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Cause of Seattle utility pole collapse still unknown, City Light restores temporary power – Seattle PI

Seven Seattle City Light customers are without permanent power following the April 5 incident


Seattle City Light officials say they are still struggling to figure out what caused the collapse of 26 utility poles near the Museum of Flight earlier this month.

As of Friday, the utility company was still unsure as to what initially caused the crash, and would be hiring a third party firm to determine the cause in order to “ensure full accountability and impartiality.”

Though City Light said in their update last week that process was going slower than they’d hoped, they were now in discussion with a national engineering firm.

“The good news is that we’ve secured the poles and infrastructure that came down last Friday, which means the investigation itself will not be compromised by the delayed start,” Seattle City Light said in their update last week. “One of the focus areas for the investigation will be whether we are replacing identified poles at an appropriate pace.”

Full restoration of those who lost power is also ongoing: On April 10 City Light turned on temporary power to the seven customers who still haven’t had full power restored. That included a few of the Museum of Flight buildings and Raisbeck Aviation High School.

The full permanent restoration of power is still expected to take two to three weeks to complete.

More than 16,000 customers initially lost power when the poles fell, but most had power restored within a few hours.

When the poles collapsed on April 5, one crashed into a car and narrowly missing the two people inside, who suffered only minor injuries.

The 26 poles that fell along East Marginal Way ranged in age, with the oldest two installed in 1954, and the five most recent installed in 2011. All of the poles were last inspected in December 2011, and had low priority ratings which suggested that immediate replacement and maintenance should be done within a “practical timeframe.”