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March 2011
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CityLink Seattle

Seattle City Light Prepares for Windy Weather



Seattle City Light has crews ready for a weather system that is expected to bring strong winds to the Puget Sound area this afternoon. 

The National Weather Service issued a Wind Advisory that is in effect until 9 p.m. with a forecast for sustained winds of 20 to 30 mph, gusting up to 50 mph.

“A storm like this could cause power outages particularly since the ground is saturated and trees could fall into our lines,” Superintendent Jorge Carrasco said. “Our crews are ready to respond and restore service as quickly as possible, but it is always important for all of us to be prepared.”

One important step residents can take is to put together an emergency preparedness kit. A kit should include enough food and supplies to last your family for at least three days, hand-crank or battery-operated flashlight and radio, fresh batteries, a survival blanket, a first aid kit, pocket tissues and hand sanitizer wipes. For a checklist and other tips go to www.takewinterbystorm.org .

City Light also reminds customers to be safe. Downed lines can be dangerous. 

Here’s what customers can do if they experience a power outage: 

* Do not go near any downed wire. Wires should always be assumed to be “live” and dangerous. If someone seeks a downed wire, they should call (206) 684-7400; 

* Do not use a barbecue grill or generator inside the house or in a garage that is attached to the house. Do not use a grill or generator near a home air intake vent or near windows; 

* Do not use fossil fuel burning auxiliary heating sources; 

* Know how to manually override electric garage doors, security doors and gates;

* Have a land line phone or fully charged cell phone available — cordless phones won’t work when the power is out; 

* Unplug electrical appliances if the power goes out so that when the power comes back on, there won’t be a surge that could damage sensitive electronic equipment; 

* Use battery-powered flashlights – not candles or oil lamps; 

* Close doors, windows, curtains, and unused fireplace dampers to retain heat if there is an outage. 

Seattle City Light is the 10th largest public electric utility in the United States.  It has some of the lowest cost customer rates of any urban utility, providing reliable, renewable and environmentally responsible power to nearly 1 million Seattle area residents.  City Light has been greenhouse gas neutral since 2005, the first electric utility in the nation to achieve that distinction.