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Power outage hits UW Seattle campus

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A power outage left the UW Seattle campus and the surrounding central Seattle area without power for nearly two hours on Sunday, the UW’s Office of Emergency Management reported.

The Office of Emergency Management was aware of the power outage at approximately 11:30 a.m. Sunday morning. Power was officially restored to the majority of UW campus residents by 2 p.m.

“We were told [by Seattle City Light] that the university campus was fully impacted,” UW Emergency Management director Steven J. Charvat said. “It could have been everything from an equipment failure to a problem with transmission lines. We will continue to investigate and inform the public as we have more word.”

The UW Medical Center’s operations were not affected, but it did fall back on several of its backup generators during the outage out of precaution.

“There was no impact on patients, but backup generators were activated in certain areas of the hospital,” UW Medical spokesperson Susan Gregg said.

The outage left over 20,000 customers without power, which included residents in the Ravenna, Montlake, and Green Lake areas, in addition to neighborhoods in Fremont, Ballard, Wallingford, and north Capitol Hill. 

According to Seattle City Light, the outage originated from an unspecified technical failure at the UW’s power substation located on East Pacific Place at some point before noon.

“The reason that the outages were clustered around those areas was because of the university power junction,” Seattle City Light public information officer Scott Thomsen said. “We rerouted power from elsewhere in the city grid and were able to restore power to over 7,000 customers by 1:50 p.m.”

Since then, power has been restored to the majority of Seattle neighborhoods and Seattle City Light will continue to monitor any pending outages. 


Reach reporter Tim Gruver at Twitter: @T_TimeForce

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