power company illustration
(Image illustration by Thomas B. from Pixabay)

Thousands of people across the Greater Bay Area experienced electrical outages today, with more than 10,800 customers in Santa Clara County and more than 7,000 customers in Santa Cruz County losing power, according to the utility.

The Santa Cruz County disruptions were mostly weather-related, including several where vegetation came into contact with power lines—such as on Smith Grade Road where a tree hit the company’s wires—PG&E spokesperson Mayra Tostado said.

And in Felton, a tree fell into power lines on Big Trees Park Road, she added.

However, for the more than 1,650 customers who lost power in Watsonville around 10:15 a.m., the cause remains under investigation, according to PG&E.

The utility said the Santa Clara County disruptions, since 3am today, were mainly weather related, however one was due to a vehicle hitting a power pole on Quimby Road in San Jose.

That one affected more than 2,000 customers.

And some blackouts were intentional.

“We have a current planned outage in Los Gatos impacting more than 40 customers for upgrades to electric equipment on Glen Una Drive,” Tostado said. “On Bascom Avenue in San Jose, we have more than 100 customers out due to planned wildfire risk reduction work.”

Those improvements are meant to make the grid more reliable and resilient, she explained.

The National Weather Service has issued a wind advisory for parts of the Bay Area, including the Santa Clara hills, that extends throughout the day. 

Gusts were clocked up to 45 miles / hour across the Western Sac Valley and nearby elevated terrain.

Experts warn residents of the region to expect gusts in the 30-40 mile / hour range.

And while they’ll likely lessen towards the evening, PG&E is preparing for another wind push through the night.

But that’s only anticipated to bring gusts of 25-35 miles / hour in some areas.

“PG&E crews have been working around the clock to restore power to customers impacted by outages,” Tostado said. “Never touch downed power lines because they could be energized and are extremely dangerous.”

You can report downed wires to 911 and then PG&E at 1-800-743-5000, and PG&E customers can view outage information online at www.pge.com/outage.

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Drew Penner is an award-winning Canadian journalist whose reporting has appeared in the Globe and Mail, Good Times Santa Cruz, Los Angeles Times, Scotts Valley Press Banner, San Diego Union-Tribune, KCRW and the Vancouver Sun. Please send your Los Gatos and Santa Cruz County news tips to [email protected].


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