Power lines in Berkeley against a blue sky.
Power lines in Berkeley against a blue sky. Photo: Tracey Taylor

Update, 6:45 p.m. PG&E has told the city of Berkeley that local residents will probably not lose power again this week — despite earlier reports that they would be included in the widespread shutoff planned to start Tuesday.

Paul Buddenhagen, deputy city manager, told Berkeleyside that “we don’t have 100% confirmation,” but said the utility indicated Berkeley would be spared from the blackout during a call with staff Monday evening. Other parts of the East Bay are still likely to be affected, he said.

The outage could reach portions of the East Bay “late in the day, potentially in the overnight hours Tuesday into Wednesday,” PG&E representatives said at a press conference Monday evening. Berkeleyside called into the media briefing with other reporters around Northern California.

The strong “Diablo wind event” prompting the latest phase of shutoffs is expected to start in the northern part of the state Tuesday at 10 a.m., and make its way down through the Bay Area after that.

PG&E is scrambling to restore power to all 970,000 customers affected by this weekend’s shutoff during the “lull” between “weather events,” company representatives said. PG&E’s online outage map shows just 342 Berkeley customers are still in the dark, out of more than 7,000 who lost power. According to a city alert sent just before 7 p.m., most addresses in the city had been restored.

Tuesday’s outage could affect anywhere between 240,000 to 600,000 customers total. The utility can’t narrow down the range yet because critical transmission lines that were taken out of service this weekend — and others in the Kincade Fire region — may or may not be restored in time, PG&E said.

Even with power restored, the East Bay Regional Parks District said park closures have been extended through 9 a.m. Thursday due to ongoing fire danger.

Original story, 4:31 p.m. After being without power since Saturday night, some Berkeley residents began sharing reports late Monday afternoon about their electricity being restored — but it might not be for long.

As of publication time, the PG&E outage map still says about 5,300 customers are without electricity in the city, but the map is not always reliable and is 30 minutes delayed.

The first tweet about power restoration came into Berkeleyside just before 3:30 p.m., with the frequency of reports increasing since about 4 p.m.

Let there be light (and wifi) in the Berkeley hills (Marin and Grizzly Peak). Power is back on (at least until @PGE4Me shuts it off tomorrow if the Diablo winds start blowing again). #PSPS #PGEpowershutdown @berkeleyside— Todd Woody (@greenwombat) October 28, 2019

POWER IS BACK AGAIN! I’m not sure if I would still be that excited after the third #psps @berkeleyside— Jiajun Yan 严佳骏 (@yjjart) October 28, 2019

The city says the most important thing to do while the power is on is to recharge devices so emergency notifications can come in.

A new outage is set to begin Tuesday, but details are slim.

The city of Berkeley said on Twitter at 3:50 p.m. that “The scope of tomorrow’s planned outage and whether it will affect Berkeley is still unclear. We will continue to post updates as we get new information.”

UC Berkeley has said classes and full operations will resume Tuesday.

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See complete outage coverage on Berkeleyside. 

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Emilie Raguso (former senior editor, news) joined Berkeleyside in 2012 and covered politics, public safety and development until her departure in 2022. In 2017, Emilie was named Journalist of the Year...