Puget Sound Energy shared the following information with us early this afternoon to help businesses and residents prepare for the winter storm that's expected to start as early as 1 p.m. today. This is the message in its entirety. It has not been edited except for formatting.
"With today’s snowy weather and the potential for winds this afternoon and evening, below are the steps PSE is taking to prepare for possible outages. We’ll also be posting this to the PSE Alerts Banner on pse.com. Also, I have included information on how PSE restoration process.
Preparing for outages
Region-wide outages are typically caused by significant weather events. In the Pacific Northwest, it's most common for region-wide outage events to be caused by fall and winter wind and snow storms, but other causes could be earthquakes, flooding, wildfires or other natural disasters. Outages may impact several thousand to several hundred thousand customers.
Beginning of the outage event
Regional storm bases and our Emergency Coordination Center open to support crew and resource coordination, response strategy and internal and external communication.
As soon as conditions allow and it’s safe to begin field activities, our damage assessors drive to reported outage locations across our service area to:
Storm response plan established
Information from the damage assessors is used by the storm bases and Emergency Coordination Center to determine resources needed, outage restoration prioritization and other response strategies.
Outage restoration prioritization
Restoration efforts continue 24/7
Our crews and outage response personnel work around the clock until all customers have their power restored.
How does PSE estimate when my power will be restored?
Each region-wide outage event is unique, and estimated times of restoration (ETRs) are developed based on the following factors: number of predicted outage locations, damage severity, resource allocations, active weather and access challenges. As our field teams gain boots-on-the-ground visibility, we add and update ETRs on the outage map. At times, more system damage can occur due to ongoing active weather, and ETRs may need to be updated. There are three general stages of ETRs:
1. ETR is To Be Determined (TBD): During a region-wide outage event, we don’t add ETRs to the outage map until damage assessment is well underway. The time required to establish ETRs varies based on field conditions and the severity of the event. In large outage events, it can take 24–48 hours to establish regional ETRs.
2. Regional ETR: The date/time we expect most customers in a given region to have their power restored. Many customers will be restored sooner than the regional ETR; some customers may have their power restored after. While regional ETRs are not specific to individual outages, they are general timeframes for restoration that help our customers plan. We strive to share regional ETRs within the first 24–48 hours of a large-scale outage event.
3. Outage-specific ETR: Outage-specific ETRs – provided by our field personnel – are established when we have adequate field visibility and a crew assigned to restore your power. Sometimes, outage-specific ETRs are updated based on additional information gathered during repairs.
We understand ETR information is important so our customers can plan. Please know we work to provide the most accurate information as quickly as possible, and we thank you for your patience as we move through the process.