Power cut to thousands of Puget Sound Energy customers across Western Washington
Thousands of Puget Sound Energy customers went without power on Sunday as thousands of outages were reported in Issaquah, Bellevue and Kirkland.
In Kirkland, electric crews worked to pinpoint power issues on Sunday evening as more than 3,100 residents sat in the dark.
This marked the third area to experience widespread outages reported on Puget Sound Energy’s “Outage Map.”
Not long before, nearly 1,250 outages were reported in the Bellevue area.
In Issaquah, nearly 12,000 residents were left seeking ways to cool down in a sweltering 106-degree heat wave.
“I just feel we should be a bit more prepared for it somehow,” said Nick Rees as he walked back to his dark, now “fan-less” apartment carrying a grocery bag full of bottled water and ice cream.
“Everything is closed now, so there’s not many places to go out and try to stay cool,” Rees continued.
Many others in the Issaquah area sought reprieve in a generator-powered community center where they sat in the dark with their families, dogs and neighbors.
“To have just one place you can cool, with such limited seating, especially with COVID, this is difficult,” said Donna Mead, who had spent time gathering elderly neighbors to bring them to the cooling center. “It’s going to be a long night, and a long day, and a long night.”
As outage reports continued to flood in Sunday, PSE only updated small pieces of information and attributed certain outages, like the ones in Issaquah, to “equipment failure.”
So did the heat cause the malfunctions?
Well, despite a number of emails and calls to try and find out, PSE did not return KIRO 7′s request for comment.
On Friday, KIRO 7 spoke to a spokesperson with PSE.
He said, “I can tell you the system is currently performing well.” He also said there were extra megawatts ready for use and, at the time, did not anticipate any outages or reasons for concern.
KIRO 7 reporter Elle Thomas asked if there was “any concern for overheating of systems?”
He responded by saying, “That’s a good question. You know, I assume that maybe there could potentially be, but I don’t think that we’re necessarily concerned with that right now.”
By Monday at 5:30 a.m., power had been restored to thousands of customers. At that time, PSE showed 83 outages with 1,363 customers affected. By Monday evening, that number climbed over 13,000 customers affected with the latest outage in North Bend.
Power customers are asked to monitor their own energy usage by keeping curtains drawn, the lights off and the thermostat set to a maximum of 75 degrees. Power companies also recommend waiting until nightfall to use large appliances or cook dinner.
If you experience an outage, there are places to help you cope with the heat in Seattle and across the North Sound.
Written by KIRO 7 TV reporter Elle Thomas