Update, 7:15 p.m. PG&E spokeswoman Karly Hernandez said all but nine of the 5,860 customers who lost power had it restored within nine minutes. Restoration for the remaining customers is unknown at this time. Hernandez said the cause of the outage “is under investigation” and crews are on the scene.
Original story, 6:53 p.m. Police and PG&E are on the scene near the North Berkeley BART station for downed power lines and a blown transformer, authorities report.
Officer Byron White, of the Berkeley Police Department, said PG&E has responded, and multiple lines are down.
“Officers are currently blocking the road for vehicles and pedestrians in the area of Acton Street and Delaware Street for a blown transformer,” he said, just after 6:20 p.m. “BFD is on-scene and PG&E is on their way.”
Allen Scott Nudel wrote on Twitter that he “was 20 feet from the power pole when it exploded at the corner of Acton and Delaware. There was an explosion at the top of the pole, then the wires exploded and went flying, then a lot of smoke. Wires were all over the street. I wasn’t hurt, but called 911. Never been so scared.”
“This is probably also why my computer suddenly rebooted and my Internet connection is not working (nor my ISP’s WiFi through my neighbor’s router),” wrote Rolf Rolles, also on Twitter.
A local resident identified only as Kramer on Twitter wrote that “two PG&E trucks were working on power lines along Delaware yesterday.” (Update, Aug. 16: Kramer later said he realized it had been Sonic trucks, not PG&E trucks. He apologized for the error, as do we.)
A PG&E representative said about 5,800 customers are without power in Berkeley, with an estimated restoration time of 9:30 p.m. No further information was immediately available.
Berkeleyside will update this story if more information becomes available.