Dog's close call reveals second streetlight wiring problem
Another dangerous streetlight was found in Seattle by a dog being walked in the city's High Point neighborhood Monday.
Seattle Times staff reporter
Wendy Hughes-Jelen was walking her Italian greyhound near her High Point home Sunday when she noticed the dog keeping its distance from a nearby metal power pole.
Her friend's dog, however, touched the pole and bolted, apparently shocked.
"Something definitely is going on," Hughes-Jelen told her friend. "My dog knew there was something weird."
Hughes-Jelen said it might have been a smell or a sound, but she's glad her dog steered clear of the pole.
On Monday, she called City Light and work crews found frayed, exposed wires in the lamppost and made repairs.
Hughes-Jelen said the streetlight had been acting up, sometimes not working at all and other times burning 24 hours a day.
The announcement comes on the heels of the Thanksgiving Day electrocution of a dog that stepped on a metal plate by a lamppost that carried 90 volts of electricity. The city has since repaired it.
"I don't know if they would have responded so quickly if they didn't have the recent memory of a dog's death," Hughes-Jelen said. "I feel lucky, but I'm not the one with a dead dog."
On Wednesday, City Light went out and inspected all 170 streetlights in the High Point area to make sure there weren't other problems, and found none, Seattle City Light Superintendent Jorge Carrasco said at a news conference Thursday morning.
Carrasco said beginning Jan. 1, City Light will take over inspection of any streetlights added to the system. The Seattle Department of Transportation had been inspecting new power poles, but Carrasco said the utility is making the change for accountability reasons.
Beginning in February, City Light will do voltage testing on all of its 20,000 metal streetlights and 10,000 metal street covers. That should be completed in May.
Special inspections will be conducted on streetlights in three neighborhoods — Holly Park, Rainier Vista and Green Bridge — because they have streetlights similar to the one that had problems Monday in High Point.
Over the next 10 years, City Lights plans to upgrade all streetlight grounding systems.
Carrasco said residents who spot something unusual about streetlights, such as lights that are on during the day, should contact City Light. Officials said streetlights should only be lit between about 4 p.m. and 7 a.m. this time of year.
Susan Gilmore: 206-464-2054 or firstname.lastname@example.org
When vice president of Sub Pop Records Megan Jasper isn't running things at the office, she's working in her garden at her West Seattle home where she and her husband Brian spend time relaxing.