Storm knocks out power to nearly 30,000

Thursday, October 06, 2011

Power crews have been busy trying to keep up with dozens of storm related outages. According to PG&E, the storm knocked out power to nearly 30,000 in Fresno, Tulare, and Kings Counties. The biggest outages happened overnight but customers continued to lose power into the morning and afternoon hours. As of Wednesday afternoon, about 530 customers remained without power.

Stan Yockey Motorsports in West Central Fresno was briefly without power Wednesday morning. It was the second outage for employee Koen Shaw. "At my house we had no power and then we got here and there was power until 10 minutes ago," said Shaw.

In Central Fresno, tree branches damaged a power line, forcing crews to clean up while also trying to restore power. But PG&E said the majority of the outages were caused by transformer failures. Spokesperson Jeff Smith said over the spring and summer months dust accumulates on the transformers. Then, during the first rain, the combination of water and dust causes some transformers to fail. "It's a very small of minority of transformers but it's enough to have an impact. And most of the outages we saw were a result of that," said Smith.

The power outages also affected drivers as lights went out at Fresno intersections. At J's Alarms, workers installed security systems in the dark using flashlights and battery operated tools. "There is a little bit of a slowdown because of the power but we cannot stop working," said owner J Sanchez.

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storm, pg&e, power outage, local, amanda perez
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