San Francisco Chronicle
Sprinkles cause power outages across the region
Around 6,000 residents remained without power across the Bay Area Sunday evening as PG&E worked to restore it following light overnight rain that triggered the outages, officials said.
After multiple outages that PG&E said were weather related, crews by Sunday morning faced restoring power for approximately 28,900 customers across the region, said spokesperson Deanna Contreras.
As of 7:30 p.m. Sunday, 6,003 remained without power: 5,749 in the East Bay; 12 in the Peninsula; 241 in San Francisco; 1 in the South Bay.
PG&E expected to get power back to everyone later Sunday, with a chance of outages remaining Monday morning in some in pockets of Richmond, El Cerrito and San Pablo.
Customers in the East Bay bore the brunt of the outages — initially with 23,800 people losing power in Richmond, El Cerrito, Moraga, Lafayette, Fremont, Hayward, San Leandro and Livermore.
In San Francisco, about 2,500 customers in the Bayview-Hunters Point lacked power on Sunday morning.
Contreras said light rain can turn the dust and dirt that accumulates on power lines into mud, which can cause electrical damage and power outages. Estimated restoration times varied depending on the location and the damage.
“We have fanned out crews in all these locations all across the East Bay and San Francisco to restore power safely and as quickly as possible, but in some cases, the pole does need to be replaced, which could take longer,” Contreras said.
The outages prompted BART officials to stop service from 7:45 a.m. to 8:15 a.m. Sunday morning between Richmond and North Berkeley because a power pole caught fire near the El Cerrito del Norte station.
“We were concerned the pole would break and land on our tracks,” Alicia Trost, a spokesperson for BART, said in an email.
The Richmond Fire Department responded to approximately 60 calls of power poles that were either sparking or caught fire overnight Saturday in Richmond and the unincorporated areas, said Fire Captain Rico Rincon. All the fires were extinguished, he said.
The power outages in the East Bay and San Francisco were separate from the public safety power shut-offs that PG&E issued for more than 2,000 customers in Napa and Solano counties starting Monday morning. Shut-offs are issued to prevent power lines from igniting fires when dry and windy conditions are in the forecast.