Power Outage Affecting 7,300 Customers in Renton/Skyway

City Light crews are responding to an outage in Renton/Skyway affecting approximately 7,300 customers. The outage started at 5:30 p.m. and is affecting two circuits and appears to be tree-related. The early estimate for restoration, based on historical data, is midnight. Customers can get more information at: http://www.seattle.gov/light/sysstat/

Seattle City Light is the 10th largest public electric utility in the United States. It has some of the lowest cost customer rates of any urban utility, providing reliable, renewable and environmentally responsible power to about 750,000 Seattle area residents. City Light has been greenhouse gas neutral since 2005, the first electric utility in the nation to achieve that distinction.


Renton’s “Little Mountain” Project Blessed and Dedicated

In Renton’s Earlington Hill neighborhood, a humble hillside transmission right-of-way is bringing the community together with Seattle City Light.

Since 2007, organizations as diverse as City View Church, the City of Renton, DIRT (Duwamish Infrastructure Restoration Training) Corps, the Earlington Hill Neighborhood Association, Seattle City Light’s Vegetation Management, Sustainable Renton and Vetcorps have been organizing volunteers to beautify and restore native vegetation to the hill. In a recent ceremony, the transmission right-of-way was given additional purpose and identity by community leaders.

On May 2, Cecile Hansen of the Duwamish Tribe blessed and renamed the hill “Little Mountain,” as it was formerly known in Duwamish lore. Renton Mayor Denis Law was also on hand to dedicate the newest aspect of the project, a community garden.

Duwamish Tribe Chairwoman Cecile Hansen blesses and renames the site “Little Mountain”

The community project started as a hillside clean-up effort. In 2007, City Light Plant Ecologist Marie Swanson began working with Rhoda Green of the Earlington Hill Neighborhood Association to transform the site from a trash-filled and overgrown lot into a community benefit. Soon they had a design and a small grant from the City of Renton, and the organizing began.

Over the next several years, the community gradually cleaned up the site, removed noxious and invasive plants from the landscape and raised a sign welcoming people to Earlington Hill. The reactivated space made the hillside a gathering place for the neighborhood, reducing the likelihood of crime in the area.

A sign at the base of the hillside welcomes visitors to the neighborhood

In 2015, plans for the space expanded and more land was cleared for the community’s benefit. “We want to keep going up the hill,” says Swanson. “We want to install rain gardens and raised vegetable gardens.”

To that end, Sustainable Renton is lending their expertise to install a water collection system, which will complement a community vegetable garden and the native, low-growing plants that have been introduced in place of invasive species.

The hillside is ready for raised vegetable boxes and a rain collection system to be installed

Steve Randolph from Sustainable Renton expects that vegetables harvested from the pesticide-free, bee-friendly community garden will be available in 2017. “It takes a while to put this stuff together,” says Randolph. “We’ve got to get the ground leveled, we’ve got to get it laid out, we’ve got to get beds built and we’ve got to get pathways built, and we have to build a water collection system. There’s a lot that going to happen this year.”

Stakeholders and volunteers at the blessing and dedication ceremony

Continuing volunteer work parties will teach the community about restoration techniques, wildlife habitat and the historic significance of the hillside to the Duwamish Tribe. Although the Little Mountain hillside will still serve as a transmission right-of-way, the space is bringing more than electricity to the area; it is fostering environmental stewardship at a grass-roots level.

Seattle City Light Helping Restore Hillside in Renton’s Earlington Hills Neighborhood

Volunteers at work during an earlier restoration work day at the Earlington Hills site in Renton.

Seattle City Light staff will team up with the City of Renton, Earlington Hills Neighborhood group and the City View Church to restore a hillside in Renton this Saturday, Nov. 21. Volunteers will be out planting 520 native plants.

Since 2007, Marie Swanson from City Light’s vegetation management team has been organizing volunteers and working with these groups to restore the hillside, which once contained invasive weeds, noxious weeds and soil erosion issues that caused water runoff onto the adjacent sidewalk. The community decided to take action and transform it into a sustainable and green landscape.

The location also serves as City Light’s Beacon Hill transmission line right-of-way. The hillside is connected to other green belts, creating a corridor for wildlife.

Through the collaboration of these partners, invasive and noxious weeds were removed and soil erosion problems were eliminated. After the transformation, the area is now thriving and self-sustaining with little maintenance and the corridors are diversified in native plants to support the resident and migrating wildlife.

Saturday, a large volunteer group will join forces with the Earlington Hills Neighborhood group to help plant and gain field experience. The volunteer group called DIRT (Duwamish Infrastructure Restoration Training) Corps is made up of environmental restoration students.

The volunteers will be out planting trees and native plants from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm.

Firefighters Evacuate Home After Car Fire Threatens South Seattle Home

August 7—Seattle Firefighters extinguished a car fire that resulted in a fatality at Renton Avenue South and South Fountain Street. The car collided with a power pole causing a number of charged power lines to fall across the scene.

At 12:58 a.m. Seattle Firefighters were called to the scene for a report of a car fire with the possibility of a victim inside. When fire crews arrived, King County Fire District 20 engine was already on scene and pouring water on the car fire. Seattle crews continued to extinguish the flames. One victim appears to have been ejected from the burning car and was pronounced dead on the scene.

The flames from the car exposed 25 feet to a nearby home causing vinyl siding to melt off the house. Firefighters evacuated two residents out of the house.  The house did not suffer any fire damage.

Seattle City Light crews responded and de-energized the power lines allowing fire crews to access the deceased victim.

The Seattle Police Department is investigating the accident.


Copper Thieves Disrupt Electric Service, Risk Lives

When thieves break into electric utility facilities to steal copper, they not only risk their lives, but they disrupt power for customers and drive up operating costs that can lead to higher prices.

A man who apparently intended to steal copper from a Puget Sound Energy substation in Renton was critically injured Wednesday when he cut into a transformer’s wiring. Read the full story here .

Copper thieves have targeted Seattle City Light in the past also.

Customers can help the utility protect the reliability of energy delivery and enhance public safety by paying attention to any unusual activity around substations or other electric facilities, Security Manager Doug Williams said.

“If you see something suspicious, call 9-1-1,” Williams said. “Let’s be a partner on this.”