Emergency Management

Puget Sound Energy Update 12/20/06
Posted By Sheri Badger on Dec 20th, 2006 at 3:29 AM

Storm Recovery Update As of 2:30 p.m. PST, Dec. 20 2006*

Local Updates Pierce County : We continue to make good progress in Pierce County. Currently there are about 1500 customers without power. Customers living in Bonney Lake have had their power restored. Our major emphasis is Lakewood and Orting. In especially Lakewood, there are several laterals requiring significant tree work and well as repair of poles and wire.

This is taking longer than anticipated to repair. Our focus has been restoration …not final repairs. We are a little concerned that the wind warnings for tonight could slow the restoration process. Other notes: Our crews have fully restored power to the 57,000 customers who lost power in Whatcom, Skagit, Jefferson, Island, and Kittitas counties.

For information about your local area, please call 1-888-225-5773 (Select menu option #1) for outage information or to report an outage. For more information on using our phone system, please visit our Reporting an Outage page on our web site www.pse.com .

Recovery Progress With nearly 500 (496) Puget Sound Energy crews continuing to make good progress restoring power, repairing transmission lines, re-energizing substations, and moving deeper into damaged residential neighborhoods. We’re able to make increasingly detailed and refined projections on when  at the very latest all PSE customers in given communities should see their lights come back on.

As of late this morning we have restored power to just over 600,000 of the 700,000 people who lost power from the windstorm. We believe nearly all our customers still without power will have their service back no later than Friday or Saturday & and most will have power before then.

However, repairing the exceptional damage in a couple of rural pockets in north and east King County could take longer — perhaps up to two or three days. It now appears possible that power may not be restored until Sunday or early next week for a very small number of customers, in the hundreds, within the Cottage Lake area east of Woodinville, and outlying areas around Duvall. We’re regularly updating our outage-restoration projections for specific communities and circuits within communities.

Customers in many areas can now get specific restoration projections by calling PSE’s Call Center (1-888-225- 5773), and entering their phone number or PSE account number in our automated system. More and more circuit-specific projections are steadily being entered into our system. Significant progress was made again yesterday and last night to restore customers’ power. We’ve now re-energized 158 of the 159 substations that lost power from the fierce windstorm. The only remaining substation without power, serving Duvall, should be re-energized today. And we’ve now repaired 70 of the 85 transmission lines that lost power from the storm.

As our crews in Thurston, Pierce, and Kitsap counties complete their restoration efforts there over the next couple days (we hope to complete restoration in Pierce County today) they will join the 350 crews we now have in King County to finish the massive repair effort. In the hardest-hit areas of King County where about 90 percent of the remaining outages exist, the record-setting storm’s damage was so extensive around Woodinville, Duvall, Carnation, North Bend, and Snoqualmie that we’re literally having to rebuild the electric system from the ground up in much of that area.

Our crews have fully restored power to the 57,000 customers who lost power in Whatcom, Skagit, Jefferson, Island, and Kittitas counties, where storm damage was extensive but not as severe as central Puget Sound. (It’s possible an isolated outage or two in remote areas could still exist; please call PSE if your power is still out.)

Another storm with wind gusts of 40 to 50 mph is predicted to hit the region tonight. We hope it does not cause additional outages. Parts of our restored system remain fragile, with permanent repairs coming later. Updated information is being placed on our Call Center’s recorded message line and PSE Web site for customers to obtain updates on local restoration progress, and plan accordingly.

We continue to appreciate the public’s understanding and patience. We are working with community agencies to assist those who are still without power; this includes working with community EOCs for things such as traffic control and security patrols. We continue to ask people to pull off the roads and let our crews get into damaged areas. Please stay away from downed, electrified power lines –and don’t ever assume that a downed line is NOT energized.

We have implemented a process to address customer reports of wire down. If people see a utility crew repairing damaged lines, we ask that they not try to ask the crew questions about when a neighborhood’s power will be restored. Our crews are extremely busy & and your questions will slow the repair effort. *Watch for updates