Power outage sweeps through East Bay

Seven cities and thousands of customers were affected by an East Bay power outage that began around 12:30 a.m. Thursday.

Berkeley was among the affected areas, which also included Albany, El Cerrito, El Sobrante, Kensington, Richmond and San Pablo. The Richmond area was most affected, according to Pacific Gas and Electric spokesperson Tamar Sarkissian.

At the outage’s peak between 1 a.m. and 1:30 a.m., there were over 50 outages and close to 12,000 PG&E customers affected. As of 11 a.m., approximately 2,500 customers were still without power.

The cause of the outage was weather-related and was prompted by light rains Wednesday night and Thursday morning, Sarkissian said.

“After a dry season, dust and dirt can accumulate on the power lines,” Sarkissian said. “When we have this first really light rain and mist that comes through, it can turn the dirt into mud, which conducts electricity.”

Crews from around the Bay Area began working on restoring power since the outage’s onset. They will continue working until all customers have power restored.

When customers see a powerline that is down, they should assume it’s “live” and keep themselves and others away, Sarkissian said. She said customers should call 911 and then PG&E immediately.

Chloee Weiner is the lead campus life reporter. Contact her at cweiner@dailycal.org and follow her on Twitter @_chloeew .

Read more here: http://www.dailycal.org/2014/09/18/power-outage-sweeps-east-bay-affects-berkeley/
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