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In Menlo Park, storm recovery means stopping traffic on Highway 101 to fix toppled power lines

Original post made on Feb 23, 2023

On Thursday, recovery efforts were still underway in Menlo Park, as this week's windy winter storm toppled trees and power lines. PG&E said work to restore power in parts of the city would require stopping traffic on Highway 101.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Thursday, February 23, 2023, 11:35 AM

Comments (9)

Posted by MA parent
a resident of Menlo Park: Linfield Oaks
on Feb 23, 2023 at 12:20 pm

MA parent is a registered user.

To PG&E: while you "face challenges" in coordinating how to restore power, thousands of people face challenges in being without power for 2+ days without electricity or heat in the coldest part of this season. You have made and missed multiple deadlines. Not your finest hour.

Posted by Frozen
a resident of Menlo Park: Linfield Oaks
on Feb 23, 2023 at 12:33 pm

Frozen is a registered user.

PGE might have figured this out a few days ago? Makes the most sense to halt traffic at 2 am, not at 2 pm.

Meanwhile, for days they've been assuring customers that power would be back in just a few hours -- a perpetually moving target.

Posted by lelkins
a resident of Menlo Park: The Willows
on Feb 23, 2023 at 12:54 pm

lelkins is a registered user.

Comcast is getting coverage from PG&E’s slow restoration times but it should also be taking some heat for its extended internet outage. I was fortunate not to lose electrical power but I have been without internet, phone and TV for almost 48 hours now.

Posted by JOlson
a resident of Menlo Park: Suburban Park/Lorelei Manor/Flood Park Triangle
on Feb 23, 2023 at 1:00 pm

JOlson is a registered user.

Thank you for this information.

Posted by fixate
a resident of Menlo Park: The Willows
on Feb 23, 2023 at 3:07 pm

fixate is a registered user.

A helpful update, thanks.

Posted by Ronen
a resident of Menlo Park: Suburban Park/Lorelei Manor/Flood Park Triangle
on Feb 23, 2023 at 4:27 pm

Ronen is a registered user.

We live in the tech capital of the world, yet something as simple as a wind storm and some downed trees can cut electricity to tens of thousands of residents in our town for days a time with essentially no useful communication from PG&E.

This is third world level infrastructure and service, and it’s not acceptable.

I can’t imagine what would happen in case of a significant earthquake. Our state and country leaders should take note and start some serious conversations.

Posted by Kevin
a resident of Menlo Park: South of Seminary/Vintage Oaks
on Feb 23, 2023 at 5:05 pm

Kevin is a registered user.

@ronen, something like 200 downed trees that hit or are resting on power lines in San Mateo county. That's more than "some downed trees". We probably should remove a few hundred trees that are dangerously close to the most critical infrastructure, like the one that damaged the high voltages crossing 101. But from what I have seen, it takes an event like this to get the general populace agitated enough to overcome the protectionist impulses of homeowners with threatening trees on their property.

Posted by Menlo Voter.
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Feb 23, 2023 at 6:39 pm

Menlo Voter. is a registered user.


our leader are never going to have "serious conversations" with PG&E as long as they keep taking money from them. The CPUC, the toothless PG&E lap dog should all be fired and replaced by people that will hold PG&E's feet to the fire. But that will never happen because our Governor, who could do it, won't because he's also in PG&E's pocket.

And this isn't just a problem with PG&E, the people that live here that insist on keeping many trees won't do what is needed to properly maintain them. The serious conversation that needs to happen is the implementation of laws requiring people to properly maintain and trim the trees on their property with penalties for not doing so, especially if their trees cause damage due to lack of maintenance.

Posted by JC
a resident of Menlo Park: Suburban Park/Lorelei Manor/Flood Park Triangle
on Feb 23, 2023 at 6:53 pm

JC is a registered user.

What email from the city on Thursday? I didn't get one. The only email I get from Menlo Park is updates about children's hour at the library. When I called the city today on day 3 of the outage, I fought through the 9 layer automated phone tree and finally located an actual human being in the public works department. Except she must have been working remote from Topeka or something because she didn't seem to have a clue about what's been going on. She asked me where I live and wanted to know whether I had seen any PG&E trucks on my street, like it was some sort of isolated incident. She apparently wasn't aware that there was a power outage affecting 60,000 people going on for three days. "I don't live in Menlo Park", she said cheerfully. "Aren't you getting any phone calls about this?" I asked. "Um, I think someone called a couple of days ago about a tree down on Middle Ave," she said brightly. Either she was lying or completely out to lunch, but it was a pretty pathetic performance from a city employee in the middle of a crisis like this.

As for PG&E, let's not start. A blackout may (or may not) be an act of God (depending on how much their own incompetence was involved), but there's NO excuse for the information blackout they've been putting over since Tuesday. "Check our outage page for information", they say. What a joke! What you find there is a map that confirms that yes, your power is out. Thanks for nothing. No estimate on repair time (even a long estimate is better than NOTHING.) No explanation of what the hell is going on. This news bulletin from the city about the affected substation is one of the only solid pieces of information that's even come out of this debacle. PG&E waits 2 whole days, then announces a tree is causing it all. Gee, you didn't know that the first night? Of course they did. They've been stalling and stonewalling the whole time. My theory is that they already know everyone hates them and now they're getting even. Great strategy, guys.

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