About 4,000 Palo Alto Utilities customers were left in the dark due to a power outage on Monday night, one of two service disruptions to impact the city in less than seven hours.
The nighttime outage that affected about 4,000 customers in the Barron Park neighborhood area began around 10 p.m. and ended at about 12:30 a.m. Tuesday, Palo Alto Utilities Communications Manager Catherine Elvert said. It was caused by a overhead wire on Park Boulevard that became loose, possibly due to stress from switching customers impacted by another large outage earlier in the day to another circuit.
"The 'sleeve" insulating and carrying the wire may have been older & failed," Elvert said in an email to the Weekly.
About seven hours earlier around 3 p.m., roughly 6,943 customers were without electricity for about two hours, according to the agency's power outage map.
The afternoon outage impacted customers in south Palo Alto in an area that spans from Matadero Avenue to San Antonio Road and Middlefield Road to Deer Creek Road, according to Palo Alto Utilities.
A crew restored power to all the impacted customers as of 5:15 p.m. The outage may be related to equipment problems with transformers at the Maybell substation, Elvert said. Operations staff reported it may have been caused by a piece of equipment that failed in a transformer at the substation. The Utilities later determined the outage was caused by high temperatures that led the equipment to fail.
Other outages that popped up around the city Monday for about 25 to 30 customers in each area was a result of "heat related stressors on the electric grid," Elvert said.
A check of the city's outage map 7 a.m. Tuesday showed other smaller ones that broke out Monday night were resolved.
Local residents have been advised to exercise caution on the road where some traffic lights were out of service.
View the Palo Alto power outage map.