Daily Planet Staff
Three power outages hit downtown Berkeley as the week drew to a close, and a PG&E spokesperson said two of the incidents appear to be linked.
The first outage occurred at 9:06 p.m. Thursday, and only affected about 25 customers in the area near Allston Way and Shattuck Avenue. Power was restored to those customers at 2:25 a.m., said PG&E spokesperson Jonathan Franks.
The next incident occurred a few minutes after midnight Friday, when more than 1,850 customers lost power for about an hour. Ironically, the affected area was identical to an outage a week earlier. The early morning problems on April 7 were caused by the explosion of an underground transformer, but Franks said this time around, it appears a tree brought down an overhead power line.
The third outage happened in the Allston-Shattuck area, this time just past noon Friday. Franks said 32 customers lost power – including the temporary Central Library, which closed for the rest of the day. Power had been restored to 26 customers by Friday evening, but six were expected to remain without electricity until around 3 a.m.
Several residents called the Daily Planet on Friday to complain about the ongoing power outages in the downtown area.
Franks said that the two Allston-Shattuck problems were related, due to equipment problems, including a transformer connector and circuits that were linked to that location.
“With any underground system, if there are equipment problems, it is not unheard of to have them over a period of a few days because the equipment is not visible and it’s not easily accessible,” he said.