Friday, August 6, 2010

Exploding manholes, streetlights out in the neighborhood?

I received a few Twitter messages last night about some crazy happenings -- a few people reported manholes exploding and spewing out steam around 14th and Clifton, and another reported that only a handful of the 30-something street lights were on at 14th and Kenyon. One example:
Whoa. Potholes blew out (with smoke coming out of them) and street lights went out along 14th Street north of Clifton in Columbia Heights.
Anyone else notice this? Maybe it was due to power outages, but I didn't hear of any in the neighborhood.

I've pinged DDOT about this, but let me know what happened to you!

UPDATE:  I spoke to DDOT via Twitter, who are saying that some of the street lights on 14th from Irving to  Park are not yet turned on, and they're waiting for the contractor so they don't know when they'll be on. 

For ones that are burned out, DDOT said it was Pepco's responsibility, while Pepco's website says it's the city's. So, unclear. I'd suggest calling the city's 311 number if you see an out streetlight. You may be making a lot of phone calls.

UPDATE 2: Here's clarification from DDOT: "If a streetlight is burned out, that is DDOT's responsibility... But if the power is out, that is most likely Pepco. The lights run on electricity." I have asked them how do you know if it's burned out or the power is out. For example, from Twitter user msludwick: "I can see 32 streetlights from 14th & Kenyon (not counting the new solar-powered ones in the Plaza). 6 of them are working." But is that due to a power outage, or are they burned out?

UPDATE 3: DDOT notes that manholes and power outages at the same time might be related, and that exploding manholes should be reported to 911. 


  1. It was actually closer to Euclid. But yeah! I heard it from upstairs in my apt but didn't know what caused it. Then I went outside and three of them, two on one side of the street and one on the other, were all popped open steaming. It was crazy. How does that happen?

  2. Most of those 30+ streetlights being out is nothing new at all. There are, I think, now five different styles of streetlights all mixed together. It seems like the old ones have all been disconnected. But the new ones -- the black gas-lantern looking ones (except along 14th Street) and the silver solar powered ones (except in the plaza) still aren't working. So a few steps after you turn off of 14th, you're in a forest of streetlamps, but it's really dark. WTF?!

  3. Agreed anon, I wrote about the lights before:

  4. If this were Prince of Petworth, there'd be 100+ comments on this expressing angst, outrage, and bashing of city workers.


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