Power outages & broken a/c units during heatwave in the East Bay

At around 5:30 Monday evening, power went out for homes and businesses in Walnut Creek.

“The problem is we just can’t help customers,” said Lynda Onnar, who works at the Dutch Girl Cleaners along Mt. Diablo Blvd. “And can’t do anything.”

With no electricity, work at the cleaners was brought to a stop. There was no way to retrieve cloths of take payments. 

“Our computers are down, the fans – everything’s down,” said employee “Jessica Bush.

PG&E said in the afternoon during the 5 o'clock hour, 2,800 customers in Walnut Creek lost power, but the number soon shrunk to 2,500 residents and business. The cause was not immediately available.

Traffic signals were out along Mt Diablo Blvd at interstate 680, which did not seem to have a significant impact on the intersection as drivers treated it as a four-way stop.

Temperatures were forecast to reach 100 degrees in some parts of the Easy Bay Monday with the National Weather Service classifying temperatures as “High Risk to much of the population, especially those who are heat sensitive and those without effective cooling and/or adequate hydration.”

With perhaps the hottest day of the year so far this year, the epitome of bad luck is a broken air conditioner, which is exactly what happened to a Martinez homeowner. 

“It’s been out for like a week now,” said Ron Tran. “First thing is I have two little dogs, two little puppies. I was worried they might get dehydrated.”

He reached out to Perfect Star Heating and Air Conditioning in Concord and was scheduled to have a new system installed next week, but the company moved up the work to Monday.

 “We’ve got a flood of calls coming up… a lot of them are diagnostic people that are down that need service right away,” said Mike Jestadt, operations manager for Perfect Star Heating & Air Conditioning.

While spiking temperatures meant a spike in business for air conditioning installation and repair businesses, the same could not be said for the owner of a food truck parked not far away. 

“We use little fans and we use the hood, but we’re still hot,” said Ramon Cruz who was describing the tight working conditions of his food truck called, Tapalpa Mexican Food.

While he says business was slow on this hot day, there was at least one customer.

“I just wanted to get out of the office. We are in air conditioning. I just wanted to get out of the office… we’re having an audit there today,” said Christina Danner.

For those who didn’t want to be indoors with their children, the Larkey Park Swim Center in Walnut Creek provided an alternative and was packed with children and parents enjoying the water to stave off the heat.