As winds whipped through Berkeley Tuesday, trees fell on power lines and across roads and more than 10,000 PG&E customers lost power in and around Berkeley.
Outages affected more than 8,000 customers throughout the afternoon and stretching into the evening in the Berkeley Hills north to El Cerrito, and in the Southside, the Elmwood and Claremont Hills neighborhoods, according to the utility’s outage map. Parts of the Elmwood and a neighborhood near Codornices Park were without power until Wednesday morning.
Power cut out for more than 6,200 in North Berkeley shortly before noon Tuesday, with many regaining services around 1 p.m.
Across the East Bay, more than 90,000 PG&E customers lost power Tuesday. As of 3 p.m., 288 individual outages still needed to be assessed in Alameda County, and PG&E was estimating that 80% would be fixed within “approximately 1 day,” with urban areas like Berkeley “generally energized faster due to more power routing options.”
All of Tuesday’s outages in Berkeley were weather-related, the utility told customers.
Berkeley Fire Assistant Chief Keith May said two transformers that “went down” are likely to blame for some of the outages; there were reports on the Citizen app of blown transformers at the intersections of Spruce and Rose streets and Delaware Street and McGee Avenue.
UC Berkeley warned people to stay away from the intersection of Dwight Way and Hillside Avenue near the Clark Kerr campus, where a fallen tree downed a power line. Berkeley police said a tree also fell on a power line at the 900 block of Creston Road, and that another power line was down on the 1900 block of Carleton Street. And a reader sent in photos of a tree that fell on a power line at Eunice Street and Glen Avenue.
Tree down and power outage at Eunice and Glen. Power is now restored. pic.twitter.com/qU7CxFSsCx— riley (@rileydogc) March 14, 2023
A large tree also fell across University Avenue by the marina, blocking the roadway.
Wind gusts were clocked reaching at least 45 mph Tuesday in downtown Berkeley and 50 mph along Grizzly Peak Boulevard above Claremont Canyon, according to the National Weather Service and a PG&E real-time weather map. About an inch of rain has fallen on the city since Monday night.
Big oak down across South Park Dr in #TildenPark. #eastbayregionalparks #cawx pic.twitter.com/c2NXCuACgT— Douglas Fir-rederic (@dsmithBerkeley) March 14, 2023
The National Weather Service and PG&E shared a couple safety tips Tuesday afternoon:
This developing story was updated after publication. Check back for updates.
Berkeleyside environment reporter Iris Kwok contributed reporting to this story.