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Subject:   Snow, wind and cold scheduled to hit today
For Immediate Release:   
1/9/2007  2:45:00 PM
For More Information Contact:


Snow, wind and cold scheduled to hit today


SEATTLE — Seattle City Light is urging its customers to be prepared in the event of more weather-related problems as a new storm front moves into the area this afternoon. Customers should be particularly aware of the very cold temperatures that are predicted later tonight and for the next week.

The National Weather Service is predicting gusting winds with the possibility of snow in some low-lying areas around the Puget Sound this afternoon and tonight. Snow could return Wednesday, followed by much colder temperatures that could last a week. While this appears to be a “typical” winter storm for the Pacific Northwest, soil in the area remains saturated, so even a mild storm could take down trees and/or poles, causing outages.

With the colder temperatures, City Light encourages its customers to pay particular attention to safety while trying to stay warm should they experience an outage. Among the key tips are never use generators or portable grills indoors, even in a garage, because they can produce deadly carbon monoxide; avoid using candles or anything with an open flame; close doors, windows and curtains and unused fireplace dampers to keep heat from escaping; and dress in layers to conserve body heat.

Lessons learned from the December 14th storm:

  1. Stay away from any downed power lines and report them immediately at (206) 684-3000.
  2. Have an emergency kit ready. A kit is simple to put together and can cost less than $25. Emergency kits should include flashlights, fresh batteries, wind-up clock, portable radio, mylar blankets and a manual can-opener. A supply of canned and dry food is recommended along with surge protectors for sensitive electronic equipment.
  3. DO NOT cook food indoors on a barbecue grill that burns fossil fuels (propane, charcoal, etc.).
  4. DO NOT heat your home with carbon-monoxide emitting fuels, such as coal, propane or kerosene in an unventilated device.
  5. DO NOT operate a generator inside your home or garage; it must be well ventilated.
  6. Have contact sources who are outside of the area and who can give you up-dated information from City Light’s Web site.
  7. Use the portable, battery-operated radio from your emergency kit for the latest outage information. KOMO 1000 and KIRO 710 have the most current updates.
  8. Have the phone number and address of the closest community center to you to see if they are offering temporary/emergency shelter if needed.
  9. Have the phone number and address of nearby grocery stores to see if they are open.
  10. Cell phones are useful during an outage. They can be re-charged with a manual, hand-cranked recharger or a battery powered recharger. A telephone that operates on a hard wire (land line) can be useful too. Cordless phones won’t work if there is a power outage.

What to Do When the Lights Go Out

  • Check your circuit breaker or a fuse box first. Learn how to reset the circuit breaker or safely change a fuse, and keep proper spares.
  • Look around the neighborhood to see if your neighbor's lights are off.
  • Stay away from any downed lines – they are dangerous and should be reported immediately to City Light at (206) 684-3000.
  • Call 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.
  • Call (206) 684-TREE (684-8733) to report a downed tree on the street or sidewalk.
  • Beware of deadly carbon monoxide poisoning. Never use generators or portable grills indoors, even in a garage. Always use them outdoors with plenty of ventilation to avoid toxic fumes.
  • Use battery-powered flashlights for illumination. Avoid candles, oil lamps or anything with an open flame.
  • Dress in layers to conserve body heat.
  • 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. If in doubt, throw it out.
  • Check your home alarm system. Some home alarm systems are triggered by 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.
  • 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.

Media outlets are asked to link their Web site to the Seattle City Light’s home page for more information and outage up-dates: http://www.seattle.gov/light.



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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.

Seattle City Light
 

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