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Power Outages in the Bay Area

After a Level-4 storm hit the Bay Area on Feb. 5, thousands of homes were left without power in San Jose and surrounding Bay Area cities, causing long-lasting outages and damages. 

In early February, the Level-4 storm brought strong winds and flood watches to cities like Cupertino, San Jose and Santa Clara. Damages from the storm caused many businesses to shut down, making them lose both sales and large quantities of inventory. 

On top of the environmental damages in these areas, The Pacific Gas and Electric Company had several power outages, causing thousands of homes in the Bay to go out of power. In total, 94,173 PG&E customers had no power on Feb. 5. In South San Jose, two damaged power pole lines caused longstanding outages that even resulted in schools being canceled in the area. For example, Sonoma County had nearly two dozen schools closed due to outages and dangerous conditions. 

In an interview with NBC Bay Area, residents said that they were shocked to see the extreme conditions. According to PG&E, the storm caused the third most outages out of any storm in their company’s history.

Said Sumeet Singh, PG&E’s chief operating officer, “In terms of outage totals, this was one of the top three most damaging, single-day storms on record, only comparable to storms in 1995 and 2008.” 

Without electricity, residents had to find ways to cook and stay warm through the storm and long after its end. To get by, many used propane grills or gas stoves to cook and heat up water. 

In the days after the storm, power outages still remained in several locations. PG&E had crew members working to get lines back up but were late to many neighborhoods that suffered without power for a couple of extra days. 

At Tino, due to the outages, the Future Business Leaders of America’s Bay Section Conference was canceled, impacting many students. Although school was not canceled, numerous students nearby remained without power or faced difficult conditions in getting to school.

In the days following the storm after Feb. 6, PG&E resolved power issues and residents were able to attend school and visit businesses without hazardous conditions; however, with continued rain and extreme weather predictions for future weeks, the Bay Area may continue to face issues with safety and power. 

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Riya Malik
Riya Malik, Copy Editor

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