PG&E restores power in Pacifica

November 28, 2012 7:58:07 PM PST
The coast, and in particular Pacifica, has been pounded by ferocious winds and rain most of Wednesday morning. More than a thousand people were left in the dark for most of the day.

A little after 9 a.m., more than 1,100 customers lost power in Pacifica. Apparently a piece of equipment blew and dangled dangerously over buildings. Crews worked on it in the stormy conditions that caused it.

It was not business as usual in Pacifica Wednesday morning, "There was a big flash, light, and then there was no power," said Spence Yoes with Dial Glass & Window Co. "So yeah, heard a big boom, and that was about it."

Yoes was working in his glass shop when, around 9:15 a.m., an insulator blew on a power pole near Carmel and Palmetto Avenues, leaving more than 1,100 customers without power and the intersection blocked off.

"I knew I was in trouble," said neighbor Richard Holmes. The Pacifica resident found himself in a dangerous electrical situation as well -- he and his neighbors on Peralta Road woke up around 5 a.m. to a power surge.

"So I went back to the master bedroom where I had just gotten up and there were flames coming out of the electrical outlet," Holmes said. "So I grabbed my cell phone and when I stood up the smoke was down to about here and it was really hot." Holmes was not hurt, but his master bedroom was destroyed and he lost his rare book collection.

Power lines came down in the neighborhood as well. PG&E says that and the fire could be a combination of bad weather and homes with old wiring.

"We'll see it all day all night long until the storm passes," said PG&E electrical crew foreman Marvin Araquistian.

Along the coast, birds circled over damp earth, and a surfer braved the choppy ocean waters. At the pier, people and their pets dressed for the wet weather.

In San Jose, a fisherman tried to reel in some crab before the sun came up, "It was supposed to storm today, but there's always the calm before the storm, you know," fisherman Nick Johnson said. "Just gonna go out there and hope for the best."

PG&E reminds people to never touch a downed power line, call the power company instead. And the Coast Guard is advising people to avoid beaches during this storm.

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