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Lighting Seattle since 1905 Jorge Carrasco, Superintendent
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Subject:   Vault Problem Affects Traffic But Not Electrical Service
For Immediate Release:   
1/6/2006  3:30:00 PM
For More Information Contact:
Scott Thomsen  (206) 386-4233


Vault Problem Affects Traffic But Not Electrical Service

SEATTLE- Arcing in an electrical vault beneath Alaskan Way this afternoon caused the street to be closed between Yesler Way and Marion Street. But electrical service to customers in the area was not interrupted.

Apparently, equipment in the vault was submerged in water when it began to arc, sending steam through a grate in the street. A passing City Light crew spotted the steam and reported the problem. (It is not unusual for waterfront electrical vaults to fill with water. The equipment is submersible. The cause of the problem is still unknown.)

City Light cut electricity to the vault as soon as possible after the problem was reported. Isolating the vault from the rest of the electrical system only affected power for some of the streetlights in the area.

Police opened one lane of Alaskan Way in each direction by mid-afternoon. City Light will do a temporary fix today to restore streetlight service. Permanent repairs will be done next week. Crews will pump the water out and cool the vault before inspecting and repairing the damage.
 

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