The lights were slowly coming back on in the San Rafael area Tuesday night after a large scale PG&E power outage plunged more than 20,000 homes and businesses into the dark.
At San Rafael's Northgate Mall the lights were back on, but at around 10 p.m. the latest word from PG&E was that thousands of other customers in this part of Marin County are still without electricity.
Earlier, the power was out for about two hours at the mall, leaving people to try and go about their business in the dark using flashlights.
One woman told KTVU she still managed to buy groceries.
"Everything is dark. It's super quiet and I go to my grocery store," said area resident Priscilla Boutineau. "It's just like a movie. It's a little scary."
San Rafael resident Bill Piatt was parked in his driveway.
"I was sitting in my car, charging my cell and looking up PG&E's website to seeing what it was all about and when it'd be on," said Piatt.
PG&E said the power went out shortly after 6 p.m. Tuesday night. At the peak of the outage, 20,000 customers were affected.
The generator was running at Fire Station number 5 to keep the lights on there.
San Rafael Fire Department Captain Paul Crimmins told KTVU firefighters responded to several calls when the power initially went out.
"[There was] an escalator problem at one of the shops in the mall," said Crimmins. "We assisted a gentleman in a wheelchair down the escalator. The other call was at a parking garage where people were locked inside."
KTVU saw lights come back on in various homes shortly before 8 p.m. PG&E said 7,900 homes and business were still in the dark at 10 p.m.
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