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Power goes out across Palo Alto Saturday

Original post made on Mar 27, 2021

A power outage caused by a substation problem has hit Palo Alto, with residents from Midtown to Old Palo Alto to College Terrace reporting they're without electricity.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Saturday, March 27, 2021, 6:16 PM

Comments (12)

Posted by Nisim
a resident of Southgate
on Mar 27, 2021 at 6:50 pm

Nisim is a registered user.

POWER OUT ON 315 STANFORD AVE AND ALL NEIGHBORING HOUSES TOO
NO ANSWER AT CITY POWER OUTAGE REPORT LINE! PA POWER OUTAGE MAP WASN'T WORKING UNTIL AN HOUR AGO! POWER HAS BEEN OUT FOR 3 HOURS NOW. ON PASSOVER EVE.
THIS IS PA FOR YOU. WHO ALLOWED PA TO TAKE OVER POWER SEVICES AND CHARGE US EXTRA FOR IT?


Posted by marc665
a resident of Midtown
on Mar 27, 2021 at 7:28 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.

/marc


Posted by Samuel L
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Mar 27, 2021 at 8:01 pm

Samuel L is a registered user.

[Post removed.]


Posted by Bystander
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Mar 27, 2021 at 8:04 pm

Bystander is a registered user.

Substation Problem. Hmmm. What could that mean. At least it is different from a mylar balloon, goose, seagull, squirrel, hanging branch. Does a substation problem mean it flew a fuse? Or someone accidentally pulled the wrong switch?

I'm not sure, but I would love to find out exactly what this problem was and how it was fixed? I wait with bated breath. I am sure we will be told sometime.


Posted by Ben
a resident of Fairmeadow
on Mar 28, 2021 at 9:03 am

Ben is a registered user.

Makes me wonder how secure the infra is in Palo Alto. How easy is it for an outsider to make changes/disrupt power? The lack of communication and blunt responses don't sound very promising.


Posted by marc665
a resident of Midtown
on Mar 28, 2021 at 9:30 am

marc665 is a registered user.

@Samuel L. The reason I have a backup generator, gas heat, hot water and stove is that you can't depend on Palo Alto Utilities. The idea of getting rid of natural gas appliances and trusting that we will have a dependable supply of electricity has been shown not to be the case.

And now that there will be restrictions on using electricity between 4 and 9 pm because of shortages should make people question the rush to solar and wind. I'm all for renewable power, but the the short sighted, lack of planning will turn us into a third world country where we have daily rolling blackouts.

/marc


Posted by PA Community Advocate
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Mar 28, 2021 at 9:37 am

PA Community Advocate is a registered user.

Never had a professional interaction with Palo Alto Utilities. Spotty reliability record and absurd overcharges. Where is the accountability?


Posted by Brendan
a resident of South of Midtown
on Mar 28, 2021 at 4:20 pm

Brendan is a registered user.

PA Utilities needs improvement, the undergrounding plan is silly and the outages need to be reduced, but...I'd take them every day of the week and twice on Sunday if the other option is PG&E (plunder, gouge, and extort).

Basically, the grass ain't greener with PG&E in your neighborhood.


Posted by Bystander
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Mar 29, 2021 at 3:01 pm

Bystander is a registered user.

Any more information about what exactly happened in this substation to cause this? Calling it a substation problem without more details sounds as silly as blaming a squirrel for running along the powerlines.

More info please.


Posted by FranklinS
a resident of Barron Park
on Mar 29, 2021 at 3:47 pm

FranklinS is a registered user.

I'm grateful every day that we have a local utility instead of PG&E (which I used to Nickname "PiGgiE" for their greed and poor service when I lived elsewhere.
That said, CPAU can always be better,and I was certainly puzzled by all the stoplights that were out (but buildings seemed to have lights etc. on).
Glad they got it back up and running.


Posted by Online Name
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Mar 29, 2021 at 4:36 pm

Online Name is a registered user.

These repeated outages and customer service failures make me wonder how CPAU can even think they can develop and run a Fiber-to-The House business. Also, only ONE friend has been notified about what hoops we have to jump through to get our refunds from the class action lawsuit from their "overcharges" and trust me, I've asked.


Posted by Bystander
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Mar 30, 2021 at 5:37 pm

Bystander is a registered user.

As of Tuesday, 5.30 pm, we have not been given any more information about the nature of the problem at the substation. This is not acceptable. Is this software problem? Is this hardware problem? Is this human error?

We as customers deserve more information. Investigative journalists should not accept this substation problem excuse.


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