Storm knocks out power to 50,000 Peninsula-wide

Local outages spotty, neighborhood flooding minimal

The powerful storms have knocked out power to 50,000 Peninsula PG&E customers, a company spokesman reported earlier this morning, but Palo Alto residents have faired better thus far, with spotty outages and only one neighborhood-wide outage.

The storm knocked out a transformer in the Barron Park neighborhood at 7:38 a.m., leaving neighborhood residents in early morning darkness, but power was restored by 9:13 a.m., according to a Palo Alto Utilities Electric Operations employee. Secondary outages are being investigated in the Charleston Meadows neighborhood off Charleston Road and El Camino Real and in the 900 block of Embarcadero Road, he said.

Residents in Green Acres II, off Arastradero Road between El Camino Real and Gunn High School, also reported spotty outages.

"We haven't drowned yet," Green Acres II neighborhood Association President Betsy Allyn said. "It's raining like hell and my cats are disturbed."

As of 10:20 a.m. Friday morning, no flooding had been reported from creeks, but several streets were experiencing minor overflows onto sidewalks on Homer and Forest avenues in the downtown area.

Palo Alto Neighborhood Disaster Activities (PANDA) volunteer Emily Risberg said many people lined up this morning at the sandbag station at Greer Park that she monitors. In her Duveneck/St. Francis neighborhood, there were no reports of major flooding or wind damage, but a walk in the neighborhood with her dog yielded a hazardous post-Christmas insight:

"So many people put Christmas trees in the drain area in the street that there is a lake in front of people's homes," she said.

The dry winter has had a benefit in light of today's storm, according to an e-mail message from Palo Alto Mayor Yoriko Kishimoto to residents. The ground and the creek beds have been so dry, even with the heavy rains, the creeks are not overflowing, Barron Park Association President Doug Moran reported.

UPDATE: As of 4 p.m. Friday, scattered power outages remained in Palo Alto and city crews were working to restore service, Palo Alto Police Sgt. Sandra Brown reported.


Like this comment
Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jan 4, 2008 at 12:21 pm

Power outages would not be a problem during this storm if the power lines were underground. Note where the outages are and note that the areas with underground power are not affected.

Like this comment
Posted by TBerk
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Jan 4, 2008 at 5:13 pm

A particular section of E. Palo Alto bordered (roughly) by Bay rd, University Ave, Highway 101, & Pulgas has been effected by blackouts THREE times in the last thirty days; once in Dec 07, again on New Years Day (just after Midnight), and again today the 4th of Jan 08.

Things are moving past it being just inconvenient.


Like this comment
Posted by Walter_E_Wallis
a resident of Midtown
on Jan 5, 2008 at 1:51 am

If rates were based on dependability rather than greenieness, utilities might hire more engineers and linemen and fewer political panacea pushers.
California voted for high cost, low dependability energy. They got it.

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