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Update: Power restored to most south Napa customers after PG&E outage linked to digging incident

Update: Power restored to most south Napa customers after PG&E outage linked to digging incident


Updated at 3:43 p.m. — Most of the estimated 300 Pacific Gas & Electric Co. customers affected by a south Napa power outage Monday had their service restored by 3:15 p.m., after an incident the utility linked to a construction mishap at a nearby business park.

After electricity was lost on both sides of Highway 221 at 11:38 a.m., all but 22 PG&E customers were reconnected after more than 3 ½ hours, according to spokesperson Deanna Contreras. PG&E crews were at the scene working to restore service to the remaining 22 customers late Monday afternoon.

Online maps on the PG&E website indicated the outage affected properties both west and east of the highway, including the Napa Valley Commons corporate park.

The power loss resulted from a non-PG&E construction team accidentally contacting a buried power line at Napa Valley Corporate Drive and Bordeaux Way, according to Contreras, who said the crew was using underground boring equipment to create a conduit for fiber-optic data cables.

PG&E advises anyone planning excavation, digging or planting to first dial 811 to allow PG&E and other utilities to first mark any underground lines, according to Contreras. (The crew that was working on Napa Valley Corporate Drive on Monday did call 811 in advance, she said.)

As a result of the outage, stoplights went dark on a section of 221, according to Marc Renspurger, spokesperson for the California Highway Patrol’s Napa bureau. CHP Officers, as well as PG&E crews, were called to the highway, where stoplights were expected to be restored along with electricity, he said.

No vehicle collisions were reported in connection to the power failure.

A record-breaking heatwave and drought have been afflicting the Western United States, and wildfires have already broken out in multiple states like California and Arizona. William Lee, the chief economist at the Milken Institute, spoke with Cheddar about the economic ramifications of climate change on the hotter, dryer West, as residents deal with spotty water and power supplies and leave for other parts of the country.

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Public Safety Reporter

Howard Yune covers public safety for the Napa Valley Register. He has been a reporter and photographer for the Register since 2011, and previously wrote for the Marysville Appeal-Democrat, Anaheim Bulletin and Coos Bay (Oregon) World.

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