Two people became trapped inside a residence in the 200 block of Middlefield Road at about 1 p.m. Tuesday when a tree fell onto their one-story home, according to emergency dispatch reports.
Palo Alto firefighters arrived to assist the residents, who were not injured, Fire Deputy Chief Kevin McNally said. They were able to exit the home through the back door while responders secured the utilities and blocked off Middlefield.
Building inspectors later arrived to assess the house.
"The amount of damage was significant," McNally said. "Parts of the roof structure were cracked and destroyed."
Downed wires and fallen trees also caused a 24-hour closure of Embarcadero Road from Bryant Street to Kingsley Avenue in both directions from just after 3 p.m. Tuesday to 3 p.m. Wednesday, the Palo Alto Police Department announced. As a result of the closure of the busy thoroughfare, traffic poured into the Professorville and Old Palo Alto neighborhoods.
Westbound Oregon Expressway at Bryant Street was also closed during the Tuesday evening commute so that crews could remove tree debris from the lanes.
Both lanes of Page Mill Road as it heads east over the hill from the Interstate 280 offramp became blocked Tuesday afternoon when a tree fell across the roadway. Cars drove onto the median strip to bypass it, and a VTA bus had to pull onto the shoulder, unable to proceed.
Power outages cascaded through Palo Alto Tuesday. One outage that affected initially about 1,800 customers was reported at 11:58 a.m., according to the Utilities Department. The impacted customers were in an area that includes the Barron Park and Green Acres neighborhoods, where a tree hit a power line, the Utilities Department stated on Twitter.
Another outage was reported at 12:20 p.m. About 700 customers in the Community Center neighborhood lost service due to a tree that struck a power line. Around 1 p.m., another power outage left roughly 123 customers without service in an area that includes the Leland Manor and Garland neighborhoods, Palo Alto Utilities said.
Businesses in Town and Country Village shopping center also lost power starting on Tuesday afternoon. Customers continued to dine despite the outage. Trader Joe's employees weren't allowing customers in the grocery store due to the loss of electricity.
On Tuesday night, the utilities outage map showed the number of residents and businesses affected by power outages had lightened up compared to earlier in the day. As of 9:25 p.m., the number of affected customers was around 1,000.
Service came back gradually to customers in several neighborhoods overnight, leaving about 30 customers without power as of 7:39 a.m. Wednesday. Ten customers remained without service until about 3 p.m.
Also on Tuesday, Caltrain riders faced hourslong delays due to trees blocking the train tracks, the agency said on Twitter. Normal service resumed on Wednesday morning.
Power outages have also been reported across the Bay Area. More than 155,000 PG&E customers in the Bay Area were without power by early Tuesday afternoon, a number that climbed to about 300,000. The outages led school districts to cancel classes at dozens of schools Wednesday. By Wednesday evening, PG&E announced that nearly 68,000 Bay Area customers were still without power. Two-thirds of the total were in the south bay; 18,555 powerless customers were on the Peninsula.
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