Tree smashes into Loyal Heights Playfield

It’s a good thing the Loyal Heights Playfield is slated to get new equipment, because a large tree landed right on top of the play structure.

The tree toppled over in the high winds last night, crushing a bench and coming to rest on top of the structure. Fortunately no kids were playing at the time, and there are no injuries. It’s unclear how much damage was sustained by the structure.

As you might imagine, the area is now taped off and closed.

As we’ve been reporting, the city is in the middle of a $600,000 project to replace the play equipment at the park. Just last week, the city held a final community meeting to review the designs before construction begins.

Construction is scheduled for fall of this year, but we wonder if this latest event will move things along a little faster. We’ll keep you updated.

(Photos by @Mary_BethG on Twitter. She has a couple more photos here.)

A little snow and wind on a Sunday

5:30 p.m. After a light dusting of snow early this afternoon, the wind has moved into the area. Other than 251 customers who lost power north of Carkeek Park, the Ballard area has been in the clear so far. Here’s the outage map.

12:45 p.m. It’s snowing in Ballard, and forecasters are calling for “trace to two inches” in the Seattle area before it’s all over. You can keep an eye on conditions with our Ballard-area traffic cameras.

Here’s the scene from the Ballard Farmer’s Market from @LeeStoll:

Keep warm everyone!

Briefs: Thunder, mystery noise, Subway bike robbery, Captain America and more…

THUNDER: Did you hear all the thunder last night? A lightning strike was detected in Wallingford near the QFC, but no damage was reported. There were no strikes detected in the Ballard area.

MYSTERY NOISE: My Ballard reader Noreen sent us a note asking about all the noise near 65th and 24th in the morning hours. “It sounds like a leaf blower, only louder,” she says. Adds Gabrielle on Twitter, “(It) sounds *exactly* like the opening of Led Zeppelin’s Immigrant Song.” Any ideas?

SUBWAY BIKE ROBBERY: Police responded to the 4500 block of 9th Ave. NW on Tuesday night for a report of a robbery. According to the scanner, the Subway was robbed at gunpoint, and the suspect was seen escaping on… one of those green rental bikes. (Thanks Silver for the tip.)

CAPTAIN AMERICA: Speaking of bizarre crimes, a suspected package thief caught on camera in Phinney Ridge was carrying a Captain America shield. “Most superheroes you don’t think of stealing people’s mail,” the victim told KIRO TV.

MISSING LINK: There was a big turnout for last night’s Missing Link get-together at Peddler Brewery, featuring councilmember Mike O’Brien, the Cascade Bicycle Club and others supporting opening (closing?) the Missing Link in 2018. (Here’s our earlier story.)

PHINNEY APARTMENTS: The city has approved a rezone for the Phinney property at 7009 Greenwood Ave. N., boosting the high limit up to 65 feet. An apartment complex is planned.

FREMONT OFFICE: That prominent Fremont corner where Stone, 34th and Northlake come together — right next to the Burke Gilman trail — will become the site of a new office development. It will feature a pass-through for pedestrian and cyclists and a rooftop deck.

EL CAMION TRUCK: It took us awhile, but we noticed the El Camion burrito truck has moved across the street and down a bit, next to the drive-through Starbucks on 15th.

(Photo from the Seattle office of the National Weather Service).

Ballard blanketed in Christmas snow

Updated: For the first time since 2008, snow covered Seattle on Christmas Eve. You couldn’t ask for a better snow event: just enough on the ground to set us up for a beautiful white Christmas — and light snow showers continued into this morning.

Accumulations around Ballard look to be a trace to as much 4+ inches. Here’s Crown Hill…

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And Loyal Heights…

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Down at the shipyard…

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Over at Golden Gardens…

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And in Old Ballard…

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Merry Christmas everyone!

Have a photo to share? Tag @myballard on Twitter or Instagram, or email us at tips@myballard.com. (Top photo by @lymurakami on Instagram. Thanks Earnie for helping us correct the right date for the last Christmas Eve snowfall.)

Earlier: Predicting snow in Seattle is both an art and a science — and a roll of the dice. Add the possibility of a white Christmas to the mix, and the mystery deepens.

So far the data supports at least some snow tonight into Christmas morning. The Weather Service has issued a winter weather advisory with a forecast of 1-2 inches in the Seattle area.

But it’s a weak system, and meteorologists are playing it safe. “(There are a) range of possibilities of just a cold rain or dusting of snow to as much as 3-4 inches of snow — or just getting nothing at all, except the meteorological version of a lump of coal,” explains Scott Sistek at KOMO News.

If history is any guide, Crown Hill, Loyal Heights and Sunset Hill have a higher chance of a snow-covered Christmas than residents closer to the Ballard core. But we’ll see….

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

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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.

Snow in the forecast for Sunday AM

Update: Well, no snow in our area — this time.

Earlier: The National Weather Service says Seattle could get up to 2 inches of snow overnight into Sunday morning, especially areas above 200 feet. A winter weather advisory will be in effect from midnight to 10 a.m.

Which means we could get nothing… or wake up to a early winter wonderland. One thing’s for certain: you’ll gain an extra hour on Sunday morning as daylight savings time ends.

Monday brings snow and hail to Ballard

Afternoon update: All kinds of winter weather have descended on Ballard and surrounding areas, including sleet, hail and snow. Combined with the tanker accident at I-5 and I-90, the commute home has turned into a nightmare.

Meanwhile, over at the Space Needle…

Earlier: The snow started falling around 6 a.m., and depending on where you live, the Ballard area has a trace up to an inch of snow on the ground. Forecasters say we could see snow showers until midday — perhaps accumulating as much as a couple inches — when it will switch over to rain.

Seattle schools are running on schedule. There are some obvious traffic impacts throughout the city, and Metro buses are on snow routes.