PG&E restores power in San Jose, but city costs soar amid shutdown
In this Thursday, Aug. 15, 2019 photo, a Pacific Gas & Electric worker walks in front of a truck in San Francisco. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)

After a grueling week following a statewide power outage and a countywide state of emergency, San Jose officials confirmed Thursday evening that PG&E has restored power to most residents and the city will return to normal operational hours Friday.

At a news conference Thursday afternoon, Mayor Sam Liccardo said fewer than 1,500 PG&E customers in San Jose were without power — a significant decrease from the 20,000 who were without power when the blackout started Wednesday evening. Four traffic lights remained non-functional as of Thursday afternoon, down from the 28 in the morning.

“While this experience has proved frustrating for us all, I want to thank our community for their patience and resilience, and for helping our emergency operations teams collect accurate, on-the-ground information,” said Liccardo.

A new community center in Evergreen was opened Thursday to provide resources to affected residents near the foothills. Each community center will resume regular hours Friday and through the weekend, as city officials expect that 99 percent of affected residents will have their power restored. Resources such as charging stations and air conditioning will continue to be available at community centers and libraries on Friday.

Before power is fully restored, city officials advised residents to dispose all food in refrigerators and freezers that may be spoiled, consult a doctor for medications that require refrigeration that were not kept cold, and to unplug all electronic appliances with the exception of a lamp or light bulb so residents know when the power is turned back on.

While the power outage has only lasted a little more than 24 hours, city officials said the shutdown has cost the city at least half a million dollars in public funds, and that number is expected to rise until all power is restored. Liccardo said city employees have been working “around the clock” in overtime wages and providing resources to residents, but added that the city will work with PG&E to retrieve “compensation.” 

Despite the power being almost completely restored, city officials acknowledged how frustrated residents are Thursday, calling on them to be patient with PG&E’s staff as they restore and inspect power lines.

“The city has been working hard to plan for this,” added Liccardo. “Our highest priority right now is to continue to support those residents who have lost power. Many of us are still very frustrated — we should not be taking this out on the hardworking PG&E staff.”

Resources

  • The Camden Community Center is located at 3369 Union Ave. Hours this weekend: Friday, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
    Saturday, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sunday, CLOSED
  • The Evergreen Community Center is locates at 4860 San Felipe Rd. Hours this weekend: Friday, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sunday, CLOSED
  • The Mayfair Community Center is located at 2039 Kammerer Ave. Hours this weekend:Friday, 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., Saturday, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., Sunday, CLOSED
  • The Southside Community Center is located at 5585 Cottle Rd. Hours this weekend: Friday, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sunday, CLOSED

Contact Nadia Lopez at [email protected] or follow @n_llopez on Twitter.

 

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