News

Power outages plague Federal Way

Ryan Thomas of Federal Way
Ryan Thomas of Federal Way's Public Works department helps clear a fallen tree from S. 333rd Street on the morning of Jan. 19, 2012.
— image credit: Courtesy of the City of Federal Way

An estimated 250,000 homes and businesses in the region lost power Thursday following a massive snow and ice storm.

Federal Way is among the hardest-hit areas. By noon Thursday, multiple neighborhoods and downtown businesses had gone dark, including The Commons Mall. Puget Sound Energy reports that as of Saturday, power has been restored to 18,000 residents with an estimated 11,000 people still without power.

Puget Sound Energy predicts several areas will remain without power through the weekend and possibly beyond. PSE advises customers to email customercare@pse.com or post questions on Facebook. On the PSE page, one reader posted around 11:30 a.m. Friday that power had been returned to the Lake Dolloff area of Federal Way/Auburn.

See this story on The Mirror's Facebook page for comments by Federal Way residents on their power situations. One Twin Lakes resident reports that her power returned about 10 a.m. Friday after 24 hours without it. A resident in the Alderbrook area said her power was on by 11:30 a.m. Friday after a 24-hour outage.

PSE reports that more than 100 crews are fixing power lines, and that nearly 60 additional crews from outside Washington are arriving Saturday to help restore power.

Parts of Federal Way received up to 5.5 inches of snow Wednesday, followed by freezing rain that caked everything in ice. The extra weight from snow and ice has snapped trees and knocked down power lines across the city.

At the peak of this week's storms Thursday, South King Fire and Rescue fielded nearly 300 calls in a 24-hour period. Most calls came from residents who were frustrated and concerned over power outages.

"We get inundated with power outage issues," said spokeswoman Donna Conner, noting that fire crews were checking on downed power lines and other safety hazards, including fallen trees in roadways.

South King Fire has staffed all emergency aid cars for the past 48 hours, along with additional fire rigs, in response to the winter storm. The fire district advises residents to only call 911 if they need immediate fire, police or medical assistance.

Shelter services

The Federal Way Community Center is open tonight to provide shelter services for homeowners suffering power outages, as well as homeless individuals needing relief from winter temperatures. The community center is located at 876 S. 333rd St. Shelter service will be available through Sunday afternoon. Pets are not allowed. Call (206) 370-1869. New Hope Community Church is also providing overnight shelter services at 31411 6th Ave. S.

The following links provide more non-emergency information:

• Federal Way road closures, power outages and shelter information (click here)

• Traffic and road conditions: www.rpin.org/rpinweb/TrafficRoadConditions.aspx

• King County road closures at www.kingcounty.gov

• School closures: www.fwps.org

• Metro Transit: www.metro.kingcounty.gov

• National Weather Service: www.wrh.noaa.gov/sew

• Puget Sound Energy: www.pse.com or (888) 225-5773.

• King County Emergency Management: www.kingcounty.gov/safety/prepare

 

 

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