Puget Sound Energy says that it may be another 12 hours or more prior to power being restored on Mercer Island.
A PSE Service Alert notifcation for the community confirmed that Puget Sound Energy crews are busy working on downed power lines on the 4600 and 5300 blocks of East Mercer Way (and the intersection w/ SE 53rd Place). Trees laden with wet snow and ice as a result of yesterday's ice storm fell into power lines there, closing the roadway and cutting off power to 1,500 Mercer Island homes.
"We have been told there are PSE crews on the Island, and they are beyond the assessment phase, working on repairs," said Mercer Island Assistant City Manager Glenn Boettcher.
In response to the local power outages, the is serving as a warming center and will stay open until 9 p.m.
City maintenance crews are transitioning from plowing operations to clearing overhanging trees and branches from roads and the public right-of-way.
Here's the latest press release from Puget Sound Energy:
With safer conditions Friday, Puget Sound Energy crews and three helicopters are gaining access to hard-to-reach transmission lines to assess damage and make repairs to electric-system equipment in order to bring power supplies to neighborhood substations.
A full complement of crews are reaching neighborhoods to repair damaged power poles, power lines and other equipment that bring electricity to homes and businesses.
With more than 100 power line crews tackling repairs in improved weather conditions, PSE hopes to make significant progress today in restoring power to thousands of customers. Helicopters will be flying approximately 250 miles of transmission lines to quickly assess and report damage.
As of 11 a.m., approximately 254,000 customers are without power. Since early Wednesday, when heavy snows and ice caused extensive damage and power outages, PSE crews have restored power to more than 138,000 customers in Western Washington.
Given the magnitude of the damage caused by this week’s storms, PSE predicts many areas will remain out of power through the weekend, and some beyond. Better restoration information will be available as our crews are able to gain access to hard hit areas today. In addition, snow and ice-laden trees continue to have potential to cause new damage—and we are watching for expected strong winds tonight and into Saturday.
Approximately 50 additional crews will be in the service area by end of day Friday. More than 60 additional crews are in route from out of state with a planned arrival time of late Saturday.
We appreciate our customers’ patience as we work to repair power as quickly as possible, with safety our top priority.