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Subject:   11:30 p.m. Update - City Light Crews Work to Restore Power
For Immediate Release:   
12/15/2006  11:30:00 PM
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11:30 p.m. Update - City Light Crews Work to Restore Power
Dangling tree limbs may cause additional problems

SEATTLE Many Seattle City Light customers felt the impact of sustained winds and sporadic heavy rain that battered the Puget Sound region Thursday evening and into Friday morning. Record winds were clocked at 69 mph. At the height of the storm City Light had 175,000 customers without power about half of the utility customer base.

As of 11:00 p.m. tonight, more than 94,000 customers have been restored. Utility crews are working diligently to get the lights back on to the remaining 81,000 homes and businesses. Crews will continue making repairs throughout the night and weekend. City Light plans to bring an additional 40,000 customers back online by midnight Saturday.

The utility urges Seattle residents and business owners to be patient and to prepare for an outage that could last several more days in some isolated areas. We know that customers are anxious to get their power restored, says Jorge Carrasco, superintendent of Seattle City Light. Our crews are working around the clock to get the power back on, especially with the cold weather predicted this weekend.

Customers can reduce the discomfort of an extended outage by assembling an emergency kit for home and/or office. The kit should contain some basic essentials such as a flashlight, extra batteries, a battery-operated portable radio, a wind up clock, dry or canned food that doesnt require heating, a manual can opener, extra blankets and a surge protector for appliances or sensitive electronic equipment. Staying warm by dressing in layers and keeping curtains and doors shut is important. Close off any unused rooms and dont use an open flame for light or heat.

The utility expects to have the bulk of the system restored by Monday, December 18; however, a small number of miscellaneous outages will remain or trickle in after the weekend due to the severity of the damage caused by wind and rain on Wednesday and Thursday. Dangling tree limbs may cause additional problems or a temporary loss of power, but this is typical for a storm of this magnitude.

What to Do When the Power is Out
  • Check your circuit breaker or a fuse box. Learn how to reset the circuit breaker or safely change a fuse, and keep proper spares.

  • Look around the neighborhood to see if your neighbors lights are off.

  • Call Seattle City Light Customer Service at (206) 684-3000 to report the outage or call the Power Outage Hotline at (206) 684-7400 to hear a recorded message about current outages and power restoration updates. If your neighborhood is not listed, then stay on the line to provide your address and additional information.

  • Dress in layers to conserve body heat.

  • Use battery-powered flashlights for illumination. Avoid candles, oil lamps or anything with an open flame.

  • Close doors, windows, curtains and unused fireplace dampers to keep heat from escaping.

  • Keep refrigerator and freezer closed as much as possible to keep food fresh. A full refrigerator will maintain safe temperatures for up to six hours; a full freezer for up to two days. Discard at-risk refrigerated foods that are warmer than 45 degrees F. When in doubt, throw it out.

  • Do not use an open flame for cooking. Also, do not use a portable barbecue grill inside the house for cooking.

  • Do not operate portable generators inside the home or garage.

  • Check your alarm system. Some alarm systems are sensitive to power outages.

  • Use hot water sparingly. Most hot water tanks will retain heat for up to 24 hours.

  • Unplug or turn off sensitive electronic equipment to protect it from power surges.

  • Note that cordless phones will not work without electricity. Have a cell phone or corded phone available.

  • Locate and use the manual override for your electric garage doors or gates.

  • Leave one or two lights on to alert you that service is restored.

  • When power is restored, turn on electrical appliances gradually. Sudden heavy consumption can drain the electrical system and extend the outage.

For more information and outage updates, visit Seattle City Lights web site:

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Seattle City Light is a publicly owned utility dedicated to exceeding our customers' expectations in producing and delivering low cost, reliable power in an environmentally responsible and safe way. We are committed to delivering the best customer service experience of any utility in the nation.

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