Strong winds and stormy conditions caused trees to fall and electrical wires to go down in Palo Alto, where multiple power outages impacted thousands of Palo Alto Utilities customers on Tuesday.
One outage that affected initially about 1,800 customers was reported at 11:58 a.m., according to the Utilities Department. The impacted customers were in an area that includes the Barron Park and Green Acres neighborhoods, where a tree to hit a power line, the Utilities Department said on Twitter. At first, service was estimated to be restored at 4 p.m. and later updated to around 10:15 p.m.
Another outage was reported at 12:20 p.m. About 700 customers in the Community Center neighborhood lost service due to a tree that struck a power line. Around 1 p.m., another power outage left roughly 123 customers without service in an area that includes the Leland Manor and Garland neighborhoods, Palo Alto Utilities said.
Businesses in Town and Country Village shopping center also lost power starting on Tuesday afternoon. Customers continued to dine despite the outage. Trader Joe's employees weren't allowing customers in the grocery store due to the power loss.
More outages were reported across the city throughout the day as a result of the wind and stormy weather, according to the Utilities Department. The latest outages can be found on the city's outage map.
On Tuesday night, the map showed the number of residents and businesses affected by outages lightened up compared to earlier in the day. As of 9:25 p.m., the number of affected customers was around 1,000.
Service came back gradually to customers in several neighborhoods overnight, leaving about 30 customers without power as of 7:39 a.m. Wednesday. Ten customers remained without service until about 3 p.m.
At about 1 p.m. Tuesday, a fallen tree struck a one-story home in the 200 block of Middlefield Road, where Palo Alto firefighters were called to rescue two people trapped inside the residence, according to emergency dispatch reports.
Fire Deputy Chief Kevin McNally said the occupants of the home were not injured. They were able to exit the home through the back door while responders secured the utilities and blocked off Middlefield. Building inspectors later arrived to assess the house.
"The amount of damage was significant," he said. "Parts of the roof structure were cracked and destroyed."
Also on Tuesday, Caltrain riders faced hourslong delays due to trees blocking the train tracks, the agency said on Twitter. At 1 p.m., the rail commuter service started running trains on an hourly basis. Normal service resumed on Wednesday morning.
And just after 3 p.m. Tuesday, the Palo Alto Police Department announced that Embarcadero Road was closed in both directions from Bryant Street to Kingsley Avenue thanks to downed wires and fallen trees. The roadway remained closed on Wednesday morning, resulting in traffic in the Professorville and Old Palo Alto neighborhoods, and reopened around 3 p.m. Wednesday, police said.
Westbound Oregon Expressway at Bryant Street was closed during the Tuesday evening commute for crews to remove tree debris from lanes.
Power outages have also been reported across the Bay Area. More than 155,000 PG&E customers in the Bay Area were without power by early Tuesday afternoon, most of them in the south bay and east bay. As of midafternoon, San Mateo County had just over 64,000 PG&E customers without power and projected that 60% of the outages would be fixed in approximately one day, the town of Atherton reported. On the Midpeninsula, more than 5,000 customers were in the dark in Mountain View. Over 3,500 customers were without power in an area that spans from west of El Camino Real in Atherton to Redwood City's Emerald Lake Hills area. The outage was caused by weather with no estimated time of restoration. The Redwood City outages appeared to be primarily affecting residents west of El Camino Real. Nearly 1,800 customers in West Menlo Park lost power just before 12:30 p.m., with the estimated time of restoration still to be announced. Another roughly 2,000 customers in West Menlo Park were impacted by three separate outages.
Fallen trees have been found across the city throughout the day, according to emergency dispatch reports. One was reported this morning at the Stanford University campus on Galvez Street near Arboretum Road. Another tree came down on Page Mill Road between Deer Creek and Coyote Hill roads close to noon.
A high-wind warning was in effect across the Bay Area through 11 p.m. Tuesday, according to the National Weather Service.
The Police Department was aware of the local outages. The agency requested the community not call 911 or nonemergency numbers for the Police and Fire departments to report the outage or ask questions about the service disruption, according to a Nixle alert. Police advised the public to refer to the Utilities Department's Twitter account and electric outage map.