Power restored to thousands in Palo Alto


A power outage affected more than 2,000 customers in the southern half of Palo Alto near the Ventura neighborhood Wednesday morning, according to the City of Palo Alto Outage Map.

Residents in the Southgate and Old Palo Alto areas, however, also reported on Twitter that their power was out or reduced and the phone line to report the outage was so busy they couldn't get through.

The outage started at 10:20 a.m., according to the utilities officials. The cause of the outage was a blown fuse. Power was restored at about 11:07 a.m.

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7 people like this
Posted by Paly Parent
a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Jan 20, 2016 at 11:49 am

My Paly student texted me to say that power was out at Paly and that they are having some classes outside.

4 people like this
Posted by My Nguyen - Digital Editor
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Jan 20, 2016 at 11:58 am

@Paly Parent Hi there! At around 11:07, power was restored, according to Utilities officials. Hopefully they will be able to get back into the classrooms.

Like this comment
Posted by Neil O'Riley
a resident of Midtown
on Jan 20, 2016 at 12:04 pm

I lost power for about an hour too. Scaaaaaary...

5 people like this
Posted by Que Pasa?
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Jan 21, 2016 at 8:18 am

We were without power in OPA until 11:45. No explanation given, just denials from the Utility people!

6 people like this
Posted by grumpy old guy
a resident of Palo Alto Orchards
on Jan 21, 2016 at 9:42 am

Better check the frig to see if its running. Cuz if it is, you better go catch it!

3 people like this
Posted by KP
a resident of South of Midtown
on Jan 21, 2016 at 1:31 pm

All I know is that STUPID people drive around here.
So many drivers had no clue that the blank signals meant they were not working - NOT that it was a free for all to go! Just DUMB. It irritated the hell out of me.
I stood on the corner of Colorado and Middlefield and watch as cars just blew through the intersection, oblivious to the colorless signals!
How do they get their licenses!? Frickin idiots.

6 people like this
Posted by power engineer
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Jan 21, 2016 at 1:52 pm

CPAU does not know or want to know the extent of power outages.

They don't want to know, because one the metrics for bonuses is the unreliability of supply. If they don't know about an outage, it doesn't count against the bonus.

They don't know because:
1. There are no smarts in the system, either at the meter or along the distribution system. Instead CPAU relies on telephone calls from customers to inform them of an outage.
2. As noted, the phone lines are inadequate to receive all the reports. This also contributes to the bonus problem above.
3. In the old days, the land line was tied to a physical address, so it was useful for tracking the outage extent. Now, the outage reporting system depends on a linkage between your phone number and the electric bill. This new system no longer has many of the numbers, so even if you get through, they won't record you as being out.

All in all, CPAU is cooking the books.

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