How To Check Power Outages

When will Mother Nature strike again, putting us in the dark?  It’s hard to say during this storm-laden week.  Your faithful Montclair blogger can always tell when there have been recent power outages, based on what you’re searching to get here!  We think it’s time to reveal the best official place to check:  PG&E itself.

Today all is calm in Oakland, based on the map status a few minutes ago.  In this snapshot below, you can see eight outages reported with the cause unknown.  We assume the repairs are underway, and perhaps these residents near the Laurel won’t even know it happened – save the clocks gone awry.

When you visit PG&E’s status map, you’re able to track the Utility’s entire 70,000 square mile service area.  No matter what, there are always outages scattered across such a large footprint.  You would go ahead and select a city (Oakland) and, as needed, drill down to zip code (94611) to see what’s happening right now.

Of course, an online source has some natural flaws:  when the power’s out, it may be tough to go online.  With fingers crossed, we sometimes have cell phone service and hit the interweb to check outage times, causes, homes impacted and updates.  Pretty cool!

If you don’t have online access due to the outage,  then you may still reach PG&E the old fashioned way – by land-line phones operating off the grid.  Remember to have a telephone directly plugged in,  and not all hooked up to remote handsets depending on electricity.

PG&E has two toll-free numbers available to report any outage (800-743-5002) or to ask questions about outages (800-743-5000).  Keep ’em handy, especially during this stormy week.

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Another Day, Another Tree Fall

All those old evergreens are wrecking havoc, crashing and falling without warning.  Another one bit the dust this Sunday on Pinehaven Road, and our eyewitness said it was near the “left hook” on the road.  We also confirmed that tree detritus had been mostly cleared, by midday Monday.

Fortunately, no homes or people were damaged this time.

However the collateral damage was another power outage in the hills, with neighbors off-grid from around 8:00 am yesterday through 3:00 am this morning.  We know it rattles everyone to lose their electrical juice, and it feels particularly awful during chillier winter days and nights.

In addition, one neighbor tipped us about some flooding nearby.  We’re trying to understand what happened there, and whether any water-main damage is related to the downed tree.  There’s zero confirmation yet.

Anyway, another day does mean another tree fall.  That’s one of the risks of Montclair living, especially as trees planted 80-plus years ago reach their senior years.

Power Outage = Wind + Tree Falls

High winds and downed trees are nothing new for Montclarions.  If you have both of them, then you learn to live with the consequences.  A few folks noticed power outages very early this morning, while others just spotted the news trucks and figured something was up.

KRON Montclair Report - March 9

It turns out the power outages occurred in homes located above Colton and Gaspar – and we believe power has been fully restored already.   PG&E’s first priority was to repair service, and then clear up the trees that caused the damage.

We have spotted PG&E trucks all week around Montclair, not only this morning.  Oakland Public Works trucks have been showing up as well, as they deal with recent drain stoppages or overflows.  Yes, the storms and winds are having their usual – if a bit delayed – seasonal impacts on the hills now.