East Bay residents attempt to keep cool during power outages

WALNUT CREEK, Calif. (KGO) -- Thousands of PG&E customers endured the heat with no power, forcing many businesses to close down for part of the day.

No one liked the intense heat. It was borderline unbearable.

The Country Wood Shopping Center on Bancroft Avenue in Walnut Creek went dark at 7 a.m. shutting down a Safeway store, a CVS and restaurants like this Black Bear Diner.

"We asked a gentleman with PG&E, and he said it would be 4 to 5 hours to get (power) back up because they're stretched so thin. So, they sent everyone home," explained Becca Calderon, a waitress at the restaurant.

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Staff went home for the day, only to be called back at 10 a.m. when the power was restored.

A tree limb in a nearby neighborhood was to blame as it took down power lines.

All told, nearly 5,000 customers in Walnut Creek and Concord endured the heat without electricity for at least awhile. PG&E dispatched crews to San Jose, Concord and Clayton.

"We are using our technology and data from previous years to try and predict where those outages will be and get our crews to those right locations," explained Tamar Sarkissian, spokesperson for PG&E.

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PG&E is worried about Thursday, which is predicted to be the hottest day of this current heat wave.

"I'm scared. I have three kids and the heat is definitely wiping them out," said Tiffany Silveria, who lives in Martinez.

It's a problem at area day care centers and preschools, where it's too hot for the children to play outside.

Kids are reminded to keep hydrated. Adults also are being asked to turn down the A/C and shut off extra lights and appliances during peak usage, which is from 2 p.m. to 9 p.m.

In Livermore, an outage around 3 p.m. impacted over 4,600 customers, who have been struggling with big outages in the city since Sunday.

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