Bob Owens

The saddest truth in politics is that people get the leaders they deserve

Interesting power outage in San Francisco

Written By: Bob - Aug• 07•13

I keep an eye out on the power grid in the San Jose/San Francisco area ever since someone went through the trouble of conducting a raid to knock out a substation and nearby fiber optic cable  in April.

Several months later I was informed by a contact that authorities were very worried about the incident. It wasn’t a random prank where a bunch of stuff got shot up, and some hit failed. Whoever did it knew precisely what they were doing, used aimed fire on carefully selected parts of selected targets, and they got in and out clean in what seemed to be a test run for more widespread mayhem.

Now the area power utility is reporting an interesting, if vaguely and temporary, series of events last night:

An SFBay call to Pacific Gas & Electric was not immediately returned, though a PG&E representative did confirm a “large outage” in San Francisco around 12:45 am.

@SF311 – The City’s official Twitter account for citizen complaints — tweeted nearly 38,000 people were left without electricity in 31 separate outages that hit around midnight.

31 separate outages may be nothing (and it probably is), but I did find it worth keeping an eye on, especially if a similar event occurs again soon.

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  1. lcb says:

    That would be a major outage where I work. 2000 people is minor. 38000 would be “minor” if it was caused by one issue (say a major relay fails…or a transformer) that can be fixed or routed around quickly. But 31 seperate issues…we usually only see stuff like that from weather…branches taking down lines, etc.

  2. Rock says:

    They also reported that “most” of issues were resolved about an hour after they occured (based upon the times of the tweets). So it couldn’t have been something that devastating, whatever it was. Not that I know anything about such things.

  3. Zoowippy says:

    I live 200 miles north of SF. Last night we had multiple lightning strikes and even large hail in the hills. No power outages, but the CalFire helicopters are buzzing about like flies.