On the Streets: Windy City (Seattle)
An intense storm rolled through Seattle and western Washington on Monday 13 November 2017. At around 1600 (give or take) I figured I’d grab a coffee and some food before things turned ugly. I was too late. I was near Capitol Hill’s Tashkent Park when I heard the loud cracking and snapping of a falling tree. The trees here are not small, and I’ve seen one fall in that park before. Scary.
The tree (or trees) that fell were just west of the park on Belmont. After it fell I heard what sounded like two or three flashbangs. I decided the coffee could wait. I walked back to my apartment, and I could tell that the power was out everywhere. I wasn’t sure I’d be able to get in the building using the FOB. Luckily, the building managers were still there. I mentioned that I hoped nobody was stuck in the elevators. The building managers used the intercoms to check. A few of us were in limbo because we couldn’t use the stairs – FOB access at the lobby and on the individual floors. After a few minutes the staircase security system deactivated. The front door would continue to present a challenge, though.
I headed back to my apartment and grabbed my camera, rain gear, a headlamp, and a flashlight. I wasn’t going to miss a chance to get photos, but I was a little worried I’d get stuck outside the building if I left.
Capitol Hill was spooky. It looked like power was out all along north Broadway and in the adjacent neighborhoods. I walked down to Belmont and Mercer to check on that tree. First responders were there. The police blocked off the road and used a vehicle PA system to warn people away from the downed wire(s). The tree did extensive damage to a few cars.
The Pike / Pine corridor had power, so I headed over there for some food and a show at Barboza. I took some photos along the way.
I headed back to my place at about 2230. I was surprised to see that a lot of the power, including at my building, was back on. I don’t know how Seattle City Light and the utilities managed that. Every time I glanced at Twitter I saw another mention of downed power lines. I think some workers are going to be logging a lot of overtime.
I’ll keep a few things in mind for the next storm:
- Get some candles.
- The QFC was able to continue operating. It was dark in there, but they had enough power to keep the doors open and registers running. Their ATM was down, though.
- Seattle City Light seemed to do a good job keeping people updated about the power outages and the plans for getting the power back on.
- Navigating Capitol Hill crosswalks is always a little risky. Without the power, it was a mess. The reflectors bicyclists wear on their sleeves or ankles are cheap and nice to have when the crosswalk signals are out. Same goes for a headlamp.