PG&E cuts power to a few Palo Alto Hills customers late Wednesday | News | Palo Alto Online |


PG&E cuts power to a few Palo Alto Hills customers late Wednesday

Residents could be without power for up to seven days

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A few Palo Alto Hills residents lost power late Wednesday as part of PG&E's planned power outages, while others who braced for electrical shutoffs neither ended up in the dark nor experienced the high winds the utility company said prompted the planned outages.

In an update issued Thursday morning, the city of Palo Alto said a small number of residents in the hills served by PG&E lost power, but didn't specify how many. The city of Palo Alto provides electrical service to residents through Palo Alto Utilities, including Palo Alto Hills, and receives its power from PG&E. Palo Alto Utilities didn't shut down power to its customers in the foothills, according to the city.

Palo Alto Hills fell under phase two of the San Francisco-based agency's "Public Safety Power Shutoff" that was initially set for noon Wednesday and eventually pushed back to 10 p.m. or later. The shutoff process began in Santa Clara County around 11:30 p.m.; customers could be out for up to seven days, the county's Office of Emergency Management said in an alert late Wednesday.

For some residents who expected their power to go out, the blackout never came.

"The power never went off. It was a big nothing," said resident Jay Weber, who had spent a good part of Wednesday preparing his home for the impending power outage. PG&E said the pre-emptive outages would start in the Bay Area when winds topped 60 to 70 miles per hour, as indicated by weather forecasts. The shutoff was designed to prevent possible firestorms like the one that hit the North Bay two years ago and the Sierra foothills last year.

But Weber said the winds didn't materialize, and he didn't think they would. He checked weather maps two or three days ago and didn't see anything headed toward his neighborhood.

"I'm glad I don't have to run around resetting clocks," he said.

Resident Mark Nadim couldn't help but laugh.

"There was nothing. I kept getting phone calls and emails and text messages," he said. "I think they are getting too worried about what happened two years ago. I talked to the fire chief about a year and a half ago and he said we never get those kinds of winds here. They made too big of a deal out of it."

While the planned outages were an inconvenience, Nadim said he wasn't angry.

The high winds that prompted the outages were expected to last through noon Thursday, according to PG&E spokeswoman Mayra Tostado. Once the agency determines the weather event has waned, it will begin the restoration process that includes 45 helicopters and 700 field workers monitoring for damage and conducting repairs to bring power back to the affected customers.

Initially, an estimated 800,000 customers across 34 counties in Northern and Central California were expected to see their power go out in two phases, according to PG&E. As of Thursday morning, 600,000 customers were still without power and 126,000 customers had their service restored.

On Thursday morning, the PG&E online outage map showed spotty outages near Palo Alto, including in Portola Valley along Arastradero and Alpine roads. About 22 customers lost power there between 10:55 p.m. and 11:05 p.m., according to the map. Most other outages occurred in the Santa Cruz Mountains in the area of Skyline Boulevard in San Mateo County, where 120 customers lost power in the Windy Hill and Los Trancos Woods areas.

Santa Clara County has declared a local emergency due to the pre-emptive power shutoff expected to affect more than 100,000 people; it will be called off once all county residents have their electrical service restored.

As of 10 a.m., PG&E didn't issue an all clear for the Bay Area.

The public can find out if a specific address is affected by the planned outages here. The website was created in response to the company's main website experiencing issues as customers looked into whether they would be affected by the shutoffs.

The city of Palo Alto power outage map, which showed no outages as of 10 a.m. Thursday, can be found here.

PG&E set up customer resource centers in the impacted counties with recharging stations for cellphones, plug-in medical devices and other electronic devices; drinking water; air conditioning; and other amenities. A full list of the centers can be found online here. The public can also call 800-743-5002 for information on which locations are or will be impacted by the shutoff.



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Like this comment
Posted by porter
a resident of Midtown
on Oct 10, 2019 at 11:14 am

porter is a registered user.

City of PA power outage map is of another part of the country..

7 people like this
Posted by Palygal
a resident of another community
on Oct 10, 2019 at 3:26 pm

If you vote for the Newsom/Brown/Pelosi mafia you are going to watch California turn more and more into a 3rd world country.

I'm sure you all know Newsom collected $208K in campaign donations from PG and E. This power play is purely political.

10 people like this
Posted by Ken Lay, Enron
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Oct 10, 2019 at 3:57 pm

Arnold Schwarzenegger met with Ken Lay from Enron before the recall and passed bills to benefit Enron. Once Californians found out how dirty the GOP was/is, they voted the GOP out of EVERY statewide office since. Every one of them.


PG&E donates to everyone. PG&E donated $500,000.00 to the CA GOP.

So, lie about Newsom, whine about PG&E, or actually *do* something about it - public financing of elections. It would take power away from incumbents and elect more opposition.

Your choice.

8 people like this
Posted by Ken Lay, Enron
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Oct 10, 2019 at 4:06 pm

Public Financing of Elections - the only answer.

Lies about Gavin - 208k, wrong.

2018 cycle to Newsome - PACIFIC GAS & ELECTRIC $58,400. Web Link

PG&E donations to republicans
2018 $498,919

38% to Republicons is kind of dumb, as they have little to no power in California since Arnold Schwarzenegger, Ken Lay and Enron really screwed their chances to ever take control.

EWither way, quit lying about the numbers - prove it with a link.

And support public financing of elections.

11 people like this
Posted by MAGA
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Oct 10, 2019 at 6:14 pm

Who cares about the donations and numbers? Is everyone blind to the fact that Newsom allowed S.F. to become a literal sh*thole while he was mayor? And then he gets voted in as Governor? And he allows undocumented immigrants to run freely, ties law enforcement' wrists so they cannot work with ICE to deport undocumented immigrants who are felons? And allows Los Angeles to become a magnet for the homeless? How many slaps in the faces do the Dems need to see that he is an error? He doesn't care about Californians' safety at all! He just wants the votes from the immigrants. He grew up wealthy, he is a fake! Your ballot is private, vote Republican next time, they will clean up our state!

8 people like this
Posted by Prttah
a resident of College Terrace
on Oct 10, 2019 at 6:18 pm

Ken is correct. Can't do anything till dirty money is out of the system.
Publicly Finance all elections.

10 people like this
Posted by Ken Lay, Enron
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Oct 10, 2019 at 7:20 pm

"vote Republican next time" - Y'all just lost ORANGE COUNTY last year, the last so-called stronghold for the GOP.

Last time there was a Republican governor, it was Arnold, who teamed up with Enron to destroy the CA energy market. We all still remember.

The CA GOP is morally bankrupt (and recently fiscally bankrupt, stiffing their small business vendors, just like Trump.) Perhaps you would be happier in a state with a republican majority and a crappy economy? Kansas? Idaho?

2 people like this
Posted by A Noun Ea Mus
a resident of Professorville
on Oct 10, 2019 at 9:54 pm

Mice power supply ya got/had. Shame if/that something could did happen ed to it.

Elite spite. Extortion. Perhaps a cabinet post for the criminal perp. We are the despised Califirnians after all.

The time for Public Power statewide is now. Expropriate the lot. We can do this.

Instead of possibly 7 days of power outages- bit it real or venal threat--far less costly would be hired eyes on and rapid air and road respinse-- eyes on each at risk pole, helitak aka the forest service and lightning strikes, loaded planes on the ready say at Moffett Field. But no.....

Naomi Klein please come to California and explain.

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