PG&E says more than half of California customers impacted by outages have now been restored

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Friday, October 11, 2019
PG&E power outages impact 359K customers in Bay Area
There are 359,000 customers without power in the Bay Area after another round of PG&E's power shutoffs were implemented overnight.

Power is coming on in parts of the Bay Area because of improving weather conditions.

Because of the improving weather officials have allowed for an "all clear" to be issued for safety inspections, repair and restoration efforts to begin in many areas.

All clears have been announced for almost all counties except for portions of Butte, Plumas and Yuba counties as well as Kern County, where a third phase of PSPS was implemented late Thursday morning impacting approximately 4,000 customers. The weather conditions in Kern County are expected to continue into early Friday.

PG&E crews will visually inspect power lines to look for potential weather-related damage to the lines, poles and towers. This is done by vehicle, foot and air.

By Thursday night, PG&E said more than half of customers impacted, about 426,000 customers, have now had their power restored. About 312,000 customers remain without power.

PG&E provided this breakdown of the current restoration progress:

System Wide: 737,808 impacted, 425,956 restored. 58% restored

Alameda: 78% restored

Contra Costa: 85% restored

Marin: 80% restored

Napa: 59% restored

San Mateo: 84% restored

Santa Clara: 88% restored

Santa Cruz: 64% restored

Solano: 94% restored

Sonoma: 46% restored

*Numbers as of 9PM Thursday night.

Some cities have already reported power coming back on such as Richmond, who said as of 3:45 PM power was being restored to neighborhoods.

According to the City of Fremont the power has been restored as of 7:30PM.

San Jose officials are saying that PG&E is rapidly restoring power and that they expect that almost all the power will be restored to the impacted areas by Friday, Oct. 11 at 7 PM. The city has shut down their Emergency Operation Center and will return to normal operations.

The cities of Petaluma and Berkeley also report some parts of the cities have had power restored, though they have not received official word from PG&E as of full restoration yet.

At one point there were 359,000 customers without power in the Bay Area after the shutoffs were implemented overnight. Parts of the East Bay, Peninsula, South Bay and Santa Cruz lost power.

TIMELINE: When your power could come back after PG&E power outage

PG&E says phase 2 is complete and if customers have not lost power by now, they will not lose it.

The counties that were impacted by the second phase were: Alameda, Alpine, Calaveras, Contra Costa, Mariposa, Mendocino, San Joaquin, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, Stanislaus and Tuolumne.

About 513,000 customers were part of the first phase of the shutoffs in Amador, Butte, Calaveras, Colusa, El Dorado, Glenn, Humboldt, Lake, Marin, Mendocino, Napa, Nevada, Placer, Plumas, Shasta, Sierra, Solano, Sonoma, Tehama, Trinity, Yolo and Yuba counties.

Governor Gavin Newsom held a press conference Thursday evening saying that there needs to be a "radical" change to prevent future issues with shutoffs.


The second phase of the PG&E power outages has hit residents in the East Bay hard.

Worst fears were realized when a brush fire forced evacuations in Moraga early this morning. PG&E cut power in the area hours before the fire erupted.

RELATED: A look back at PG&E's history of blackouts

No injuries and damage to homes have been reported.

The power outages impacted impacting 32,680 PG&E customers in Alameda County and 51,310 customers in Contra Costa County.

LIST: Counties, cities affected by PG&E power outage in Bay Area, rest of California

Thursday morning, at the Moraga Hardware store, a generator allowed the owner to keep the doors open for his customers but also to make a little morning brew.

"I just brought it over for my staff," said owner Bill Snider. "There wasn't any place to get coffee in Moraga so I was making it for some of the customers that were coming by."

Employee Arthur Barnes donned a headlamp and a red flasher to help illuminate the aisles for customers.

"We're doing all right," said Barnes. "We're in a good town, Moraga. People coming out, getting batteries. Everybody's looking out for everybody."

At Orinda's Sleepy Hollow School, classes were in session and many of the kids brought their own sources of light.

