Blackout Blamed on PG&E
A power outage that left a third of San Francisco in the dark last year on the busy weekend before Christmas could have been prevented if Pacific Gas and Electric Co. had fixed problems the utility itself identified years earlier.
That was the major finding of a report released Thursday by the California Public Utilities Commission. PG&E officials agreed. The company's investigation of the incident, publicly released in August, had made the same conclusion.
Last Dec. 20, a fire went undetected at a PG&E substation at Eighth and Mission streets for more than two hours, cutting off power to 120,000 businesses and residents. The utility's customers -- some who were in the dark for more than 24 hours -- have received $2.3 million in damage claims so far from PG&E. Nearly 2,400 separate claims were made, and all but 43 have been resolved, said John Nelson, a spokesman for the power company.
Not only do utilities have to have power, they have to reliably get it to their customers, too!