The Murkworks

An overview of power outages at the Murkworks

Last night our power came back on, just after 11pm. So then I took the time to go back through my social media history, just to find all the various times where I’ve posted alerts about our power going down. This is what I found.

August 2015

Y’all may recall that last August we had an early season windstorm. That hit on the 29th, which caused us to lose power that morning. I posted at 9:37am that we were down, and again by 10:29am the following morning that we were back.

November 2015

Another windstorm. Outage start as reported by me was 2:35pm on the 17th, and we came back around 12:59pm on the 18th.

March 2016

We went down for a short time on the 12th, from roughly 2:43pm to 3:51pm. Cause unknown. What was particularly annoying was that this was even before the windstorm hit that month, so we were up pretty much just in time to go back down again.

Because we had another windstorm roll in on the 13th. We had a lot of flickery power that afternoon and evening until we finally went down around 9:25pm. We were back around 7:12am the following morning.

June 2016

Incident on the 19th that started around 12:52pm and ended around 5:05pm. Cause unknown.

Another incident on the 30th which, for once, didn’t actually impact our house. But it did impact 1,814 customers in Kenmore, and it impacted Dara anyway because the power went out while she was at the car wash. Which made it rather difficult for her to finish washing the Raptor.

July 2016

Outage on the 5th. I was not home at the time, and Dara warned me by text at 9:24am that we were out. Dara estimates we were down about four hours. Cause unknown.

August 2016

Outage on the 31st that impacted 2,194 customers in Kenmore. Duration from 10:27am to 2:01pm. Cause unknown.

September 2016

Last but not least, the latest incident. According to this article by the Seattle Times, this outage was caused by a tree falling on a power line in Redmond. The damage this falling tree caused then impacted four, count ’em, four substations and took out power for over 18,000 people.

I also saw this tweet from KOMO News:

However, this is the only source I have that mentions a brush fire, and I couldn’t find any article on with more details. So I don’t know what their source for the “brush fire” report was.

Final tally

That’s a total of nine, count ’em, nine separate power incidents in just over a year. Seven in 2016 alone.

The windstorm-related ones I can forgive, ’cause, y’know, severe weather and all that. The rest, I’m crankier about. Because okay, yeah, sure, I’m not a civil engineer or an electrical engineer. But it seems to me that one tree falling shouldn’t take out power for 18,000 people.

And Seattle City Light, whose area of coverage also includes a lot of trees, somehow manages to not lose power SEVEN TIMES IN ONE YEAR.

Not that I’m bitter or anything no wait yes I AM bitter. Because Dara and I are paying Puget Sound Energy to provide us power. I think it’s a reasonable expectation for them to do their damn jobs and keep the lights on.

Dara’s already sent cranky mail to our state representatives and the Kenmore city council. I will be looking into doing the same. Because this is stupid.

And the only reason we don’t have a generator yet is money. We have to budget for it, given that we’re having to pay a great deal of money for roof renovation at MurkSouth this year, so the generator has to wait a little longer. But it’s important to note here that Dara and I are actually in an income bracket that can afford a generator. PSE’s coverage area includes a lot of affluent communities where a lot of the residents can say the same. But this is not universal. And if we couldn’t afford a generator at all, now or after budgeting for it, we’d be screwed.

I have to be grateful that not only can we afford to budget for a generator, neither of us have health issues that would be impacted by repeated incidents of power loss. But there must surely be customers in PSE’s coverage area that do have such issues. And this track record out of PSE puts those customers at risk.

But yeah, we’ll be budgeting for that generator as soon as the roof’s done and dealt with. And I’m going to look into setting up a minimal mirror site for up on After multiple incidents of power outages happening while I’m trying to run sales on my books, I need to have reliably stable places I can actually point ads at when I’m trying to encourage sales.

If anyone reading me is also in PSE’s coverage area, I encourage you to take the time to write up how many recent outage incidents have impacted you. Communicate it to your city councilpeople and our state reps. Because this is stupid. And it needs to stop.

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