Power restored in downtown Palo Alto

Outage darkens chunk of downtown for more than 3 hours

Power has been restored to the 1,290 customers in downtown Palo Alto whose homes and businesses went dark for about 3 hours Tuesday night, Communications Manager Linda Clerkson said. Power went out at 4:17 p.m. and was restored at 7:35 p.m., she said.

Clerkson said the cause of the outage is still unknown. The downtown area from approximately Lytton Avenue to Forest Avenue and Emerson and High streets was affected. The area is mostly undergrounded utilities, Clerkson said.

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Like this comment
Posted by Citizen Jane
a resident of Downtown North
on Sep 7, 2010 at 10:32 pm

Wait, so they restored they power, but they don't know what caused the outage? Hmm. Something is funny with that.

Like this comment
Posted by Former Lineman
a resident of another community
on Sep 7, 2010 at 11:25 pm

Not all that funny at all and not that uncommon. A tree limb could have blown onto the power lines and caused a short circuit. The burnt limb falls to the ground or burns up. It would be nearly impossible to find that limb. It was wind when the outage started.

Like this comment
Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Sep 8, 2010 at 7:46 am

This is exactly why undergrounding the lines makes sense, the wind doesn't cause outages underground.

Like this comment
Posted by Bike Commuter
a resident of Ventura
on Sep 8, 2010 at 8:02 pm

Undergrounding avoids outages caused by wind, trees, mylar balloons, auto/plane accidents and for other locations lightning strikes & ice storms. However, undergrounding has its own inherent issues such as water intrusion, restricted access for maintenance and very high costs.

Now that AT&T and Comcast won't pay their share of the cost to underground residential neighborhoods, the cost impacts are quite significant. Most commercial districts have converted to underground so the residential ratepayers would need to pay for converting the rest of the system. On top of that there is the cost to connect your home ($5 - $10k).

In these tight economic times, I don't think the cost is worth it. Better to light some candles, use the BBQ and enjoy being unplugged for a few hours.

I continue my analog phone service so that it works during outages (with my 1970's-era dial phone).

Like this comment
Posted by palm tree
a resident of Midtown
on Sep 8, 2010 at 11:05 pm

Mercury-News says a palm tree caused the power outage. Doesn't say who owns the tree. Web Link

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