Update, 1:30pm: PG&E said that, as of 1 p.m., power to all customers impacted by the outages had been restored. They are continuing to look into the equipment failure that caused it, according to a spokeswoman.
Update, 12:50 p.m.: PG&E now says that power has been restored to 18,000 more people. The utility cannot confirm if there was a connection between the explosion of a transformer in El Cerrito and the outage.
Update, 11:50 a.m. About 1,400 people now have their power back, according to PG&E spokeswoman Tamar Sarkissian. The rest of the 43,000 people without power should have it back on this afternoon. She also confirmed that PG&E was investigating whether there was a connection between the a fire at an El Cerrito substation and the outage.
BART service has also been restored and normal service resumed on Richmond line.
Original story: More than 43,000 people in Berkeley, Albany, El Cerrito, Richmond and San Pablo are without power. PG&E doesn’t know the cause and does not have an estimated time it will be repaired, according to Tamar Sarkissian, a PG&E spokeswoman.
The power went out across the region around 9:30 a.m. Monday. Shortly before that, a power transformer at a PG&E substation at Schmidt Lane and Cabrillo Street in El Cerrito, just north of the swim center, blew up, sending smoke into the air, according to a fire administrator at the El Cerrito Fire Department. While no official cause for the outage has been determined, the explosion may have contributed to it, she said.
Around 11:50, Sarkissian said PG&E was investigating a connection to the El Cerrito substation explosion.
“Our first priority is the safety of our customers and crew,” she said in an email. “We are assessing an incident at the El Cerrito substation. That’s all we can say about that now. We thank our customers for their patience. ”
At least one block in downtown Berkeley lost power, including the WeWork building at 2120 University (at Shattuck) where Berkeleyside has its HQ. Berkeley High School is without power.
Berkeleyside readers reported via Twitter that power was out north of Sacramento and Rose streets; in the Halycon neighborhood of south Berkeley; near Piedmont and Channing; Telegraph and Russell; and University Avenue between Shattuck and Milvia, among other spots.
Berkeley Police put out a Nixle alert reminding drivers to be careful while going through intersections as numerous stoplights are out.”When driving, intersections with complete power outages should be considered the same as a four-way stop sign,” BPD wrote. “Please stop and proceed with caution.”
Because of the power outage, the Downtown Berkeley BART is closed and no trains are stopping. AC Transit is running buses between the downtown and Ashby BART stations (#12) and downtown and north Berkeley BART stations. (#52)
Berkeley Fire Department had to rescue two people stuck in an elevator, according to this tweet:
— Alex Savidge (@AlexSavidgeKTVU) April 25, 2016
This story was updated as more information became available.
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