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Sporadic Power Outages Hit 750 Homes on Mercer Island

Puget Sound Energy says most power outages so far are being quickly resolved by patrolling reported lines for downed tree limbs due to heavy rain.

Around 750 homes in the Mid-Island area of Mercer Island temporarily lost power this afternoon due to falling tree braches on power lines, according to utility provider Puget Sound Energy.

Puget Sound Energy spokesperson MacKenzie McDowell said the outage occurred at 1:24 p.m. and shorted out a circuit from PSE's power substation on the 8900 block of SE 44th Street. Repairs were made and power was restored at 3:19 p.m.

Most of the sporadic power outages in the area, said PSE's McDowell, are being resolved quickly by crews patrolling lines where outages are reported, and have been caused by limbs breaking under the heavy rains of the last couple of days. Crews are investigating each report, and most have been soon resolved.

Once the tree causing the interruption in the line is removed, workers then patrol the rest of the circuit to make sure there are no other issues along the line before turning the power back on, similar to how you'd reset a breaker in your home.

Some places have not been so lucky. Vashon Island and Bainbridge Island have had susbstation problems, knocking power out to some 10,500 PSE customers today. About 4,500 customers in Thurston County have been affected, another 4,400 in North King County, and about 3,200 in South King County.

PSE hopes a forecast that calls for a lightening of the current weather system will allow it to catch up to the many small outages around the area, McDowell said.

In the meantime, power to shopping areas was restored earlier this afternoon, and PSE encourages residents to call 1-888-225-5773 if they experience an outage. You can also click here for real-time updates, or check Twitter.com/PSETalk.

Patch is working on bringing you updates from city staff and Puget Sound Energy. Meanwhile, the forecast for the area is rain, rain, and more rain, with likely snow Wednesday night, Nov. 21.

Let us know if you're without power by commenting on this article, and we'll make sure PSE is aware of the problem.

For more tips on dealing with heavy rain and potential flooding, see this checklist on Take Winter by Storm, a group formed by public and private utilities of Western Washington.

If you rely on public transit, check the status of your ride on Metro Transit Alert Center’s websiteClick here for metro's flood routes.

For a roundup of November storm-related info from around the web, see Patch's news aggregation here.

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