Home NEWS Local Scene 24/680 Residents Devise Their Backup Plans As Noon Power Shutoff Looms –...

24/680 Residents Devise Their Backup Plans As Noon Power Shutoff Looms – Passes

Photo: Emily Keenan Fettig

By some accounts it got a little sporty at some stores and in some lines and SUVs jostled for position and $4 gasoline overnight – all in preparation for today’s expected power shutoff from PG&E.

Precise information became as hard to find as D14 Duracells Tuesday (and on into Wednesday morning) as some cities and towns appeared to be escaping the synthetic blackout while others were left to wonder what would become of them.

Danville was apparently informed Wednesday that it would not be impacted but the noon hour deadline for other towns and cities in the 24/680 appeared to remain in place.

PG&E estimates that 51,000 customers in Contra Costa County could lose power with more than 120,000 residents of the County affected. As of this writing, affected areas include Bay Point, Canyon, El Sobrante, Kensington, Lafayette, Moraga, North Concord, Orinda, Pleasant Hill, Pinole, Pittsburg, Richmond, San Ramon and Walnut Creek. Rossmoor and Danville will NOT be impacted by the shutdown. PG&E expects to start restoring power on Thursday, October 10t with complete restoration possibly taking several days.

Information on whether a critical piece of local infrastructure – the Caldecott Tunnel – would remain open or closed during any future outage also seemed difficult to pin down with certainty, though Caltrans officials said every effort was being made to keep the passage open to commuters.

All in all, we have our backups in place and they don’t involve open candles and copious amounts of gasoline for our generators so we’re feeling pretty smug. We’ll just have to ride this out to see where it takes us – and write about the stuff that happens when we get there.


  1. I’m thankful to have grown up in a place that frequently lost power due to storms (Cape Cod), and every single family vacation was camping in the mountains. Personally, I love it when the power goes out; it doesn’t take long for people to come out of their houses and mingle, like the pre-internet days. This exercise also reveals how woefully un-prepared the majority is. A power outage is no big deal, so long as you have the basics covered!

    As my six year old daughter said before heading off to school today: “our chess board and uno cards and books and guitars don’t need electricity!”

    I have my French press ready, coffee has been pre-ground, and all is well in this household!

    • Our very best to the Ever-Prepared Fulchers. Daughter/Child sounds like a corker! Good for her. See you around The Mingle!

    • Greg, I totally agree. Some of us know everything is going to be all right, while others are panicking. I do feel bad for those who are panicking because not everyone has the mental wherewithal to deal with things like this, whether or not they’re prepared. Only the strong survive…

  2. I don’t know if PG&E could have done a worse job of explaining the when and why of this shutdown. You would think they are a bankrupt monopoly or something!

  3. This is an interesting test run. Apparently there is some panic. To be expected I suppose. We are not used to doing without…without anything. But buying bottled water? I didn’t expect a rush for that. This is not a natural disaster after all…you won’t need plywood for the windows either. Unless you are pumping water from a well, just turn the faucet handle and out it comes. Ebmud has generators. The surprise from this test was that some critical tunnels did not have adequate generators but that doesn’t threaten anyone’s well being at home.

    • This is separating “the sky is falling” from the rest of us. Be thankful you have your mental well-being.

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