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Midtown power outage

Original post made by Retired Engineer, Midtown, on Mar 27, 2021

We lost power in the Wellsbury Way neighborhood around 4:58 pm. Anybody know how widespread this is or what the cause is?

Comments (11)

Posted by Brian
a resident of Evergreen Park
on Mar 27, 2021 at 6:01 pm

Brian is a registered user.

Evergreen Park is out

Posted by III
a resident of Midtown
on Mar 27, 2021 at 6:03 pm

III is a registered user.

Must be pretty widespread as my mom lost power and she lives in Old Palo Alto. City couldn't give me much info just that crew was on it's way and they had no estimate yet as to when it would be fixed or what had happened and NOTHING on Utilities twitter account and when called the power outage number for "in case of emergency" that the city gave out it couldn't connect.

Posted by Paly Grad
a resident of Leland Manor/Garland Drive
on Mar 27, 2021 at 6:12 pm

Paly Grad is a registered user.

Follow this link for a map of the power outages:

Web Link

Posted by Retired Engineer
a resident of Midtown
on Mar 27, 2021 at 6:15 pm

Retired Engineer is a registered user.

at about 5:30 the city's outage map denied any problems.
at 6:00 pm it reported 1554 customers out in 94301 and 3602 out in 94306.
at 6:12 pm those numbers were up to 1951 and 3677, so it looks like they are still assessing the situation.

The outage map I'm watching is at Web Link

Posted by marc665
a resident of Midtown
on Mar 27, 2021 at 7:36 pm

marc665 is a registered user.

Power went out at 5:00pm. Immediately tried calling utilities number, every time I pressed "1" I was disconnected, tried 20 times. Then got busy signal. After 15 minutes find reached someone who said "We know power is out".

Nothing on twitter, facebook or nextdoor for more than an hour. What is the point of this if the city can't respond. Let's fire the city manager and the utilities manager. I'm sure they will have lots of excuses why things didn't work and if we only give them more time, people and money they will fix things.

Things happen, I understand that. I am not complaining out what happened at the sub-station (that is for another rant) but if they city can't handle something as simple as keeping residents informed about a power outage then they wont be able to handle any real emergency or disaster.


Posted by Bystander
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Mar 27, 2021 at 8:01 pm

Bystander is a registered user.

Unfortuantely, this is a much too often occurrence in Palo Alto. I am waiting to hear that it was a mylar balloon, a goose, a seagull, a squirrel or, or, or.

Late Saturday afternoon is not peak usage time and not peak inconvenience time either. They were lucky this time.

Posted by Nayeli
a resident of Midtown
on Mar 27, 2021 at 8:02 pm

Nayeli is a registered user.

@marc665: The same thing happens during nearly every wide outage in Palo Alto. At first, someone answers the phone with a bit of a snarky attitude. If you call after about 15 minutes, the phone simply hangs up.

I suspect that the person on the receiving end of those calls probably just gets tired of it. This is a flaw in the system. Palo Alto Utilities should simply add a VOICE MAIL notification that provides the latest news.

That message could say, "Thank you for calling Palo Alto Utilities' outage hotline. We are aware of an outage currently affecting customers in Palo Alto. Our teams our currently working on the situation. However, at this time, there is no current estimated time for which it will be fixed."

Posted by Resident 1-Adobe Meadows
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Mar 27, 2021 at 9:43 pm

Resident 1-Adobe Meadows is a registered user.

WOW- my big concern here is that there is no reason why anyone would leave their home in great weather expecting a power outage. Leave the computer on - it goes off - then comes back on with power surge? I protect my equipment when there is obvious problems going on but do not think of that when there is no obvious problems occurring. The power did not go off in this section of town. But now when I leave the house do I have to shut everything down in case some weird problem happens? Great weather, no fires in process, and yet power goes off?

Posted by Online Name
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Mar 27, 2021 at 11:12 pm

Online Name is a registered user.

One of the city's new top priorities is staffing up to offer Finer-to-the-Home! You'd wonder what they're smoking to think they can compete with the big companies with real customer service operations but they opted out of that revenue stream by banning PA-based delivery services.

Posted by Bystander
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Mar 28, 2021 at 8:22 am

Bystander is a registered user.

Another aspect to consider, they want to ban gas and become all electric.

I say no, our power supply is not reliable enough to give up gas for heating and cooking in our homes.

Posted by Online Name
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Mar 28, 2021 at 8:27 am

Online Name is a registered user.

@Bystander, totally agree. Plus gas is so much cheaper.

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