PG&E says Orinda mudslide could compromise transmission tower

Byby Sergio Quintana via KGO logo
Monday, February 20, 2017
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Rain could make a landslide even worse in Orinda where a transmission tower is being threatened. PG&E says the project to help shore up the slide area will be significant and take time.

ORINDA, Calif. (KGO) -- Rain could make a landslide even worse in Orinda where a transmission tower is being threatened by a slide.

RELATED: Crews race against storm to save power lines from Orinda mudslide

PG&E crews used a helicopter to fly portable lights to the slide area near a transmission tower. Sunday evening those lights were turned on and from another ridge, we could see a few workers at the base of the threatened tower.

Orinda residents say the helicopters have been at work for most of the day. "It kind of sounded like they were getting close to the house," said neighbor April Contaxis. "Then they'd go away--seemed like they were a little distant and I noticed it because it was consistent through the morning.

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PG&E spokesperson Tamar Sarkissian said residents will see lots of activity and that this will be a significant project. "We're going to have a lot of equipment in the area so they'll be seeing trucks, tractors, cranes."

The slide was spotted a few weeks ago and engineering teams have been putting together a plan to shore up the hill and project the tower if needed but they're now up against another storm that's expected to come into the area with rain and winds.

"We can't really estimate a time," Sarkissian told ABC7 News. "But our plan is to work safely to complete the project as quickly as possible."

Since the slide was first spotted a few weeks ago, mud has moved about three feet in the area. The good news is this is nowhere near any homes so there's no safety concerns for residents.

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According to PG&E the power lines are part of a redundant system, so on the slim chance that the tower is compromised, power could be re-routed and service should not be interrupted.

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