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Update: Downed Pole Replacement Delays Restoration of Power, PG&E Says

Transmission poles come down on Sequoia Glen Lane, cutting electricity to more about 8,700 customers Thursday night.

It will be mid-afternoon before all Pacific Gas & Electric customers affected by Thursday's outage get power restored because of the tricky nature of replacing a downed power pole, a PG&E spokesman said Friday.

A downed pole and two downed lines caused an outage just after 6 p.m. Thursday near the intersection of Sequoia Glen Lane and South Redwood Boulevard in southern Novato.

PG&E said 8,700 customers — at least one quarter of customers in the city — were affected, but it was quickly reduced to about 7,000 over a widespread area. On Friday morning, spokesman Joe Molica said 564 customers probably would not have power restored until 4:30 p.m.

Late Thursday PG&E said it expected to have everything repaired by about 9 a.m. Friday, but Molica said the main transmission pole that was sheared off near its base requires a delicate replacement procedure.

"It had two circuits on it, and those transmission poles are the ones that are taller and sunk deeper into the ground," he said. "They build them robustly, so it's fairly rare for something like this to happen."

A construction crew was using a backhoe to clear the area and prepare to install the new transmission pole about 10 feet deep, he said.

Molica an investigation is ongoing about how the pole came down, but high winds are thought to be the source.

PG&E planned to bring in generators to supply affected customers with temporary power, but Molica said it wasn't possible to set up in time.

Karen May 18, 2012 at 03:25 PM
Power was out at Novato High School and the MSA Jazz concert had to be cancelled and rescheduled to Friday night, just before the MSA Classical concert.
Brent Ainsworth (Editor) May 18, 2012 at 04:56 PM
Huge bummer. Waiting for PGE to call me back with an update and also find out how widespread the outage was geographically.
Tony Elshout May 18, 2012 at 05:41 PM
Typical PG
Dongfen Gao May 18, 2012 at 06:25 PM
The power in my area was out around 6 pm yesterday. I called and PG&G said it would be back at 9:15pm last night. That did not happen. In the morning, I was told it would be back at 10:30 am, but that did not happen, either. And I was just told that it would be back at 4 pm something. Really upset.
Novato Chess Club May 18, 2012 at 06:47 PM
Our power was out at 6:06pm; and was back on around 9:17pm........thank you PG&E
Anamaria Hunter May 18, 2012 at 07:04 PM
Still out, they now say 4:30 pm! They offered to send me a claims form, everything in freezer is melted already.
Brent Ainsworth (Editor) May 18, 2012 at 09:51 PM
Be nice, Novato Camper! Come on, now.
Born & raised May 18, 2012 at 11:07 PM
Any chance of them moving the pole that sits right in the middle of the street on Sequoia Glen?
Brent Ainsworth (Editor) May 19, 2012 at 07:19 PM
ABC7 report: http://abclocal.go.com/kgo/story?section=news/local/north_bay&id=8667193
Jerome J Ghigliotti Jr May 19, 2012 at 08:37 PM
Back in the 1990s, the California power companies were sued, and the result was that they promised to put 10% of their above ground wiring underground each year until we had a state without poles. Guess what? After making that agreement, they all claimed that they did not have any money and were going out of business. Have you seen any power company in California that has gone out of business. All the do is "go out" on their promises. And if you 'opt out" on Smart meters, there is a $75 equipment charge. What new equipment? They would be using the same old meters already in place. The only ones who lie more than politicians are utilities.
Anamaria Hunter May 21, 2012 at 03:00 PM
I opened the door to try and add dry ice since the power was supposed to out until Saturday...

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