News


PG&E leaves Tri-Valley residents in the dark with power shutoff

Isolated areas in south Pleasanton, west San Ramon were without power

As its Public Safety Power Shutoffs affected parts of the Tri-Valley into Thursday, PG&E officials left residents in the dark in more ways than one.

After a series of delays that left residents and city officials unsure of where, when or even if the power outages would take effect in the Tri-Valley, late on Wednesday night outages hit isolated areas in southern Pleasanton and sections in western San Ramon that continued into Thursday.

These outages were open-ended, with PG&E reportedly waiting out windy weather in Northern and Central California. San Ramon officials reported all power was restored within the city limits as of mid-evening. Pleasanton city officials reported on Friday morning that all power had been restored there.

On its website, the utility company called the move, “a precautionary measure to reduce wildfire risk during the forecasted severe wind event.”

A lack of precise information stemming from PG&E officials combined with the company’s website being unavailable for multiple days -- although as of press time Thursday www.pge.com was operational -- has left some city officials concerned at their own struggles to provide updates to their community.

“Here is the best update we can give at this point: We don’t know what is going to happen tonight. PG&E doesn’t know, we don’t know, nor does anyone in the East Bay,” San Ramon police Capt. Denton Carlson tweeted Wednesday night. “What we do know is this, we understand your frustration, we feel it as well. When we know, you will know.”

Shutoffs in portions of the Tri-Valley were originally announced to begin taking effect around 1 p.m. Wednesday, but PG&E initially announced a delay until 8 p.m. due to changing weather conditions. Shutoff times were again pushed to 10 p.m. and did not actually take effect until after 11 p.m.

Poking fun at the lack of up-to-date information coming from the utility company, the Pleasanton Police Department went viral for a social media post characterizing the situation. The post read “PG&E says prepare for power shutdowns in select areas in California marked in red,” followed by a picture of the entire state covered in red marker.

The post was shared more than 43,000 times on Facebook and was featured in national publications such as the Washington Post and the Los Angeles Times.

PG&E has since updated its website, www.critweb-outage.pgealerts.com that provides residents with an updated map of areas that have been affected by the outages, a map that as of Thursday afternoon is operational.

According to PG&E as of Thursday morning, outages affected Pleasanton residents in isolated areas along Foothill and Pleasanton Sunol Road south of Castlewood Drive starting around Oak Lane, as well as Castlewood and Kilkare Woods.

In San Ramon the western portions of the city were impacted, particularly along Crow Canyon Road west of Deerwood Road -- although some sections of Deerwood Road may also be affected according to PG&E.

The San Ramon Police Department headquarters had been left without power, but SRPD officials reassured residents that the San Ramon Valley 911 Communications Center will be operating on backup generators.

Carlson reported on Twitter around 7 p.m. Thursday that all power was restored within the city.

Large swaths of San Ramon briefly lost power late on Wednesday night leaving more than 126,000 without power according to city officials, however PG&E crews were able to restart power after approximately half an hour.

Both the Pleasanton Unified School District and San Ramon Valley Unified School District did not report any outages during school hours and have stated that schools will remain open as scheduled.

Community resource centers were opened during the shutoffs for Alameda County residents to charge their devices, access WiFi and learn about the outages at Merritt College Lot B on Leona Street in Oakland. Contra Costa County residents could visit the Bishop Ranch parking lot in San Ramon at 2600 Camino Ramon to access their community resource.

The Pleasanton Public Library also opened its doors as a community resource center for impacted residents to charge devices during normal operating hours.

Residents can access more info at www.pgecurrents.com or www.pgealerts.com. PG&E also continues to post updates on their Twitter account @PGE4Me. A Twitter account is not needed to view their messages.

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Comments

Like this comment
Posted by Ralph
a resident of Birdland
on Oct 11, 2019 at 9:32 am

This was the whole purpose of the smart meters. So they can shut you down at will. Welcome to 3rd world


Like this comment
Posted by Really?
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Oct 11, 2019 at 10:12 am

California wants us to replace all of our gasoline cars with electric cars. But wait, PG&E turned off the electricity! Hopefully the fire trucks are still allowed to use gasoline.


Like this comment
Posted by Ruth
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Oct 11, 2019 at 11:16 am

the whole event was a big nothing. high winds? nope. not even in Petaluma, Napa etc according to friends in those areas. PGE officials and their policies need to go. a single power provider is not good for the consumer, far too much power (no pun intended) that is not kept in check - the PUC is a joke, a bunch of unelected bureaucrats all in each others pockets. Feel
like Venezuela yet?


2 people like this
Posted by Hotslide
a resident of Oak Tree Acres
on Oct 11, 2019 at 11:18 am

No doubt PG&E has worked with the Newsom administration, and the deal is "oh no, you can't go bankrupt yet and drop your failing company on the state" (stock drops from $11 to $7.50) in hours after shutdowns. We have to make the people understand why the state HAS TO take you over. Let's try some of this to demonstrate. Big scam brewing. Electric off at my house, max wind for 2 days...21 mph!! Did not even blow leaves around. Another weight on the scale to flee this socialist empire...state is lost.


4 people like this
Posted by Naveed Khan
a resident of Stoneridge Park
on Oct 11, 2019 at 11:24 am

Dear Sir,
PG&E has proven beyond a doubt that they are incapable to manage power grid, ensure uninterrupted supply and provide safety to public. Our political leadership should take a decisive action and "Nationalize" PG&E. It should be run as a Non-Profit utility company, because it is a Monopoly. The State should run it and at the same time through legislation it should be non-unionized. In most of the world utilities are run by the government as a non-profit companies. We gave PG&E many many years, highest power rate in the country to fix the problems. PG&E is incompetent and tries to deceive public and manipulate PUC.


2 people like this
Posted by Ron R.
a resident of Vineyard Avenue
on Oct 11, 2019 at 7:03 pm

Taking some of above comments a step further, PG&E needs to be forced to divest into two or more separate companies by the state. This was done to AT&T, by the federal government in 1982, to break up the monopoly it had. The governor, our state legislators, and the CPUC can make this happen. In the meantime, you may want to file a complaint with the CPUC for PG&E's incompetence, etc., for this latest debacle, and ask for the resignation of William D. Johnson, CEO and President of PG&E.


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