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Subject:   City Seeks Community’s Help
For Immediate Release:   
12/16/2006  4:00:00 PM
For More Information Contact:
Power Outage Hotline – (206) 684-7400
City Seeks Community's Help
Neighbor-to-Neighbor Help Urged

SEATTLE – Temperatures are expected to drop today and tomorrow. Approximately 47,600 Seattle City Light customers are still without power. City Light crews are working around the clock to restore power and many main feeders have been restored. However, there is concern for the elderly and frail within our community who for health reasons may be vulnerable to the anticipated cold weather.

"We know that it's predicted to be colder and there is even a chance of snow," says Mayor Greg Nickels. "We want to ensure that our most vulnerable residents are taken care of and we are asking for the community’s help. Two emergency shelters have been established – one in the North part of Seattle and three locations the South end of town. Also, there is an emergency community services hotline available for those who need assistance," adds Nickels.

The City is asking for neighbors to check on neighbors who may be elderly, frail or ill and provide them with information on the emergency shelter locations where people can go to spend the night. Seattle Parks Department and the Seattle Human Services Department are opening several locations to provide a warm place for people to spend the night. City staff, supported by the American Red Cross, are providing shelter for those who are still without power and need some assistance.

Shelter Locations

Bitter Lake Community Center 13035 Linden Avenue North Phone: 206 684-7524
Delridge Community Center 4501 Delridge Way S.W. Phone: 206 684-7423
Rainier Community Center 4600 38th Ave. South Phone: 206 386-1919
Southwest Community Center 2801 SW Thistle Phone: 206 684-7438

The City also continues to coordinate with community agencies to provide additional shelter for homeless persons. Additional shelter capacity is available at City Hall (600 Fifth Avenue) and the Frye Hotel (1425 4th Avenue) as well as at the Compass Center (77 South Washington Street). Referrals to these shelters are coordinated through Operation Nightwatch. We are pleased to note that no person was turned away from shelter the last two nights.

Neighbors helping neighbors can call the following numbers for more information or assistance:

To report an outage or to hear outage locations
(206) 684-7400

To find locations or emergency shelter or to report downed powerlines
(206) 684-3000

To report an elderly, frail or ill neighbor who needs emergency assistance
2-1-1 or 1-866-4 CRISIS 1-866-427-4747

To report a life-threatening emergency
9-1-1

City Light crews have restored power to 118,000 customers. There are 57,000 customers without power. Most main power feeders have been restored. Now begins the slower task of identifying "lateral" outages – branches off of the main feeders – to get full power restoration. These are neighborhood-by-neighborhood restorations. City Light encourages customers to call the Outage Hotline to see if their area is listed and if it isn't, the Utility wants customers to report outages. Crews will be working around the clock on restoration. The Utility reports that the majority of customers will have power on Monday, December 18th.

In the meantime, City Light urges customers to stay safe and warm and offers the following tips:

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 doesn’t 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 don’t use an open flame for light or heat.

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 Light's web site:

www.seattle.gov/light



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