News


Crossed wires, palm tree leads to unplanned power shutdown

About 1,700 customers briefly without electrical service in Barron Park neighborhood

About 1,700 Palo Alto Utilities customers were without electricity Monday afternoon due to an emergency shutdown to remove a tree that had crossed power lines, according to an agency spokeswoman.

The outage began at 2:30 p.m. and affected about 1,700 customers in the city's Barron Park neighborhood and other surrounding areas in south Palo Alto, according to the Catherine Elvert, communications manager for Palo Alto Utilities.

About an hour earlier, a large palm tree made contact with power lines, sparking a small fire that was quickly extinguished by Palo Alto firefighters, Battalion Chief Bobby Davis said. The tree was in the 3700 block of Laguna Drive near Barron Avenue and Bol Park and caught fire at about 1:35 p.m. when white smoke was seen in the area, according to scanner reports.

No structures were threatened and Palo Alto Utilities was called to the scene. Firefighters cut the tree's leaves so it wouldn't obstruct the power lines, Davis said. No injuries were reported.

Utilities staff needed to shut off the power before they trimmed the tree, which caused the outage when it crossed into power lines, Elvert said. A team from the city's Urban Forestry division was assigned to remove the tree on Tuesday, she said.

As of 3:25 p.m., a team was working on the tree, she said. Utilities staff will then re-energize the power lines.

The affected customers are expected to have power back around 4 p.m. A check of the city's outage map showed no outages as of 4:15 p.m.

This story will be updated as more information becomes available.

---

Follow the Palo Alto Weekly/Palo Alto Online on Twitter @PaloAltoWeekly and Facebook for breaking news, local events, photos, videos and more.

What is democracy worth to you?
Support local journalism.

Comments

Like this comment
Posted by Gus L.
a resident of Barron Park
on Jul 15, 2019 at 3:54 pm

Palm Trees are a SoCal thing,,. Hope nobody got hurt..


2 people like this
Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 15, 2019 at 4:02 pm

Sunny and warm today but a little windy. Rock a Bye Baby in the Tree Tops. When the wind blows, the cradle will rock. When the bough breaks, the baby will fall, down will come baby, cradle and all. Except in Palo Alto, it is a power outage!


4 people like this
Posted by senor blogger
a resident of Palo Verde
on Jul 17, 2019 at 8:55 am

there was a bond measure passed over 50 years ago to underground all electrical lines in Palo Alto. How's that coming BTW?


Don't miss out on the discussion!
Sign up to be notified of new comments on this topic.

Email:


Post a comment

Posting an item on Town Square is simple and requires no registration. Just complete this form and hit "submit" and your topic will appear online. Please be respectful and truthful in your postings so Town Square will continue to be a thoughtful gathering place for sharing community information and opinion. All postings are subject to our TERMS OF USE, and may be deleted if deemed inappropriate by our staff.

We prefer that you use your real name, but you may use any "member" name you wish.

Name: *

Select your neighborhood or school community: * Not sure?

Comment: *

Verification code: *
Enter the verification code exactly as shown, using capital and lowercase letters, in the multi-colored box.

*Required Fields


All your news. All in one place. Every day.

After 39 years of cakes and pastries, Palo Alto institution Prolific Oven to close
By Elena Kadvany | 55 comments | 17,538 views

Local Transit to the Rescue?
By Sherry Listgarten | 16 comments | 2,116 views

The Regional Housing Needs Allocation (RHNA) Process Explained
By Steve Levy | 9 comments | 1,524 views

"You Gotta Have Balls [to do counseling] . . .
By Chandrama Anderson | 0 comments | 1,296 views

Do something about assault weapons, now!
By Diana Diamond | 40 comments | 1,171 views

 

Register now!

​On Friday, October 11, join us at the Palo Alto Baylands for a 5K walk, 5K run, 10K run or half marathon! All proceeds benefit local nonprofits serving children and families.

More Info