Crews finally restore power after 24 hour outage in Vallejo

Power came back on in the neighborhood at about 9:30 p.m.

"It's ribs and chicken patties," resident Alan Hays told KTVU, opening his grill to show his impromptu barbeque meal. "Cook it or let it go to waste, so we're cooking it".

After 24 hours without electricity, freezers and refrigerators full of food weren't faring too well.

"Looks like we'll be throwing a lot of stuff away," Karie Hays told KTVU as she surveyed the contents of her fridge. "It smells a little sour."

As with so many of the storm-related power outages, this one was caused by a falling tree, a one hundred foot eucalyptus.

"I'm not surprised that happened," added Hays, "you can see these trees around here, they're pretty old and diseased too."

A few doors down, neighbors sat on their porch and watched the repairs, involving several bucket trucks and a few dozen workers.

"We have wind up here, we had a lot of wind last night," Kathryn Robinson Kyair said. "We saw a green flash and wires bouncing all over."

That was at about 9 p.m. Residents said the transformers blowing, sounded like gunshots.

"It was just a very big job, a complicated job," explained PG&E spokeswoman Tamar Sarkissian, "and we appreciate everyone's patience."

Crews had to replace two power poles, repair another, and re-string several 12,000-volt strands. But as fast as they worked, time slowed down for everyone else.

"It's cocktail time," said Kyair with a laugh. "There's nothing else to do!"

The sun set without a return of lights or electronics.

"I've always liked having the power go out as a kid," resident Robin Martin told KTVU. "It was kind of exciting, busting out the candles and stuff."

"What's really cool is all the neighbors are out in the street," observed Kyair.

Cut off from technology, the repairs became the evening's entertainment. Inside, flashlights were ready and many dinners were improvised.

"We have a stew, we just kind of put it together, " Jeanne Day Kyair told KTVU, bending to her fireplace hearth to stir a pot.

"It takes longer to cook it in the fireplace, but it's just like camping" she added.

PG&E said the weather of the four days between Feb. 6 and Feb. 9 resulted in 466,000 outages in its service territory. 162,000 of those were in the Bay Area.

But at the Hays household, as the ribs and chicken were served, the couple concluded it wasn't all bad.

"Having dinner by candlelight. Wine, dinner, what else do you need?" mused Alan Hays.

For Karie, the answer? "A blow dryer and hot coffee!"