Large power outage disrupts Seattle's downtown core

A noon-time power outage in Seattle's downtown core turned intersections into parking lots, left people stranded in elevators and disrupted the transit system through the city

The outage was caused by an equipment failure at a substation and affected thousands of people, according to Seattle City Light spokesman Tony White. It started at about 11:30 a.m. and power was mostly restored by 12:30 p.m., he said.

Crews were working to learn more details about the failure.

White said it was unclear how many buildings were affected by the power outage but the Seattle transportation agency said the outage stretching from Elliott Bay to Interstate 5 and from Pike Street to the north and Jackson to the south.

Traffic signals through downtown were not functioning during the outage. The Seattle Transportation Department said although the traffic lights were working again just after noon drivers could expect long delays.

The outage affected people using the SoundTransit rail system. The agency reported that its light rail was temporarily out of service.

People who were riding in elevators when the power went out were stranded and put out calls for help, according to the Seattle online dispatch page. About 25 calls for elevator rescues were reported around town.

Seattle's airport did not lose power, but some landline phones were down, according to a tweet by Sea-Tac Airport.