News

Outage left nearly 5,000 customers without power

Equipment failure caused loss of service in Palo Alto Saturday morning

An early morning power blackout struck thousands of Palo Alto residents on Saturday and lasted several hours, a Palo Alto Utilities representative said.

The outage, which occurred at 1:41 a.m., began after a circuit on the Maybell Substation was tripped off and power shut down, Todd Gracyk of Palo Alto Utilities said.

The outage affected 4,861 customers in the south part of the city, in a wide swath including those in neighborhoods around Charleston Road, Alma Street and west Esther Clark Park, he said. Workers traced the outage to the failure of an underground cable near the VMWare campus near Arastradero Road and Foothill Expressway.

Crews restored power to the majority of customers using alternative sources between 4 and 5 a.m. with all customers receiving power by 7:13 a.m., he said.

CORRECTION: This story previously said that the outage began at 1:41 p.m. The correct time was 1:41 a.m.

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Outage left nearly 5,000 customers without power

Equipment failure caused loss of service in Palo Alto Saturday morning

by / Palo Alto Weekly

Uploaded: Sat, Jul 23, 2016, 8:33 pm
Updated: Sun, Jul 24, 2016, 2:20 pm

An early morning power blackout struck thousands of Palo Alto residents on Saturday and lasted several hours, a Palo Alto Utilities representative said.

The outage, which occurred at 1:41 a.m., began after a circuit on the Maybell Substation was tripped off and power shut down, Todd Gracyk of Palo Alto Utilities said.

The outage affected 4,861 customers in the south part of the city, in a wide swath including those in neighborhoods around Charleston Road, Alma Street and west Esther Clark Park, he said. Workers traced the outage to the failure of an underground cable near the VMWare campus near Arastradero Road and Foothill Expressway.

Crews restored power to the majority of customers using alternative sources between 4 and 5 a.m. with all customers receiving power by 7:13 a.m., he said.

CORRECTION: This story previously said that the outage began at 1:41 p.m. The correct time was 1:41 a.m.

Comments

Karl Garcia
University South
on Jul 24, 2016 at 12:30 pm
Karl Garcia, University South
on Jul 24, 2016 at 12:30 pm
3 people like this

I assume the article meant to say the incident occurred at 1:41 am.


musical
Palo Verde
on Jul 24, 2016 at 2:40 pm
musical, Palo Verde
on Jul 24, 2016 at 2:40 pm
1 person likes this

Would be informative to know which neighborhoods are served by which substations, or whether electric service can be parsed that way. Did the Maybell outage affect other substations? The Maybell Substation is at 527 Maybell, behind Walgreen's, about 1 mile northeast of the reported underground cable failure. How did that darken such a wide area?

I'm curious how El Camino Real still had power while plenty on our side of the tracks was out.


Engineer
Duveneck/St. Francis
on Jul 24, 2016 at 4:24 pm
Engineer, Duveneck/St. Francis
on Jul 24, 2016 at 4:24 pm
1 person likes this

"Would be informative to know which neighborhoods are served by which substations, or whether electric service can be parsed that way."

The resolution of this incident illustrates the second option. Power is usually routed according to available transmission resources, and it may arrive via multiple paths.


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