Storm Damages 7 Buildings In Contra Costa, Leaves 20K Without Power
Storm Damages 7 Buildings In Contra Costa, Leaves 20K Without Power

Storm Damages 7 Buildings In Contra Costa, Leaves 20K Without Power

CONTRA COSTA COUNTY, CA — Some, 5,955 Pacific Gas and Electric customers were still without power as of 4 p.m. Monday in the East Bay, including 2,985 in Contra Costa County, after an atmospheric river walloped the region.

Heavy rains and gusty winds toppled trees and caused widespread outages. The peak wind recorded in Contra Costa County was 81 mph on Mount Diablo. Marin County saw seven of the top 10 strongest winds Sunday in the Bay Area, with nothing slower than 89 mph and the strongest wind topping out at 102 mph at Pablo Point.

In Lafayette, strong winds Sunday downed a tree across power lines on Pleasant Hill Road at Springhill Road cutting power in the surrounding area and affecting traffic.

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At the site of downed power lines on Ygnacio Valley Road in Walnut Creek, the roadway remained closed in both directions. The closure between Walnut Boulevard and Marchbanks Drive was until further notice, the Walnut Creek Police Department said Monday in a traffic advisory. Police recommended avoiding the area of the road closure.

The Con Fire Regional 911 Center dispatched fire units throughout the county to over 60 weather-related incidents Sunday, including seven damaged structures, 25 power lines/trees down and three trees into structures. There was also an elevator rescue amid the outages and three smoke investigations.

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Con Fire staffed additional resources ahead of time in coordination with the California Governor’s Office of Emergency Service and regional partners. These specialized resources necessary for quickly responding to storm-related incidents included five fire engines, one dozer, one dispatcher, a swift water rescue team, one hand crew and 10 incident management team members from Con Fire, San Ramon Valley Fire Protection District, Moraga-Orinda Fire District, Rodeo-Hercules Fire Protection District, Crockett Carquinez Fire Department and El Cerrito-Kensington Fire Department.

The Moraga-Orinda Fire District announced Monday that is postponed prescribed fire operations that were scheduled to start Monday in an area of Orinda. Crews were busy cleaning up and responding to incidents related to the recent storms. MOFD hopes to return later in the week to its work reducing fuels near in the Wilder Road area of Orinda, near state Highway 24, in the Tunnel-East Bay Hills Shaded Fuel Break.

The wet weather prompted BART to run its trains at slower speeds. A weather-related obstruction on the BART track at North Concord/Martinez station caused a 20-minute delay Sunday on the Antioch line in the SFO direction.

PG&E Bay Area Outages Impact 744K

Overall, at least 744,000 customers were impacted in the Bay Area. PG&E restored electric service to 540,000 of those by 10 p.m. Sunday and was still working Monday afternoon to restore power to 143,401 Bay Area customers.

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A total of 284 PG&E power poles and 141 of the utility’s transformers have been damaged since 8 a.m. Sunday.

“Our crews will continue to assess damage when they can safely gain access to impacted areas,” PG&E Spokesperson Tamar Sarkissian said. “PG&E plans to complete the majority of damage assessments by Tuesday end of day.”

The utility had more than 3,000 employees working Monday to assess damage, make repairs, address vegetation and handle emergency calls, and hundreds more staffing its emergency centers, each of which we activated for this event.

In large storms such as this one, it can be difficult to estimate when the power will be back on in certain areas where damage is extensive, Sarkissan said.

“Once we get our eyes on the damage, we’ll be able to provide our customers with estimated restoration times, which we do via email, text, phone call and through our website,” she said. “We have been in communication with our Bay Area customers that have been experiencing longer than normal outages.”

Five-Step Process To Safely Restoring Power

PG&E recognizes that being without power for an extended period is frustrating and even dangerous for some customers, the utility said on its website. However, PG&E said, it will always prioritize safety in its restoration efforts.

This may mean power restoration efforts are delayed where downed powerlines remain energized; where fallen trees or other debris block access to work sites, or where weather conditions put crews’ safety at risk. In large storms like this, it’s not easy to predict when the power will be back on, PG&E said.

The graphic below outlines the steps PG&E takes to ensure power is safely restored.

Six Tips For Safely Operating Portable Generators

With power outages continuing into the night, customers with portable power generators are reminded of the importance of operating them safely. PG&E provides six important steps to follow for safe generator operation.


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