Power outage hits downtown and north Berkeley

The power outage could be seen clearly in this picture taken from the hills. Photo: D.H. Parks

UPDATE 10/2 7:45 am: About 111 residences remain without power Tuesday morning after an outage affected much of Berkeley overnight. PG&E does not yet know when those people will have their power restored.

Power went out to 12,425 people at 9:38 pm on Monday, plunging much of downtown, the north side, and the north Berkeley hills into darkness. PG&E was able to restore power to the majority of customers at 10:22 pm, but by 11 pm the power was out again, said Jana Morris, a PG&E spokeswoman. PG&E got it up briefly, but the system crashed again and at midnight around 8,300 residences were without power. PG&E was able to bring most of the homes back online throughout the night, but a handful still don’t have power, she said. A cable failed at a Berkeley substation causing the outage, she said.

Firefighters came to Shattuck Hotel to rescue people stuck in elevators because of the power outage. Photo: Chris Thomas

Original story: PG&E officials say about 12,425 people are without power in a large portion of Berkeley stretching from downtown to the Gourmet Ghetto and into the hills.

They are sending a team to investigate what caused the power outage at 9:38 pm. They are estimating power should be restored by 11:30 pm midnight, but that is just a preliminary guess.

Berkeleyside readers reported lack of power on streets including LeRoy and Oxford. According to Chris Thomas on Facebook, the outage caused people to be trapped in an elevator at the Hotel Shattuck on Allston Way in downtown Berkeley.

Update 10:27 pm – People in some parts of North Berkeley and Thousand Oaks neighborhoods and around University and San Pablo Avenue report their power has returned.

10:53 pm: PG&E spokeswoman Jana Morris said that power has been restored to much of Berkeley and only about 627 people are without. PG&E thinks the problem happened at a Berkeley substation, but still has not determined its cause.

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  • Christina Tarr

    Thanks! Very dark here in the gourmet ghetto. Kind of nice!

  • Linda

    The PG&E website outage map indicates that over 9000 homes are without power. Thanks, berkeleyside, for being the first to report on this. I had been searching for news on my phone since the lights went out.

  • Linda

    I agree! I’m enjoying the dark and the quiet, near Milvia & Rose.

  • Sk0728

    In north Berkeley, a few blocks from the north Berkeley BART station. No power.

  • We have not lost power here in North North Berkeley near Albany. So far so good!

  • Linda

    10:32pm and the power is back on! (near Milvia & Rose)

  • Christina Tarr

    It’s back on here in N Berkeley.

  • BerkeleyMom

    Power back on Shattuck Ave 1000 block (though the north half of our block is undergrounded and they didn’t go dark).

  • DS

    And its out again…

  • Linda

    Power just went out again! 10:50pm

  • Jata3385

    The power just went back out, after 20 minutes, on north spruce street

  • Christina Tarr

    And out again.

  • Sk0728

    And now, it is off again. My dog is quite agitated.

  • Cathy

    Out again on Oxford St.

  • serkes

    Well done!

  • serkes

    Power stayed on in Thousand Oaks neighborhood – Colusa + Vincente


  • serkes

    I never realized how bright the moon was until the Northeast Blackout of 1965

    One-by-one, the apartment buildings went dark



  • MrMonon

    The first outage stopped at the top end of La Loma.  The second one has darkened the south side of the canyon from there to Terrace View park. I can see around the hill toward campus to tell if it’s out again as well.

  • MrMonon

     Er, I *can’t* see around the hill toward campus.

  • BerkeleyMom

    And we are back on again at 11:37 after another 45 minutes out.

  • the deer.

    Also no comcast service in west berkeley.. getting someone’s wifi apparently..

  • Rachel

    We went out about 11:40 after some pretty dramatic flickering here in Albany. (I know it’s BERKELEYside.) Kind of creepy if you ask me.

  • David D.

    As of 12:15, the power was still out along portions of Delaware Street and San Pablo Avenue. Interestingly enough, though, the lights never went out on Francisco Street.

  • ketchup fingers

    Thank you! Your photos are always awesome.

  • David D.

    Delaware Street was back on around 12:30.

  • serkes

    Albany has Berkeley sides.

  • The Sharkey

    Instead of staying up and worrying about the power, I unplugged all my computers and sensitive electronics and went to bed early. Had a good night’s sleep and didn’t miss the internet/cable/whatever for more than a minute.

  • Julie Wong

     We had at least two outages (Santa Fe & Gilman).  There may have been another, but I was asleep at 11:45.

  • Guest

    There was just another brief one here near the North Berkeley BART (~8:17am October 2nd)–lights flickered on and off several times, off for a few seconds, then back on steadily.  Think I’ll unplug my electronics at home before leaving for work.

  • Thompson

    I’m on Francisco — absolutely no outages last night.  I wonder if it has something to do with the repairs they did last year after someone’s Mylar balloon shorted out a transformer.

  • Bill

    Power never went out here in the 1800 block of Grant.  At least the clocks were all still on time!  Does this seem to be happening more often in the past few years or are we just more “connected” and know about it more often?

  • David D.

    I am on Francisco and thought the same thing. However, my neighbor suspects we are on a different grid (system? line?) because of our proximity to BART.

  • David D.

    How did your freezer fare?

  • Doss

    The power was out at my end of Francisco Street last night (my building is about half a block from Shattuck, on the north side od the street)

  • carter_nberkeley

    These black-outs happen 3-4 times a year, PG&E should be explaining these problems in more detail, and looking for solutions. A friend in Washington DC tells me his power never goes out and his neighborhood has above ground power just like ours.

  • The Sharkey

    No real trouble. As long as you don’t open the door after the power has gone out, a few hours without power won’t mess things up too much.

  • The Sharkey

    PG&E is the worst.

    I keep hoping Berkeley will come up with some sort of municipal power alternative so I can get away from the PG&E beast, but no luck so far.