Thousands of people in the Fourth Street shopping district are without power. The electricity failed around 11:30 am. and storekeepers have not gotten any indication when it will go back on.  Berkeleyside has a call into PG&E to see when power will resume.

UPDATE 1:23 pm: A PG&E repair crew is on the way to the source of the power failure, according to spoekswoman Nicole Leibelt. About 1,500 people in Berkeley, Albany, and Richmond have been without power since 11:47 am., she said.

UPDATE 1:58 pm Power has been restored to the bulk of the 1,500 customers who lost it, according to Leibelt. About 25 customers in El Cerrito are still without power. The cause of the outage has still not been determined.

Frances Dinkelspiel, Berkeleyside and CItyside co-founder, is a journalist and author. Her first book, Towers of Gold: How One Jewish Immigrant Named Isaias Hellman Created California, published in November...