"The students came to the school this morning ready for no power and the teachers have been super flexible," said Sleepy Hollow Principal Patsy Templeton. "We're having a day, it's novel, but it's a day like any other day, without any technology and that's actually been a really nice way to unplug and enjoy other ways to learn."

The Montclair Safeway in Oakland now has a refrigeration truck in the parking lot where employees are storing meat and frozen food. PG&E took away the power here late last night. Some people still came here in hope that it would be open.

"We have a generator but it broke and we are looking for ice. But of course everyone has already been here," said Jan Stites of Oakland as she walked up to find the store dark and closed for business.

Adding to the complications of the day was the sporadic nature of the outages. One Oakland man had power at home and headed to Starbucks for coffee only to find it was closed.

"I was just trying to get coffee. I didn't know the power went out. So I was kind of surprised that they don't have power," said Manas Itene outside the Montclair Starbucks.

At Diana Fung's Oakland house, even the kids had different days because of the PG&E outage.

LIST: Schools impacted by potential PG&E power shutoff

"I have one child at school and one child who is not in school because the middle school is in the blackout zone. So it is inconvenient for sure," she said.

The dentist office of Laurie Shepherd in Montclair also had to close today. They had to cancel 30 appointments today. They also closed yesterday because of the threat of the outage.

"We don't know about tomorrow. We tried to get a hold of PG&E and there's just a little block that says we don't have that info right now- so, we don't have that info," said Registered Dental Assistant Sandi Pate.

She says it will be tough to reschedule everyone.

The Caldecott Tunnel has remained open throughout the outage after Caltrans crews worked to provide backup generators for it.

The outage has caused the Oakland Zoo to close. Employees tell ABC7 they are most worried about their food supplies and endangered species whose exhibits require power to keep them alive. Some cannot handle losing power for even a moment, especially in the biodiversity center.

VIDEO: Oakland Zoo worried about animal safety, especially endangered species

Oakland Zoo officials are worried about their food supply and animals during the PG&E power outage, especially the endangered species who can't afford to lose power, even for a moment.

Officials have eight generators and food supplies that will hold them over temporarily, but should the power stay out, further action will be required.

Joaquin Miller Park along with Dimond, East Oakland and Sheffield Village recreation centers in Oakland are also closed.


At Jacuzzi Family Vineyards, in Sonoma, the tasting room is packed-- even though there was no power there.

There's a lot of worry and anxiety in the North Bay where up to 200,000 people are still in the dark, impacted by the PG&E shutdown.

At Jacuzzi Family Vineyards, in Sonoma, the tasting room is packed-- even though there was no power there.

Winery patron Terri Cameron said, "It's a testament to them to stay open and be able to support people just appearing at their doorstep so I think it's great."

Most wineries along Arnold Drive are closed because of the outage. But Jacuzzi is open, in the dark, while using cups and candle light.

RELATED: Are you ready for a blackout? Here's how to prepare if PG&E cuts electricity during high wind, fire danger

Vineyard spokesperson Teresa Hernando said, "People need a place to go and if they have patience and we have patience then we're open and do things the old fashion way."

Some first time Sonoma Valley visitors are hoping their trip will turn around.

Tourist Susan Myers said, "We're optimistic tomorrow we'll have power and be able to take showers and continue our tour of the wine country here."

The power outage has had a huge impact on Beau Wine Tours.

Driver Cyrous Bani-Hashemi said, "Instead of going to their houses they rented in Sonoma County and Kenwood they changed their itinerary and stayed in San Francisco instead."

Others are really having a hard time with all of this.

Luck has not been on Marc Foley's side. A fire last month on the property he rented forced him to move. He just found a new place - and the power and water are out.

"We just roll with the punches after the fires two years ago it's a tough deal it's really tough. It's hard on everybody."

In Sonoma County, PG&E said approximately 66,000 customers were without power. By 2:11 PM the Sonoma County Sheriff's Office said PG&E is working inspect their lines to get the power back on.

