Storm off Northern California Coast, March 19, 2011
NOAA water vapor image of the Saturday night/Sunday morning storm off California coast. Click for larger image.

PG&E says about 80,000 customers are without power from the Oregon border to Central California in the wake of a powerful Pacific storm Saturday night and Sunday morning. (Check the company’s Electrical System Outage Map.)

At 1 p.m. Sunday, That total includes about 11,000 customers in Sonoma County (Santa Rosa Press-Democrat: Thousands without power due to storm). Another 12,000 or so customers (homes and businesses) were affected in the rest of the Bay Area and Santa Cruz County. PG&E representative J.D. Guidi said the Bay Area’s biggest concentrated outages were in Angwin, in the hills east of the Napa Valley, where 2,500 customers have no lights; in south Mill Valley (610 customers in the dark); and Antioch and Los Gatos (each with 500).

The outages were caused by a powerful storm that brought high winds and heavy rain to the region Saturday night. Gusts of more than 60 mph were recorded from the Bay and into the Sacramento Valley. Several locations in the Santa Cruz Mountains recorded 2.5 to 3 inches of rain.

Guidi said crews had been called in from Southern California, Oregon, and Washington to help restore power, though he had no estimate of how many crews were working Sunday. He said that some hard-hit areas in the central and northern Sierra could be without power for 72 hours.

Here’s a partial rundown of PG&E power outages as of 1 p.m. PDT:

Bay region:

  • San Francisco 60
  • Peninsula … 1,740
  • North Bay … 7,500
  • South Bay … 910
  • East Bay … 1,000
  • Santa Cruz County … 2,080

PGE Northern California divisions

Yosemite … 9,200
Stockton … 8,500
Sierra … 8,400
Sacramento … 6,400
North Sacramento Valley … 12,000
Lake/Mendocino 7,500
North Coast … 7,500

80,000 in N. California Without Power After Storm 20 March,2011Dan Brekke


Dan Brekke

Dan Brekke is a blogger, reporter and editor for KQED News, responsible for online breaking news coverage of topics ranging from California water issues to the Bay Area’s transportation challenges. In a newsroom career that began in Chicago in 1972, Dan has worked as a city and foreign/national editor for The San Francisco Examiner, editor at Wired News, deputy editor at Wired magazine, managing editor at TechTV as well as for several Web startups.

Since joining KQED in 2007, Dan has reported, edited and produced both radio and online features and breaking news pieces. He has shared in two Society of Professional Journalists Norcal Excellence in Journalism awards — for his 2012 reporting on a KQED Science series on water and power in California, and in 2014, for KQED’s comprehensive reporting on the south Napa earthquake.

In addition to his 44 years of on-the-job education, Dan is a lifelong student of history and is still pursuing an undergraduate degree.

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