Snohomish County Public Utility District No. 1

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Customer Service (M-F 8a-5:30p): 425-783-1000

Welcome to Our Outage Center!

How to Use Our Outage Map


Most Frequently Asked Questions

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How much detail is available about outages and when power will be restored?

The PUD’s outage map is available around the clock, 24/7, for its customers. It shows outages down to a quarter mile area. The information is in near-real-time. However, there may be instances where the posting of an outage to the map may be delayed while the utility gathers and verifies information. During major storms, with multiple widespread outages, it may take more time to assess the extent of outages throughout the PUD service area.

Estimated time of restoration (ETRs) are more complicated fields to build into a map system. The PUD is currently developing a system to calculate ETRs effectively and accurately. Rather than wait several months to launch the map with ETRs, the utility decided to launch it in October, in time for storm season, and make improvements over time, including the ETR function. Given that ETR is one of the most asked-for features, the PUD is working hard to test it and bring it on later in 2017.

In addition, trees that have fallen on power lines or brush that limits access to restoration sites may need to be cleared before repair work can begin. This can often be an all-day job. Often, PUD crews may not be able to estimate how long a job may take until they arrive at the site to begin clearing it for the work.

Some customers have asked why the PUD can’t contact a line crew by radio to check on when a specific street or address might have power restored. During a major storm, tens of thousands of customers might be without power. Based on the huge volume of customers affected in a major storm, it would be unrealistic to expect the PUD to be able to radio crews to handle each customer inquiry about restoration work in the field. The radio’s primary function is for the safety of the workers and any additional “traffic” on the radio would jeopardize this safety. It would also divert the PUD crew in the field from its primary focus – restoring power to customers – and dramatically slow the work of field crews.

How do you use the map?

Customers can quickly access outage information and storm updates from a PC, tablet or smart phone. By clicking on a colored outage area, the customer will be able to view an outage summary box with additional information such as cause, time of outage and number of customers impacted.

Each incident – or collection of outages in a certain area – can be viewed down to a quarter-mile area. The color of the outage area will depend on how many customers are out of power (e.g., 50, 500 or 3,000). 

How does the PUD decide which outage repair jobs to do first?

During major storms, a number of factors are considered in order to determine which repairs crews make first. 

First, the utility focuses on outages at the higher-voltage transmission level, which affect substations that serve large numbers of customers, hospitals, schools and businesses.
Oil spills from transformers, wires blocking main highways and wires down on buildings or vehicles get high priority based on the safety hazards they present.
Next to be restored are substation main line circuits that serve neighborhoods and/or businesses.
Smaller outages are then addressed. These may be caused by transformer malfunctions or fallen service lines and may serve one or just a few homes.
Finally outages impacting non-essential street lights are resolved. 
When is it safe to approach power lines on the ground, and is it okay to drive over them?

It's never safe to approach a power line on the ground! (These are often called "downed" lines.) Approaching downed power lines can be fatal. You don’t even have to touch a downed line to be electrocuted. Electricity always wants to go to the ground and can reach you through the ground if you get close enough to a downed live wire. Stay at least 30 feet away from any downed line. Call the PUD immediately to report the location of any downed line. If the downed line is life-threatening (for example, sparking or on top of an occupied car), call 911.

Some people think it’s okay to drive across downed lines, believing that the rubber in the car tires will protect them. While that is true to some extent as long as you stay inside the car, the greater danger is that the downed wire can become entangled in the car’s axle or wheels. This could cause you to pull down the pole or could prevent you from being able to drive any further. Bottom line: do not drive over downed power lines unless it is a last resort.

Is the PUD doing anything to improve customer communications during storms?

To provide timely information to customers, the PUD has launched its outage map 24/7 around the clock. It also has created an automated service that allows customers to call the PUD’s main switchboard phone number and press "#1" to get updates about general locations of power outages. When possible, more specific locations are listed. In addition, in recent years, the PUD has become more proactive in working with local TV and radio stations to provide updated information about storm restoration efforts.

Storm Outage Response

DO NOT APPROACH FALLEN POWER LINES!

They could carry enough electricity to prove fatal. Stay at least 30 feet away, and if you see a fallen power line, call the PUD at 425-783-1001 to report the location. If the situation is life-threatening (such as on top of an occupied car), please call "911."
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To Report an Outage:

425-783-1001

Customer Service:

425-783-1000
(M-F, 8am to 5:30pm)
STAFFED DURING MAJOR STORMS

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