PG&E restoring power after powerful winds; school closures
SANTA CLARA, Calif. - PG&E said that as of Wednesday, 99,000 customers were still without power, with much of the outages occurring in the South Bay.
That number is down from the 367,000 customers who were in the dark on Tuesday, when the winds in the Bay Area were gusting at their peak.
At the peak of Tuesday's storm, 450,000 PG&E costumers across California were affected, utility officials said at a Wednesday press conference.
As of Wednesday afternoon, 80,000 customers in Santa Clara were without power, 35,000 customers in San Mateo County and 17,000 in Contra Costa County.
Several schools were closed in Cupertino and Fremont because they didn't have power.
Five counties in the Bay Area, including Marin and Alameda, recorded tornado force winds with gusts up to 97 MPH.
Winds took down 11 power poles along Homestead Road in Santa Clara, which snapped and fell into the street. The power could be out until Friday, officials said.
"It’s really interesting because actually all the lights went off, then the lights came on. About half of them. We had no electricity in our outlets so our computers, we had to run on battery. But the doors still worked. The garage door could still open to let cars out," Baldwyn Chieh said.
Meanwhile, about five miles down the road in Sunnyvale, a 50-foot tree also toppled on to the main building of West Valley Elementary School.
No one was hurt and neighbors say the high winds put a temporary stop to everything.
Tuesday's atmospheric river marked California's 13th storm in the last 75 days.
PG&E said they have 5,500 crew members in the field across the Bay Area working to restore the remaining outages.