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            News Release




Subject:   Seattle City Light Prepared for Storm Season
For Immediate Release:   
11/7/2003  12:00:00 AM
For More Information Contact:
Scott Thomsen  (206) 386-4233

SEATTLE- If the month of October is any indication, this winter could be the stormiest in several years. Seattle City Light is ready to respond to winter storms and cold snaps.

"We have a good track record of keeping the lights on during bad weather and responding quickly when outages do occur," said Acting City Light Superintendent Jim Ritch. "We'll be working hard to keep outages to a minimum this winter."

The Northeast United States suffered a major blackout during the peak of the summer this year. But this region's power supply and transmission system are in relatively good shape. The Northwest Power and Conservation Council predicts less than a 1 percent chance that the region will experience a significant interruption of service this winter.

Still, while the chances of regional, systemic problems are slim, City Light and its customers should always be prepared for localized storms, cold snaps and outages.

City Light has talked with many of its largest customers about how to reduce their electric loads in emergencies.

Meanwhile, the utility's line crews are gearing up to respond to storm-related power outages. Crews will be available to work around the clock throughout the service territory, which extends from the north King County line through the cities of Burien and Tukwila to the south. Customers should keep a safe distance from fallen power lines and notify City Light of a power outage by calling the outage hotline at (206) 684-7400.

Each household should keep drinking water, dry food and first-aid materials on hand and prepare a power outage kit that includes such basics as flashlight with batteries, battery-operated radio, manual can opener and blankets.

"We are preparing for winter, and we're asking our customers to do the same," Ritch said.

Ritch also urged City Light customers to consider contributing to Project Share this winter. Project Share provides emergency assistance to customers who have trouble paying their electricity bills. Cold weather, a poor economy, and rates pushed higher by the energy crisis have made the need greater than ever.

Customers may add contributions to Project Share when they pay their electricity bills, authorize contributions over the phone by calling (206) 684-3000, or pledge online at http://cityofseattle.gov/light/help/share/. All contributions directly benefit low-income customers in financial emergencies and are not used for administrative purposes. Contributions are tax deductible.

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