Community Post

Electrical Vault Explosion at 23rd & Pike

I just got back from the scene of an underground electrical explosion at 23rd & Pike.   No one was hurt, but power is out for a big chunk of the neighborhood and 23rd is shut down to both directions of travel north of Union.

Neighbors described hearing three separate explosions and the acrid smell of smoke before power went out.

According to Seattle City Light, the explosion was caused by “a failure of a cable in an underground vault on Capitol Hill” (grrrrr).   The outage has affected about 2,500 customers, bordered by these two areas:

One feeder affects customers within these boundaries:
North: E Howell St.
South: I-90
East: Lake Washington
West: 22nd Av S.

Another line affects customers within these boundaries
North: E Pike St.
South: S King St.
East: Lake Washington
West: 23rd Ave.

I think those might not be completely accurate, since the two areas overlap and since Central District News World Headquarters ™ exists in the area but we’ve had power the whole time.  No estimate is available for when power will be restored.

Stay tuned for more details and video from the scene, including the story as told by someone who was standing right next to it when it went up.


0 thoughts on “Electrical Vault Explosion at 23rd & Pike

  1. I live less than a block from the event, on 24th between E Pike and E Pine, i.e., in the first of the two cited areas, and I did not lose power, so you’re right, the boundaries given are at least partly inaccurate. I came home about an hour after it happened, and there are no blinking lights on any of my appliances.

  2. We live just north of the I-90 lid, and lost power for an hour or so. It was so great to be able to get the story immediately on CD News (as soon as the power came on!). Thanks for the service!

  3. Where exactly is the vault? Capitol Hill? 23rd and Pike? I hope that Seattle City Light has some procedures in place to prevent any further explosions such as this one. What went wrong here? I hope this is not a normal occurence within their standard operating procedures.

    Thank you for the information.

  4. It’s at 23rd & Pike, in the intersection next to the car wash. Seattle City Light’s description of it as “Capitol Hill” is just another example of creeping hegemony from the hill…

  5. We also lost power for about an hours. It’s strange not knowing how many others are affected when the traditional forms of communication are out. Thanks Scott for a great job on getting us the info.