause, and it’s not nearly as interesting as that raccoon back in 2016.

“It was caused by a cable fault, which tripped a lockout to the neighborhood feeder,” said City Light’s Tony White. “This isn’t unusual, as there are a number of things which can damage cables. It’s most likely that the sudden failure happened along a splice point.”

Update 7 a.m. All power has been restored overnight.

“The substation that serves the area is our Canal Substation, but the original cause is still under investigation,” City Light told us. “So, the problem may not be in the substation itself.”

That substation is located at 8th Ave. and 46th St. — the same one that was short-circuited by a raccoon in spring of 2016.

City Light also says the total number of customers that lost power in this outage was 12,900.

Update 11:30 p.m. Most of Ballard has been restored, but there are still patches of outages, especially along Seaview and into Sunset Hill. City Light says 559 customers remain without power, and there are another 1,872 customers on the Magnolia side of the Ship Canal.

Update 10:40 p.m.: City Light reports crews have restored power to about 1,200 customers, about a third of the total. Conor Byrne in Old Ballard reports the power is back on there. The estimate for complete restoration is still 12:44 a.m.

Earlier: Seattle City Light reports widespread outages along both sides of the Ship Canal. Much of Old Ballard and Market St. west of 15th Ave. are without power, as well as parts of Sunset Hill.

City Light says 3,658 customers are impacted, and it estimates the power will be restored at 12:44 a.m. Here’s the outage map as of 9:50 p.m.:

The outage extends into Magnolia along the Ship Canal and parts of Interbay, as well as Seattle Pacific University’s campus.

Power is also out at Ballard’s busiest intersection, at 15th and Market St. “(I) just tried to get through the intersection of 15th and Market with no traffic lights and dodging a zillion lanes of impatient drivers and buses in all directions,” says Jillian on My Ballard’s Facebook page.

Shilshole Marina and the Ballard Locks are also dark, according to the My Ballard Facebook Group. Power is also out at the Matador on Market St., as well as several other bars and restaurants in Old Ballard on a busy Friday night.

No, it’s not related to the government shutdown.

(Photo of a dark Market St. courtesy of @mgrass on Twitter.)

Most power outages in Ballard area restored

1 p.m. All but 8 customers in the Golden Gardens outage have been restored.

5:30 a.m. A small area around Golden Gardens remains without power at this hour — 118 customers — as well as a couple small outages scattered in Ballard. Here’s the outage map.

6 p.m. Power has been restored to the largest outage area in East Ballard and lower Phinney. Meanwhile over near Golden Gardens, crews estimate the power will be back by 11 p.m.

A neighbor reported that a tree fell across Golden Gardens Drive just north of 87th St., which may be the culprit. The road was closed by police at 5:30, reports My Ballard reader Kelly. We also saw a report of wires down in the 2800 block of NW 90th Pl, a few blocks from Golden Gardens.

5:30 p.m. Seattle City Light shows two significant outages in the Ballard area: 3,420 customers along lower Phinney Ridge and another 118 near Golden Gardens above 85th.

City Light estimates power will be restored at 7 p.m. in the larger outage, 11 p.m. for residents near Golden Gardens.

Here’s the outage map as of 5:30 p.m., and click here to see the real-time map.

Earlier: We’re seeing our first reports of an outage in the West Woodland area, and Seattle City Light reports there are about 3,400 customers out in Ballard and lower Phinney Ridge. The outage stretches from Leary Way nearly all the way up to 85th.

City Light crews are responding, and they estimate power will be restored by 7 p.m.

The first windstorm of the season has sent branches and at least one tree to the ground.

The National Weather Service says it registered a 63 MPH gust in West Seattle, but weather stations in Ballard are showing maximum gusts in the 30 MPH range. There’s a high wind warning in effect until 9 p.m., and forecasters say we’ll see the strongest winds until 7 p.m. before easing.

This was the scene at Golden Gardens this afternoon:

#goldengardens #pnw #storm #nofirestoday

A post shared by @arn_xiii on

If you happen to see any damage or your power went out, let us know in comments or drop us a note at tips@myballard.com.

Raccoon causes power outage for 38,000 residents


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.

Power outage in Old Ballard closes businesses

Updated 11:30 p.m.: The power went out in Old Ballard at 8 p.m., forcing many establishments to close their doors early. One business told us that Seattle City Light said a blown transformer to blame, and it could take as many as four to six hours to restore. But at 11 p.m., the power came back on.

Facing the prospect of an extended outage, many restaurants and bars closed early, from Kings Hardware to the Copper Gate. Sunset Tavern moved its Seattle Improvised Music Festival to The Josephine in Ballard, promising to refund tickets for anyone who couldn’t make it. “Weird to see Ballard Ave. so dark!” said My Ballard reader Susan, who emailed us with the news.

Oddly, a couple businesses were immune to the outage. Both Moshi Moshi and the Tractor Tavern still had power, and they told us they believed they were the only businesses along the stretch of Ballard Ave. with electricity. Balmar and Matador kept power, but they said everyone else to the southeast were dark. “The street is dark from about Thaiku on down,” wrote My Ballard reader Anna in an email.

Earlier in the day, 173 customers lost power along the Ship Canal in Ballard and Fremont, according to an earlier report by Seattle City Light. It’s unclear if it was related to tonight’s outage. We’ll update the story in the morning once we’re able to contact City Light.

Power restored for more than 3,000 customers

Updated 3:30 p.m.: Power is back on for more than 3,000 homes and businesses in Loyal Heights, Crown Hill and Blue Ridge. The power went out about 1:50 p.m. today after trees fell on a power line. The general boundaries of the outage were NW 113th St. on the north, NW 65th Street on the south, Greenwood Ave. N. on the east, and Earl Ave. N. on the west. While some customers within this area still had power, we asked Mike Eagan to explain. The boundaries are “determined by which “feeder” line is out — think of it as an arterial street with multiple lines running off of it down side streets. Since the feeders serve routes that don’t have regular boundaries (boxes or squares), we can only give the outer-most limits, thus including everyone affected plus many who are not,” he says.

Windy, rainy night in Seattle

Update 7:15 a.m. Gusts of 50+ mph were recorded around the Seattle area last night. This photo was snapped at a very breezy Bergen Place.

So far, there have only been one or two scattered power outages, none in our area. And the story is shifting to the rain, which is expected to trigger “major flooding” on the rivers — one more reason to be glad we live in Ballard.

Truck snags power line, sparks outage

A hydraulic truck hooked a power line shortly before noon today, triggering a power outage for some businesses along 9th Ave. NW near the Fred Meyer, says MyBallard reader AlanBob. “Four transformers had short-circuited, showering the street with sparks,” he writes. “The air itself smelled overcooked.”

Fortunately, no reports of any injuries. (Thanks AlanBob for the tip and photo!)

Adventurous raccoon cuts power

Updated: It was “lights out” for part of Ballard and Fremont last night. Approximately 150 11,000 Seattle City Light customers lost their power just before midnight after a raccoon “bridged the wrong gap” on transmission lines at the substation on 45th. Less than an hour later, power was restored causing alarm clocks to start blinking and possibly making some of you late for work. The raccoon, as you might imagine, did not survive. (Thank you Mindy for the tip and Peter for the update!)

Adds Kristen below: “This was the FIRST power outage I’ve experienced in Ballard in 16 years! When friends were without power for several days the last two winters I said (smugly), ‘The power NEVER goes out in Ballard! Not enough trees!’ We never anticipated the suicidal terrorist raccoon.”