In Eastern Santa Rosa, outages took a toll. At the Baskin-Robbins store inside the St. Francis Mall, Don Snider and his wife, Chris, had to clear gallons of ice cream from their cases. "The freezer is supposed to be able to keep them cold for three days," Don said. "That didn't work last time."

In Sonoma County, PG&E says approximately 66-thousand customers continue to not have power.

Chris, meantime, kept working in at the back, seeing only with a battery-powered light. She wasn't happy. "I was going to submit a claim to PG&E for the outage during the fire today," she said. "Don't know what good it will do. They're bankrupt."

Inside a Valero service station and store at Highway 12 and Farmers Lane, manager Angel Ramos wasn't happy, either. "We're going to lose money. We need to send all these perishables to another store."

VIDEO: PG&E answers questions: What does it take to turn power back on, where to go for updates

Just moving from point A to point B in this outage has proven to be challenging. Traffic lights are out. The Santa Rosa Fire Department reports more accidents than usual. They even had one call Wednesday morning to a home where the owners had begun to feel the effects of carbon monoxide poisoning. "Keep your generator outside," said Assistant Fire Marshall Paul Lowenthal. "Run one inside and it will become a health hazard."


The seven days of darkness first anticipated across parts of San Jose have been shortened for many impacted PG&E customers.

The seven days of darkness first anticipated across parts of San Jose have been shortened for many impacted PG&E customers.

According to the City, the utility expects power to be back to nearly all of its impacted customers by Friday.

"What is a minor inconvenience for a few hours becomes a major public health and public safety hazard over several days," Mayor Sam Liccardo told the media at a Thursday afternoon press conference.

Alum Rock was one of several neighborhoods to go dark, late Wednesday. By Thursday afternoon, power was either back, or in the process of being restored.

Resident, Sarah Fredericksen was out restocking her refrigerator. She fears that without proper equipment upkeep or updates to infrastructure, these Public Safety Power Shutoffs will keep happening.

"Obviously, I don't know what happens at PG&E behind closed doors," she explained. "But to me, there's no excuse to not have fixed that by now."

She continued, "I'm just hoping that somehow, I don't know how, but somehow this gets figured out and they fix the things that need to be fixed. Our stuff is really old. I mean, it just is. It was built how long ago and I don't think there's been enough upkeep."

Further South in Los Gatos, one stretch of West Main Street was unusually empty. The outage kept businesses closed on Thursday.

The closures disappointed frequent customers to businesses like the Los Gatos Coffee Roasting Company.

"I pretty much rely on that coffee shop," resident, Collin Belton told ABC7 News. He said he uses the shop to work.

"I have since 1992. I've been coming here for such a long time," Belton added. "So, it's really an experience."

Back in San Jose, what Belton is calling an "experience" has resulted in rising expense.

Mayor Liccardo vowed to continue pressing the issue of compensation, until PG&E answers for what he calls "considerable public cost."

"An initial estimate of the cost to the city so far in dealing with this Public Safety Power Shutdown is about half-a-million dollars," Liccardo told reporters.

The $500,000 considers extra staffing, hours worked, supplies purchased and much more. The City expects that number will go up.


Although PG&E hasn't released an exact timeline for restoration, Mayor Sam Liccardo says it appears as though the power is coming back quickly in San Jose. He went as far as to offer PG&E access to city staff and resources to help accelerate the process.

In San Mateo County, most of the areas in the PG&E fire zone are south of Highway 92, all the way to the Coast.

An estimated 14,000 to 15,000 PG&E customer in portions of San Mateo County lost their power overnight.

The Tom Lantos Tunnel at Devils Slide on Highway One has remained open through the outage.

For the latest stories about PG&E's Public Safety Power Shutoff go here.

ABC7 News' Kate Larsen, Jobina Fortson, Eric Thomas, Chris Nguyen, Amanda Del Castillo, Laura Anthony, Lisa Amin Gulezian and Amy Hollyfield contributed to this report.