Puget Sound Energy

The Pacific Northwest has made headlines for its efforts to become the first coal-free region in the United States. Washington’s last coal-fired power plant, in Centralia, is scheduled to be shut down by 2025.

Yet one of the region’s largest utilities still derives more than a third of its power from coal.

Paula Wissel

Puget Sound Energy  crews working to restore power say they haven't slept much.  On Tuesday afternoon, Rob Brackman, who was redirecting traffic while other workers strung new power lines near Dash Point Road and Redondo Way, said he'd  had just 15 hours of sleep since Friday morning.  But, he says he's been overwhelmed by the kindness of strangers.

"We get a lot of joyous people when we get into their neighborhood. They're so happy to see us. People have been bringing us coffee and donuts. It's been very nice," he said.

Upwards of 250,000 homes served by Puget Sound Energy are without power – and some of the outages are expected to last a long as 4 days. Two of the region's other utilities were also reporting outages, bringing the total to about 280,000.

The ice storm is causing road closures and power outages all over the region.

Pierce, Thurston and Northeast King County are hardest hit.

As wet snow melts and then re-freezes, its weight is breaking tree limbs near roads or pulling entire trees out of the ground.

OLYMPIA, Wash. — State regulators say Puget Sound Energy improperly charged a residential-visit disconnect fee to some electricity and natural gas customers.

The Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission staff says the utility should refund the $13 fee to more than 1,600 customers. The utility also could be fined as much as $1,000 for each violation.

Twitter/@PeterM_KOMO

The lights are back on for thousands of Puget Sound Energy customers this evening. The largest outage area, Kitsap County, saw power restored to all but 13,000. PSE expects many of them to be back online before midnight Wednesday. 

Twitter/@JoshFarley

Updated 5:30 am, Wed.

More than 39,000 Puget Sound Energy customers are still without power after Monday's snow and winds toppled main transmission lines. PSE reports  most were in Kitsap County. That's where main transmission lines were brought down by trees and strong winds.