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Update: More Than 1,000 Mercer Island Homes Without Power

Puget Sound Energy is working to restore power to more than 180,000 homes in its service area due mainly to fallen tree branches and ice on power lines from the snow and freezing rain, and outages are expected to continue this afternoon and evening.

Update, 10:30 a.m., Friday: The Service Alert Updates map is having a few issues, which will be fixed shortly. To report the outage call 1-888-225-5773 or send an email to customercare@pse.com with customers name and address. Customers should put “Power Outage” followed by their “city” in the subject line of their email.

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Update, 2:30 p.m., Thursday: According to PSE's service outage map, there are now 1,098 Mercer Island customers without power as of 2:25 p.m. If you click on the map and choose the "zip code restoration view" you can get a sense of whether repairs are under way. As of 2:30 p.m., nearly all the outages on Mercer Island are still listed as "assessment/mobilization," though some repairs have been completed.

If you've lost power, let your neighbors know in the comments below. And if yours comes back on, let us know that, too. It might give us a sense of the progress being made, as it's been tough getting an update from the obviously busy PSE folks.

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Mercer Island's trees and power lines appear to be avoiding the worst of the , but Puget Sound Energy is still working to restore dozens of homes without power on Mercer Island.

Over 180,000 homes in King, Pierce and Thurston counties have lost power today and the outlook for restoring service remains uncertain as freezing rain continues to fall. At last count (as of 1 p.m.), 54 homes on Mercer Island were without power.

PSE spokesperson Andy Wappler said despite the efforts of hundreds of repair workers in the area, they were having a hard time assessing the damage and estimating a restoration time of electricity at 515 affected locations.

Patch readers on the South End of Mercer Island and other neighborhoods have reported power outages starting late last night and this morning. 

Mercer Island resident Connie Clark-Redmond reported losing cable service at 10:30 p.m. last night and power briefly flicker but remain on. She reported her cable had returned this morning but the ice storm appeared to be increasing the likelihood power outages would increase.

"Tree branches are snapping all over the place with the weight of the ice, " she said. "I wouldn’t be surprised to see power and Comcast outages all day."

Another local resident, Rinnie Yang reported on Twitter that a large branch from a tree on city property fell into their yard under the weight of snow and ice and crushed part of their fence.

PSE posted the following update on power outages at 11 a.m. on its website:

Puget Sound Energy crews Thursday morning are working under extremely difficult conditions. Trees and limbs, weighed down by ice-encrusted snow, are breaking off and damaging power lines, resulting in new power outages to tens of thousands of homes and businesses.

Due to hazardous field conditions with falling limbs and trees, some PSE crews on Thursday morning have needed to stay clear from working near trees, impeding damage assessment and repair work. Crews will resume their work as soon as it’s safe to do so.

As of 11 a.m., PSE is responding to 515 outage locations affecting approximately 184,000 customers. Hardest hit areas are in Thurston and Pierce counties and parts of King County. Since heavy snows began on Tuesday morning, PSE has restored power to approximately 51,000 customers in Western Washington.

PSE has requested 140 additional power line crews from other parts of the country to assist with repairs and restoration work, which is expected to extend well into the weekend. There are 75 four-person power line crews, 27 two-person tree crews and 76 servicemen available and assisting with restoration efforts.

We appreciate our customers’ patience as we work to repair power as quickly as possible, with safety our top priority.

To report a power outage to your home, call PSE at 1-888-225-5773 (select menu option 1).

When we get more information about efforts to restore power to Mercer Island customers we'll update this story.

Stay on top of the Winter Weather and snow at Mercer Island Patch by checking our Winter Weather topic page, found by clicking here.

In the meantime, here are some . And don't forget to charge up those laptops, cell phones, and tablets while the power's on so you can continue to get information in the event of an outage.

Jerry Gropp Architect AIA January 19, 2012 at 10:49 PM
Kendall- During the continuing snow, wife Patty is doing this Gorey crossword puzzle (above) from IslandBooks while I'm reading my eBook on my new NookColor. Might as well make the best of some downtime. It's really pretty outside. JG-
Kendall Watson January 20, 2012 at 12:24 AM
I don't expect we'll be hearing from PSE anytime soon. Here's the last Tweet I saw from them: "We can’t make full estimate of how long the restoration effort will take until the ice and snow storm – and the damage it’s causing.. ..-- ends and our crews can make a comprehensive assessment of the damage. But right now, we think it will be 3 to 4 days…maybe longer."
Kendall Watson January 20, 2012 at 06:23 AM
Looks like that tweet from PSE was overly pessimistic: the service alert map is currently showing only 173 homes without power as of 10 p.m. tonight.
Diane Taylor January 20, 2012 at 07:41 PM
As of 11:30pm the Groveland Park neighborhood got power back, despite a huge tree blocking 80th Ave SE and resting on power lines...
Holly Figueroa O'Reilly January 20, 2012 at 08:38 PM
12:35 PM Friday, most of the homes at the bottom of Gallagher Hill is still out of power. The street lights across the street are on, though.
Vince January 21, 2012 at 04:43 AM
The entire shorewood heights is without power but I see power everywhere else. 3 years ago they took a week to restore power to this apartment community. Are we on a different grid or not important enough ?

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