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ORINDA: Downtown Goes Dark, Gridlock Ensues After Tree Snags Power Lines

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Orinda darkened after power lines brought down.

The lights went out for downtown Orinda Friday after a falling tree snagged some power lines, popping transformers and blacking out hundreds of homes and businesses.

The outage was reported shortly after noon Friday after a tree fell – bringing the lines down with it – at Stein and Moraga Way. Homes and businesses all along the critical thoroughfare immediately went dark, along with traffic lights in town, as police sought to divert stacking traffic away from Moraga Way and onto alternative routes.

Moraga Way remained closed into early evening as crews worked to restore power. PG&E was called to the area for the second time Friday after a tree fell at Ivy Drive and Descanso in Orinda shortly after 10 p.m., once again dragging down power lines and this time catching fire.

Moraga-Orinda Fire District crews were on the scene after neighbors reported the tree appeared in danger of toppling and they were dealing with the resultant fire.