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Widespread power outages affect more than 14,000 across Bay Area

Power outages around the Bay Area on Sunday morning are affecting thousands of customers, most of them in the East Bay, PG&E said.

As of 8 a.m., more than 14,000 customers were without power in the Richmond and San Pablo areas, a PG&E spokesperson said.

Several other cities around the Bay Area were also seeing outages, with more than 2,400 customers affected in San Francisco, 2,300 on the Peninsula and nearly 400 in the North Bay.

The outages began Saturday night and crews are working to restore power, according to PG&E.

A spokesperson said Sunday morning that the outages stem from the buildup on power lines of dust, dirt, salt and other substances after a long dry period.

When the first mist or fog arrives after a dry spell, the buildup turns into mud, which can contribute to electrical flashovers and cause outages. Arcing can also cause outages, when there is enough dust and particulate in the air near power lines.

PG&E’s line-washing program is for larger electric transmission lines, so such outages tend to impact distribution systems serving local neighborhoods, a spokesperson said.

Customers can check on the outage status and restoration estimates on PG&E’s power outage map.

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